Culinary School vs. On The Job Training & Development

As we watch higher education rates within the culinary industry soar, we see eager, passionate young people yearning for a culinary career that may be prohibitive due to the costs of higher education.

This important topic got our team thinking about – and debating – the notion of Culinary School vs. On The Job Training & Development. Is one path better than the other?

The short answer is no.

We believe that education is always a positive. But, where it takes place plays a big role in this debate: classroom vs. on the job training?

To add some food for thought, recent reports state that chefs with culinary degrees still make, on average, only 12 percent more than chefs who don’t have degrees.

The path chosen is a personal one. But gaining insight into which option is the best fit for one’s own development is critical.

Where to start to find the best fit? Look closely at stats, schools, costs, and courses offered by culinary schools as well as the value of hands on education and training programs within a busy, working kitchen and restaurant operation.

There are great culinary programs out there, within both venues, if self-starters are willing to do theFFDC_FOHBarMisc_012_KFresearch. For example, our team develops a real, working, contemporary restaurant training and development curriculum for our Founding Farmers restaurant client. From food and beverage training in areas such as pastry, sushi, and mixology; to prep, service, and safety such as line cooking, the art of butchering meats, exceptional food running + service, and food safety; and Manager in Training and Operational Training programs. All created to educate and grow their restaurant team, while earning a salary.

For some, the trial by fire, hands on scenario, complete with salary is the only option. For others, learning in a more traditional classroom/culinary school setting is their preference. Either way, weighing options armed with knowledge and research is the best jump off point to choosing sides in this debate – and determining your best path to culinary success.

*photo: courtesy of Founding Farmers careers

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