Should I Consider Going To Culinary School Abroad?
Cuisine and good food are often all about the quality of the ingredients. San Francisco and Seattle are known for their seafood because of their proximity to the ocean. The South churns up spicy, time-honored foods that are part of a rich cultural history. And if you want to eat the best pasta in the world, most gourmands will tell you to hightail it to Tuscany.
The idea of immersing oneself in another culture to experience the best cuisine is nothing new – and neither is immersing oneself in another culture to get the best possible culinary education. About fifty years ago, there weren’t that many top culinary schools in the United States.
Those who wanted a good baking or cooking education went to France, which has long been hailed as the center of all things related to good food and even better culinary schools.
While going to France can still be a great way to get the culinary education you want, there are more options now than ever before. Many of today’s top chefs have spent time in cooking schools in France, Italy, the Caribbean, Spain, Brazil, Thailand, and other locations with a flair for cuisine.
In fact, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has made a career out of exploring international locations as a way to not only experience new cuisine, but to learn the secrets that have fed these cultures for centuries.
Should I Attend an International Cooking School?
The decision to attend an international culinary arts school is an important one. While it can go a long way in boosting your career, adding credentials and giving you a unique specialization, it can be costly.
Many of the top French and Italian cooking schools come with high tuition costs, and moving your entire life overseas can be difficult. Many of the lesser-known regions can cost less, but you may have to focus less on traditional training through a cooking program and more on learning what you can from the vibrant, local life.
There are “shortcuts” you can consider, as well. The International Culinary School at the Art Institutes offers training in locations all over the United States. Many culinary schools offer Italian cuisine as part of their curriculum,and some of them even offering internships on an Italian campus for one or two months.
Simple cooking classes can often introduce you to a new type of cuisine in just a few nightly classes each week.
No matter what you choose, remember that only you can decide your culinary future. Going overseas can boost your career, but it’s not always necessary to start it.
Read, Read and Read Some MoreOne of the best suggestions I have for anyone thinking of going to culinary school or just getting into the restaurant industry is to read everything you can get your hands on. Learn from professional chefs who have worked in the industry and those who have taught in culinary schools.
There are many great books available to get you started in your culinary education and I suggest you read as much as possible before making that big decision to make sure this is the right move for you. Below is just a sample of books you might be interested in checking out.
For a much more comprehensive list of books for aspiring culinary, baking and restaurant management students, I suggest checking out my post on books for future culinary students and chefs.