Self-Education

As an aspiring food writer, chef, and molecular gastronomist, I have a multitude of items on my platter (no pun intended). trying to find the time to complete everything involves stretching every minute of every day. Unfortunately, not everyone has time for this like I do. For those of you out there who want to educate yourself and aren’t able to go to a full on culinary school, there are many different books and methods you can do.

Firstly, there are many great books out there to beef up your cooking skills right away. My personal favorite, the one that got me going on this path, is “Everyday Cooking” by Jacques Pepin. Now as a CIA student, I don’t often advocate for FCI grads but in all honesty Chef Pepin is one of the best alive, and his book is no small order. Front to back, his book will teach you everything from the basic cutting techniques to desserts to advanced haute cuisine. Next, everyone in the culinary world owns or has read from “The Escoffier” by August Escoffier. The chef of kings wrote the bible on modern haute cuisine, and it is a mainstay for anyone trying to be a self taught cook. Lastly, no one, and I mean no one, should not own a copy of “Food Lovers Companion” by Ron and Sharon Herbst. Any technique, item, food, or term is easily explained in simple terms in a codex that spans the entire culinary world. Currently in its fourth edition, it is a great gift for any aspiring cook. Of course there is a new favorite of mine, called “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. A rather new book, is an adventurous romp in the land of flavor combination. Extremely user-friendly and clearly designed, this book connects any food with compatable ideas for spices and herb and sauces. The better the connection the bolder the font in the book. It also lists common and rare but equally delicious flavor groupings. Even as a culinary student, this book continues to amaze and re-educate me.

Finally, my personal favorite, is just going to the grocery store. Whole Foods and Wegman’s both employ full time chefs who design meals and recipes for everyday cooking. If you have a question about anything and they can either guide you in the right direction or explain the answer in clear terms. Not to mention both have an excellent selection of organic foods, and a diverse range of international cuisines. So the next time you feel the need to be spontaneous in the kitchen, take a look at one of these and see if they don’t give you some inspiration.

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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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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • 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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            • 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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            • 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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            • 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 11:1, 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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            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • 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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            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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