On Chang and more

One of the French Culinary Institute's most well known alums (and definitely the most popular in New York at the moment) is David Chang. His three restaurants (Momofuku Noodle Bar, Ssam Bar and Ko) and a recently open dessert shop are all food writers can seem to talk about these days. They rave about the Asian dishes delivered with French sensibilities and techniques coming out of Chang's kitchen at (relatively) affordable prices.

Last night a friend visiting from Texas and I decided to try out Ssam Bar.

For my friend it was culinary bliss; she could never eat as well in Houston on most days. For me, I was more intrigued by the menu as we noshed on oysters with a kimchi consomme, fried Brussels sprouts (with mint, scallions and a fish sauce vinaigrette), poached cod and of course, Chang's popular steam buns (full of slabs of pork belly).

I dissected the dishes with what I've learned so far in three months of culinary school. The scallions were perfectly julienned, the consomme was obviously clarified a few times over and the French techniques the FCI emphasizes were on obvious display.

It made me wonder: how far am I from being prepared to work in a professional kitchen? Some days it seems completely plausible and on others, I wonder if I want to be on my feet for 12 hours a day in a cramped kitchen.

But sitting on our high top stools in Ssam Bar at 1 a.m. on a Saturday with a packed restaurant overlooking the East Village crowds, I knew the guests enjoyed the food and dining experience. It's just another reason I love food.

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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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            1 Program(s) Found
            Baker College - Ground , Clinton Township

            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

            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
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • 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
            1 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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