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.

Featured Culinary Schools

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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.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Transferable Credits
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Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
Penn Foster , Online
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Online Courses