Going To Culinary School While On Vacation
Most of the top chefs of international cuisine have spent substantial time overseas, learning techniques and getting to know ingredients unique to varying regions. In fact, some of the best chefs of international cuisine are just that—international chefs. They may have spent years living in their region of choice, oftentimes having been born and raised among the cuisine they champion.
Fortunately, there are options for culinary students interested in international cooking who might be limited by their ability to travel. Not only are there great culinary schools that offer international techniques, but many of the top schools also offer “semesters abroad” and other education options that put students right in the middle of the cuisine they want to know more about.
Additional options are available in a more amateur-friendly format, as well. Known as cooking school vacations or culinary school vacations, there are programs available that offer professional chefs and home cooks the opportunity to learn about other types of food and culture firsthand.
Ranging from a few days to a few weeks in length, most of these culinary school vacations are offered through private organizations unaffiliated with the culinary schools recognized by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission. In this way, they are more like tour groups or specialty cruises than anything else.
However, culinary vacations can be an incredible experience for those who want to travel internationally, get to know new ingredients, and meet like-minded cooks. The most important thing to do is ensure that the vacation package is offered through an authentic company with a good track record.
For those interested in a different kind of culinary vacation, there are also options within the United States to consider. For example, the Culinary Institute of America offers a variety of culinary “boot camps.” Ranging from two to five days, these mini vacations send interested parties to New York, California, and Texas to learn everything from wine studies and BBQ to hors d’oeuvres and healthy cooking options.
No matter what you’re interested in or how much time and money you have to invest in your culinary education, there are options available for international study and simply having fun – which is, after all, one of the most important things about being in the kitchen.