Backstage Pass to Anything Culinary

You may not realize this, but I hope you do, and I hope you’ve been taking full advantage of it:

AS A CULINARY STUDENT, YOU HAVE ACCESS TO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING FOOD!

It’s true, and today was a great example of that. Our school arranged for us to have a tour of Darden’s brand new corporate offices. If you’re not familiar with Darden, they fully own and operate a myriad of leading restaurants such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Season’s 52. Regardless of whether you dine in those restaurants, agree/disagree with their food production philosophies and cooking methods, their state-of-the-art, outrageous, dreamy, and possibly close to being the 8th wonder of the culinary world facilities are to be respected and envied.

They exposed their entire corporate world to us, providing a snapshot into their operations and manufacturing. It was fascinating to learn how the finished product begins as a concept and eventually becomes part of a menu through months of testing, and how that recipe is then plated across the country, without variation. That’s just one part of it; marketing, advertising, HACCP and training are simultaneously integrated x 720+ restaurants for Olive Garden alone.

As a student, you can get a backstage pass to places like Darden, Borden, Kraft, and other culinary giants, as well as just about any culinary-related place you’d like to visit, and you should be taking advantage of it before you graduate. Because once you have your diploma or certificate, those doors close.

Companies are very willing to share their insights and learning materials with you for many reasons: you’re all potential employees or interns; you’re a great free marketing tool by telling people about your experience (I’m already talking about Darden…see how that marketing thing works?); and despite any pettiness you may have experienced in the kitchen, the corporate culinary world is quite excited to share with students.

All it takes is a phone call and a simple question: I’d like to arrange a tour of your (facility, kitchen, office, etc.) for our culinary class; with whom can I speak? You’d be surprised how excited people get, and how much they’re willing to share.

I hope you get to see some neat things, like we did today! When you do, or if you have, tell us about it here.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • 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.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • 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
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • 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*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • 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).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • 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
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            1 Program(s) Found

            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.

            2 Program(s) Found
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits