Did you know that well before the creation of culinary arts schools or culinary arts institutes, all the great chefs came to learn the craft through apprenticeship? It’s true! Even the most famous chefs of history, the founding fathers of the culinary arts such as Auguste Escoffier, Antonin Carême and Fernand Point never went to culinary school. In fact, the culinary arts school is a relatively new invention; people previously became chefs by training inside of professional kitchens. Aspiring chefs learned the ins-and-outs of cookery by building skills under the direction of working professionals. While many of the great chefs of today have attended culinary arts school, many others have not. Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay, Hélène Darroze, Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Bocuse, Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and Rick Bayless are just a few famous chefs who either never attended or never completed culinary school. In the past decade, we’ve seen traditional, lecture-oriented culinary programs become more expensive and less effective in the quality of education they offer and especially, the amount of actual skills their students learn. In our opinion, the modern-day cooking school is out of step when it comes to getting individuals the skills, connections and practical insight they need to launch their careers. Unfortunately, many people incorrectly assume that getting an expensive culinary arts degree is the only way to enter the industry. This simply is not true. Even people who have spent tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on their schooling must work their way up. For this reason, expensive degrees can limit an individual’s chances at succeeding because they make it impossible for people to afford those entry-level positions that might not pay well at first, but which lead to the greatest career opportunities down the line. Our common-sense approach works in accord with the way the culinary arts world actually operates. We are not lecture-based, but rather conversation and practice-based. Our students learn one-on-one by training directly within the real world of professional cooking and the culinary arts. We make the most of the tried-and-true, mentored-apprenticeship (externship) method of culinary training and reinforce it with state-of-the-art curriculums, written by working members of the profession and geared towards enabling students to acquire the real-world skills, experience and the know-how it takes to compete in today’s job market. Solid skills and actual experience are what many of today’s chefs look for when they hire, not advanced degrees. The CASA Chef Apprentice School of the Arts makes it possible for up-and-coming culinary professionals to get inside a professional restaurant and gain experience and connections while they train for a rewarding career. Getting our students inside the professional culinary arts world where they can become part of the thriving food community in their area is our no-nonsense approach to helping hardworking, deserving individuals begin building their futures today. We know that we are not your only option for culinary education. Here’s a look at your other options.
If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a highly experienced, respected chef who agrees to train you one-on-one. This is a great way to start building skills and learn in a practicable, time-efficient manner but it will be very expensive and loans are not available for self-study arrangements of this nature.