Labor of Love

Culinary school is a juggling act.

In class, we're constantly multi-tasking - listening to a chef's instruction, deconstructing a rack of lamb and ensuring our fumet (fish stock) isn't boiling. But when it comes to financing your education, it's a different sort of task.

One question I'm often asked when I tell people I attend the French Culinary Institute is: how do you afford it?

It's not easy. And in New York, it can be even tougher.

I opted to enroll in the nine -month night program because it allowed me to work during the day (rent is exorbitant) and generate some income.I have classes three nights a week but it still keeps me busy.

A frantic week can look like this: 35 hours at my day job (which isn't culinary-related), arriving at school around 5 p.m. and not leaving until nearly 11 p.m. three times a week, taking the subway home and not stepping into my apartment until 11:30 or midnight, volunteering at a food event, doing some freelance writing to earn extra money and finding enough hours to fit in enough rest.

I'm not the exception.

Chefs work long hours. One chef told me that when he attended the Culinary Institute of America he also held a job to help pay his tuition. On the weekends he would take the train into New York City to work at respected restaurants - for free. He figured he never got more than five hours of sleep on most nights during that time.

Most of my classmates also hold day jobs while attending school. They realize that coming out of school it may be tough, especially in this economic recession.

When it comes down to it, though, all the juggling we do is a labor of love.

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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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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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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
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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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            3 Program(s) Found
            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
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            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • 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.
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            • 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