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The Role of Culinary Schools in the Local Food Movement

In the Fire

According to the National Restaurant Association's annual What's Hot survey, which interviewed around 1,500 chefs, the top three food trends in 2011 are going to be locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce and sustainability. As chefs and foodies alike scramble to learn about these three fundamentals, culinary schools lend a helping hand by incorporating them into their curriculum.

Culinary Arts

Making the Switch to Local

As customers have become more concerned with their physical health, chefs have had to keep improving their recipes and menus to reflect these needs. Better fats, less salt, smaller portions and organic ingredients are just some of the improvements chefs are making to improve the nutritional value of their food. And in addition to being healthy, this trend toward local food is also socially responsible: it benefits the smaller, family farms and organic producers.

Chefs who are making the switch to local, seasonal ingredients need to know how to work with small producers and plan menus around the varying availability of products, which poses different challenges than simply ordering all of their inventory from one or two national or regional food service distributors. Various classes on this subject are offered in culinary schools.

Campus-Based and Online Culinary Schools Join the Local Food Trend

Culinary degree program regularly update and adapt their curricula to prepare chefs for the changing culinary world. Changing culinary trends, updated nutritional information, or new ingredients all require culinary students to master new techniques and develop new recipes.

You can find traditional and online culinary classes that reflect the need for local and sustainable choices on menus. Sustainability is woven through many kinds of classes in a culinary degree program, including:

  • Food, Wine, and Agriculture
  • Food Ecology
  • Restaurant Operations
  • Food Politics
  • Food Sustainability

Whether you're choosing from traditional or online culinary degree programs, culinary school can give you the most up-to-date information regarding locally produced ingredients and sustainable practices, preparing you for the needs of contemporary chef jobs in 2011.

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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
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            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            1 Program(s) Found
            • Each campus features a public restaurant where culinary students work under the direction of professional chefs for real-world experience.
            • Hosts Platt College’s Food Fight, a friendly dessert competition for students held once a month.
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            Virginia College , Chattanooga
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
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