The best schools for the culinary arts include the International Culinary Center, the Culinary Institute of America, the Institute of Culinary Education, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, says FSR Magazine. Some of these programs offer certificates, while others grant various degrees.
The best culinary arts schools have several characteristics in common, notes FSR Magazine. Foremost among the criteria used to determine the top 20 are a combination of experiential training in well-equipped classrooms and comprehensive theory. The best schools offer an off-campus experience provided through internships and externships. Another criterion that determines a school's quality is its relationships with culinary professionals, which allow students to keep pace with relevant knowledge and skills.
Considerations in choosing a school include cost, age of the school, accreditation, the amount of realistic experience students get and how modern the facilities are, says About.com. Some schools charge $40,000 or more for their programs, but culinary programs at some community colleges cost only $1,300. Older schools are usually accredited and offer a broader alumni network, which can be helpful in getting a job after graduation. The American Culinary Federation oversees accreditation, and its approval assures students a top-quality education. Good culinary programs give students a realistic experience of the demands and pressures of a real restaurant. Some schools may have outdated equipment, while others offer state-of-the-art facilities.