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Inside Kendall

Is Culinary School Worth the Investment?

We all know that a college education costs money. We also know that it’s possible for someone without a college degree to walk into a restaurant and get a job as a line cook. This is why many young aspiring chefs find themselves asking, “Is culinary school worth the investment?”

Of course, at Kendall College, we believe the answer is a resounding YES! Here are a few reasons why:

You learn the fundamentals of proper cooking.

“If you don’t get a degree and you just work in the industry, for example as a line cook, you learn exactly how to make your employer’s food. You learn how to cook Joe’s steak Joe’s way. But you don’t learn the proper way of cooking steak,” says Leigh Uhlir, director of Kendall’s programs in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. “Culinary education teaches you the foundations of cooking across the world, so you can go anywhere and do anything with food.”

In Kendall’s kitchens, you’ll learn fundamental and advanced techniques for cooking meat, fish and vegetarian dishes; making sauces, stocks, salads and breakfast food; baking bread and pastries; serving wine, beer and spirits; using knives and plating food; and much more. Our outstanding curriculum is just one reason why Kendall is ranked No. 1 in Chicago for preparing students for careers in the culinary arts.*

You study international cuisine with top chefs from around the world.

Our culinary arts faculty members hail from five countries, bringing a global perspective into the classroom and kitchen. All chef instructors have strong managerial experience and at least 10 years of experience in the field. They include several executive chefs, pastry chefs, authors, a registered dietitian and a Certified Master Baker. Under their guidance and depending on your degree program, you’ll practice making classic dishes not only from the United States but also from Latin America, South America, the Mediterranean, Asia and other world cuisines.

Kendall alumna Anita Cartagena (’11) is owner of Protea, a chef-driven, Puerto Rican-themed fast-casual restaurant in Yountville, California. She says, “Kendall College for me was life changing… What can I say about these instructors other than that the wealth of knowledge I received from each and every one of them was inspiring and helped fuel a hunger for my restaurant, Protea, that I will forever carry with me.”

You can focus on one subject at a time.

Alumnus Terrence Crandall (’88) is the executive chef at Peninsula Shanghai in Shanghai, China. He chose to earn his associate degree at Kendall because of our engaging chef instructors and the quality of equipment on campus. He says that the basic skills he learned at Kendall—classic techniques, kitchen organization, and hygiene and food safety—helped him advance in his career. “Having the time to focus on one subject at a time is a luxury that you do not have once you are working,” Crandall says.

You learn the business side of the industry.

Depending on your degree program, you will hone your business skills by exploring strategies including planning, building, promoting, and running a flourishing culinary business. Our curriculum teaches financial, marketing and personnel management savvy that will help you advance into managerial positions across the industry.

You have access to more and better internships and job opportunities.

A degree from Kendall gives you access to jobs and internships that would otherwise be out of reach. “Employers want our students, and they hire our students,” Uhlir says. At Kendall, you have the chance to network with top Chicago chefs and with alums who are working all over the world. Kendall has excellent career statistics: 93% of Culinary Arts graduates who seek employment within their field self-report being employed within six months of graduation.† At Kendall, you also gain exposure to the range of careers in the food world, such as food technologist, F&B director in a hotel, personal chef, nutritionist and more.

Learn more about Kendall’s three degree programs in culinary arts.



*KTNS Global Survey, 2017

Self-reported—June 2016 graduating cohort

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