Is culinary school right for you?
Sometimes life throws us curve balls. You think you’ll be working the same job or within a specific industry for 10, 20, or even 30 years, but one day you wake up and realize you need a change. You want to follow your dream and become a chef or start a food truck or become a food writer. You’re feeling motivated to follow your passion wherever that path may take you and find yourself wondering: is culinary school right for you? Let’s find out.
You crave culinary knowledge.
You are clearly fired up about food; dabbling and experimenting with all kinds of techniques in your kitchen! Sure, there are a ton of resources out there on the internet, but you are a hands-on learner. At a certain point you find yourself looking for some guidance.
A classroom environment dedicated to helping you grow may be exactly what you need. Long, stainless steel prep tables represent endless possibilities at the start of each class. Eight-burner restaurant-style stoves allow dreams to simmer and stew. A full pantry and endless pots and pans hold the inspiration to countless recipes to cook up in your time at school.
An instructor who has been where you are may be just the mentor you’re looking for. Our accomplished chef instructors bring their vast culinary training and experience as executive chefs, pastry chefs, caterers, private chefs, food writers, bakery owners, and educational leaders to every course they teach. They have worked in some of the finest restaurants and institutions in the greater Boston area and across the world and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with future culinary leaders like you.
A classroom filled with as many career changers as young culinary wizards may provide the best combination of minds for you. Students come to CSCA from across the United States and from nations around the world, forming an incredible melting pot of cultural backgrounds and experiences.
Veterans from all branches of the military thrive in our programs. In the kitchen, everything and everyone has a place and a purpose. Our programs emphasize teamwork and collaboration that is critical to success in the kitchen. These parallel principles are inherent to active duty and make the shift to school feel comfortable and manageable.
CSCA is popular among career changers and those who are retiring form their life’s work to pursue their passion, but many of our talented alumni kick-started their culinary journey directly after high school. While our student body and alumni network are diverse, all CSCA students are unified by their love of the craft and an insatiable hunger to learn. At culinary school, you benefit from the facilities, staff, instruction, and expertise of others.
You’d like to carve your own path.
You’re the kind of person that sees a refrigerator full of uncooked ingredients as a refrigerator full of possibilities. You have a hunger to learn new and different techniques and tricks of the trade in an industry that’s always evolving. You are feeling fatigued at work and are eager to escape your current desk job and add some excitement to your day-to-day. Dedication and unwavering attention to detail are a major part of your repertoire. It doesn’t hurt that you are a bit of an “outside of the box” thinker … we’re all a bit mad here!
A beautiful quality about culinary arts and the food industry is the near limitless career possibilities. You are probably familiar with the restaurant and bakery jobs: line cook, prep cook, sous chef, chef de cuisine, bread baker, cake decorator, pastry chef, and so on. But a culinary education can prepare you for so much more. Want to be a food writer? You’ll need to learn the lingo. Want to run a restaurant? You’ll need to understand how your chefs and back-of-house staff operate. Want to open a catering or personal chef business? You’ll need to learn to think quickly and pull from your culinary knowledge to put out fires (figuratively, but maybe also literally) on the job.
Our graduates find jobs that range from traditional restaurant positions to just about anything related to food that you can think of. We have cheesemakers, chocolatiers, small and large business owners, marketing consultants, recipe developers, and culinary tourism leaders to name a few. A culinary education is but a stepping stone to your wildest aspirations and can build a strong foundation and network on which to stand.
You’re ready to go now.
Can you realistically add a few long days of learning to your calendar? To set yourself up for success, you need to be able to set aside time for culinary school. It is a big undertaking. Our programs are designed to keep students in class for two 8-hour days in the kitchen plus a 3-hour seminar once a week. In the fall, we offer a night option for culinary certificate students to allow those who work daytime hours to start their studies at 4:30pm. This will give you a taste of restaurant industry hours if you’re considering work as a line cook after graduation. You get out of school what you put into it, so we recommend setting some more time aside to study and practice your newly learned techniques at home, but our academic schedule also allows many students to continue working full or part time.
You want to ignite your passion.
Whatever your reason for considering culinary school, your passion for culinary or pastry arts should speak loudly. Traditional restaurant and bakery jobs require long hours and hard work. Entrepreneurial paths require the same. If you find yourself constantly researching ingredients, testing recipes, sharing culinary tricks and tips with friends, and seeking out the latest new restaurants, then culinary school may be the next step on your path. Life is too short to ignore your passions! Ignite them today at CSCA if you have the opportunity.