Painting A Portrait

The dictionary defines an artist as a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria. Does this mean that chef’s are considered artists, since they produce meals that are pleasing to see and eat? Artists use mediums like paint and clay and metal to bring their creations to life. Musicians are considered artists because music is composed of notes through instruments that inspire emotion in listeners. If a chef’s medium is food, and since they use all five senses to please, are they considered artists as well?

Chef’s can use seasonality to define a menu, and cause memories in a patron just by certain foods. If a slice of pumpkin pie doesn’t inspire feelings of autumn, then cooks can showcase their own feelings through a simple type of cuisine. For example, Alice Waters brings organic California-influenced cuisine to mind, while Rick Bayless constantly redefines what can be considered Nuevo Latino cuisine. At an even more detailed spectrum, chef’s like Ferran Adria and Grant Achatz use deconstruction and avant-garde cooking techniques to redesign how we perceive food, and manipulate the senses into thinking that one item may actually be something else. A perfect example is Achatz’s hot and cold potato soup. A hot potato is served on a needle made of sugar in a cold soup. It allows for multiple sensations at once. Not to mention these famous culinarians work the plate better than the rest, creating meals that are as amazing to look at as they are to eat.

Some chef’s don’t agree with the idea that cooking is an art form. Chef Jimmy Schmidt says, “I think it’s safer to call (cooking) a craft. To capture the impression… of a certain mood or feeling is a lot tougher in food than it is in other media.” and Joyce Goldstein states, “A craftsperson is one who masters technique… and that comes from practice, which is where school really helps a lot.” (Culinary Artistry, Dornenburg and Page, 1996). Culture plays a direct influence on the craft as well, with each chef becoming a master of cuisines in order to further develop their own. Each cuisine is broken up into distinct groups, where flavors, spices, faith, and geography all coincide. One cook may master French technique in France, but be influenced by growing up in Morocco in the selection of spices. Is this the true art? The blending of cuisines world’s apart in order to convey a message through food?

While the debate over cooking as an art form may never truly be answered, it does open up some great possibilities. Where will cooking go in the future, and how will that effect the choices of future culinary students and foodies? I feel that through time, and a clear understanding of what a diner really wants out the meal, a chef can bring the craft to the level of art. Although it takes immense talent, and I’ll be the first one to say that not all chefs have this, there are those of us who would push the envelope. Those who paint a portrait through 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.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 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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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
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            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            Salter College , West Boylston
            • Offers training programs in preparation for professional careers in business, health care, and computers.
            • Provides associate and certificate programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, culinary arts, and more.
            • Places students in externships to gain real world experience before completing their respective program.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            • 2 campuses in Chicopee and West Boylston, Massachusetts.
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            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
            • Students can choose from a variety of diploma or degree programs, as well as continuing education courses.
            • Provides programs in massage therapy, dental assisting, criminal justice, cake decorating, and more.
            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
            • Involved with many community service organizations, including the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (CPBB), March of Dimes, and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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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.
            • 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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