The increasing popularity of reality cooking shows like Master Chef, Top Chef and Iron Chef has made more people aware of the vast opportunities presented by a career in culinary. With more people getting interested in culinary, many cooking schools have adjusted to the growing demand by offering 2-year associate degree program and short-term cooking classes or workshops aside from the 4-year college degree program already in place. People who like to get employed the soonest can do so with the shorter degree program. The shows have given the viewers a glimpse on the great skills and strict qualities required for every aspiring chef. The reality TV shows like these three highlights the rare individual gifted with a unique talent in cooking.

A promising career in the restaurant or catering business, having a reality TV show like Top Chef are good reasons why a lot of people are drawn to the culinary arts. In New Orleans, dubbed as the city with the best cuisine in the world, a lot of students from many different places, flock to the city to go into one of the great cooking schools in the area. And with the many great cooking schools in New Orleans, one may find it difficult to identify the right one he or she should pick.

What to Look for in a Cooking School

Accreditation Looking for the right cooking school in New Orleans may require a student to do some diligent work through advance research to get more information about the target school. It is important that information about the school’s accreditation status and credibility is validated. All schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions should be accredited by the US Department of Education.

Such accreditation is based on factors like faculty to student ratio, success rate of graduated students, credibility of the institution as per feedback derived from employers of their graduates, reputation of the university or institution in the community and the over-all success rate of the institution. The accreditation status should be seen displayed on the university website or may be searched through the US Department of Education website.

Specific Culinary Specialty 

Most of the cooking schools in New Orleans offer a variety of culinary programs – from the long 4-year degree course to a short-term full day cooking class. A student aiming to be a chef will have to complete either a 2-year or a full 4-year degree program in culinary arts. Depending on the personal preference of the student, one can pick a cooking school with programs specializing in baking (to be a pastry chef), or ethnic New Orleans cuisine or cuisines of other countries or regions. One can always find a cooking school that integrates courses on native and authentic New Orleans cuisine, specializing on sea foods and other culinary delights such as Creole and Cajun dishes.

Proper and Safe Cooking Techniques

Cooking school students learn a variety of things in their cooking classes aside from learning how to cook. They are taught about safety measures in the kitchen, handling procedures of food and kitchen utensils, regulations and rules on keeping a safe working environment, national and state health codes and updated entrepreneurial skills for their future career path. All students leave the cooking school with a full grasp of what it entails to be successful in their career or business. With the endless opportunities in the culinary industry, everyone can get their hands on experiencing cultural cuisine that is distinctly New Orleans, in preparing for such opportunities. Reasons Why Being a Chef is a Good Career Option Running a popular reality TV show like Iron Chef could be one’s inspiring motivation to become a chef. But aside from that, there are other reasons why a culinary career is a good and promising option.

Secured Job Opportunities

The fact that people always eat, be it in fine dining restaurants or fast food chains, mean there is always a job opportunity requiring the services of professional chefs. Statistics from the US Bureau of Labor indicated as many as 3.1 million chefs, cooks and food workers employed back in 2006. The figures should have dramatically increased since. In 2011, the culinary industry was considered the second largest employer in the private sector across the United States with a conservative 2.3% increase in employment opportunities for the year 2012.Great Career and Lifestyle successful career in the culinary industry offers an exciting lifestyle – taking a chef to different states and countries, if employed by international hotel or restaurant operators. A chef may be researching on new recipes or methods of cooking that will likely give them the opportunity for endless traveling. A celebrated chef may be asked to help out stars, celebrities, businessmen, foreign dignitaries and political figures cater their hosted events.

Attractive Salary and Professional Development

One cannot discount that one of the main reasons that attract them to the culinary career is the attractive salary it offers. For a new chef who is just building his career experience, the average annual income can run to $32,000. A celebrated and experienced chef can rake in somewhere in the area of $92,000 annually. This does not include other sources of income if one becomes involved in cookbook writing, TV shows, endorsements, etc. Easily, a chef can become a millionaire over a short career practice.

Most chefs also advance fast in their careers, with a short three years to prove themselves. A new chef graduate could start from being a prep cook, advancing to becoming a short-order cook to line chef and steadily moving up as a sous chef, executive or corporate chef – all in a span of ten years.

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