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.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            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
            1 Program(s) Found

            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.

            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.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            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.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.

            4 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
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid