Is Culinary School Worth It

August 31, 2015 0 Comments

Is Culinary School Worth It

Alternative Culinary Schools in Richmond Virginia

There is a lot of discussions now about the value of a culinary school education. This is nothing new. This conversation has been discussed online, in newspaper articles as well as restaurant kitchens throughout the country.

It is an important question especially if you are thinking about investing a lot of money, time and effort getting into and attending culinary school, baking school or hospitality management school.

This week I read an interesting post by Stephanie Ganz for the RVANEWS, an online publication that looks at all things Richmond, Virginia. In her article, Back to (Culinary) School: The new era of culinary education in RVA, Stephanie shares some of her own experiences while attending Johnson & Wales in Charlotte back in 2005 and why she decided to drop out and finish learning her craft in a professional kitchen.

She talks about that first semester at J&W and the basic concepts she learned that she uses every day in her professional career. But then she asks the question why should anyone spend a ton of money on culinary school when it is perfectly acceptable in the restaurant industry to work your way up through the ranks starting as a dishwasher and eventually becoming an executive chef.

Stephanie’s response to her own question is, “for many, culinary school provides an opportunity to learn in a focused, hands-on environment where students can develop skills without the pressure of a Saturday night dinner service”

I like that viewpoint. I hear her saying that for some, culinary school may be a waste of time and money, but for others who need a more focused approach to learning, it may be the best way to go.

Alternative Schools

The rest of the post looks at three schools in the Richmond, Virginia area that are not part of the big named schools like The Art Institutes  but smaller programs that include a community college, for profit program and school of professional & continuing studies at the University of Richmond that are typically less expensive and often take less time to earn a degree.

According to Ms. Ganz, these three Richmond schools are “more affordable than the big guys and they’re located smack in the middle of a blossoming culinary town with soaring demand for qualified, dependable chefs.

Three Richmond Culinary Schools

The three schools are:

J. Sergeant Reynolds Community, a two year program that puts you on a fast track to earn a Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science Degree.

University of Richmond’s Center for Culinary Arts offering certificate programs in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, nutrition and food science as well as food service management.

Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College offering a 36-week culinary immersion program where students can “learn the skills that enable them to pursue a career in the culinary arts.”

To learn more about these three Richmond culinary schools, I invite you to read Ms. Ganz’s article. To find more schools like these in other parts of the country, I recommend you visit our directory of culinary schools listed by state.


Last modified on Wed 16 January 2019 10:46 am

Filed in: Culinary Schools

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