Dining Dilemma

Your experience eating in restaurants is forever changed once you enter culinary school.

"Is the dish well-seasoned? How's the plating? Is there a good balance in the menu selection? Wow, where did the chef get the idea to pickle that vegetable?"

These are they type of questions that regularly run through my head when I eat at restaurants. Sometimes it makes the dining experience better and other times, especially around friends, it makes you seem like a snob. But trust me, I eat about anything you put in front of me. I don't care if it's a hole-in-the-wall establishment or a four-star restaurant. If the food is good, I'll want to be there sooner or later.

I feel eating at restaurants, which I do at least four times a week in New York, is a good way to learn. The other evening I joined some friends at an Italian restaurant tucked deep in the Lower East Side near Chinatown. I wasn't expecting too much at Bacaro as I descended the dark stairs into a noisy dining room.

But when my duck ragu arrived, I was blown away. It wasn't about the food. A smile as wide as my glass of wine must have popped up once I touched the plate. I always touch the plate before eating. Our chefs always made it a point to tell us "serve hot food hot and cold food cold." It's simple as that but so few restaurants actually get it done right. More times than not, a restaurants fail to do this, even the good ones. So before I even tasted the perfectly al dente tagliatelle that soaked up the aromatic duck ragu, my meal was a success.

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            Culinary Arts (AS)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Intensive Sommelier Training
            • 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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            Culinary Arts
            • 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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            • Flexible Scheduling
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