Do chefs need an education beyond high school?
At its most basic, a chef is someone who prepares food. But this description hardly does the career credit. It is first important to understand that food preparation careers cover a broad spectrum from food preparation workers, to fast food and short-order cooks, to chefs, and executive chefs. As one might expect, that spectrum runs from individuals with little training to individuals highly trained in culinary arts.
Culinary Schools, Training, and Licensing
Chefs, especially those who intend to work in table-service restaurants and fine dining establishments, typically obtain specialized culinary arts training beyond high school. Culinary arts programs of study can range from months, to two or four years in duration. The shorter duration programs typically confer certificates, diplomas, of associate's degrees. Four-year culinary programs typically confer a bachelor of arts degree.
Individuals who wish to work in the top tier of the profession typically obtain bachelor's degrees. Many also receive training in food service management, food service entrepreneurship, or hospitality and restaurant management either as part of their bachelor's degree, or through additional training.
Culinary arts programs may be found at vocational and technical education schools, cooking schools, as well as 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.
"Typical" culinary arts programs include a significant amount of hands-on training. Chefs in training can expect to spend substantial amounts of their training in a lab kitchens gaining valuable hands-on expertise. Internships/externships, or working in school run restaurants is also frequently part of culinary arts programs.
Certification is also not a requirement to be a chef. It can, however, add an important credential for those individuals trying to obtain top-tier jobs where the competition can be very keen. The American Culinary Federation offers the following certification credentials for chefs:
"I must say this is the best recipe software I have ever owned."
"Your DVO cookbook software saves me time and money!"
"I saw lots of recipe software for PC computers but I was having a hard time finding really good mac recipe software. I'm so glad I discovered Cook'n! It's so nice to have all my recipes in a computer recipe organizer. Cook'n has saved me so much time with meal planning and the recipe nutrition calculator is amazing!!!
My favorite is the Cook'n Recipe App.