Culinary Education Beyond the Kitchen

When I had the idea last year to attend culinary school to get in on the food writing side of things--not to be behind the scenes in the kitchen--most people paused and seemed to be caught off guard a bit. And today, when people learn that I've earned a culinary arts diploma, but have no interest in becoming an executive chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant, they often times look puzzled.

Well my instincts have now been validated! This week The Institute of Culinary Education announced a new line-up of career courses in culinary arts that don't have students necessarily focusing on the kitchen. The school's new Food Media program will offer classes that pertain to various realms of the culinary world such as food writing, food styling and photography, cookbook writing, restaurant reviewing and even creating your own TV food show.

With the burgeoning space of online food blogs and continuing popularity of the Food Network, food magazines and just an overall love for exploring the wonders of the food we eat, it's nice to see an institution offer up a formal educational program that will encourage those looking for a culinary education to think beyond the kitchen and leave with a more well-rounded, savvy mind set of all the aspects and opportunities that await.

To read the official announcement click here.



Garrett said...

Hmm, not sure about that. Your own food show? I doubt many people taking it will achieve such a thing. As for the rest, well, the best way to be a good writer is to just start writing and keep writing.

I plan to do what you do and go to culinary school so I have a bit more authority on the subject of food writing. Right now I am working on my graduate degree in Writing & Composition. Personally, I think that simply immersing yourself in these topics is the best way to go.

Steinhardt University in NY has a great Food Studies program for Undergraduate, Graduate and even a Doctoral program (the only one in the country on these topics). I would think that if you want to get into food media, then just work your way up from the bottom and pick up whatever bits of education along the way.

Personally my plan ultimate goal is to be a food writer and teach at a university with my specialization in food lit. (of all kinds). I will just garner experience writing what I can freelance and on staff at a few places, and go to school along the way. (Plan to go to culinary right after grad school, but pause a bit before applying to the doctoral program at Steinhardt).

Jen, I think you're taking a great path, and this is the first time I have commented here. Love your blog!

Jennifer said...

Hi Garrett,
Thanks for your comment and the compliment on the blog!

I agree on the just start writing and keep writing, but do think schools expanding their programs into food media is a smart move. If it were all about just getting out there and getting experience, then why would any of us need any type of formal education?

I enjoy your blog as well. Are you on Twitter?


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