According to an article on cookingschools.com, most schools listings of the “best Culinary Arts” schools are marketing lists. Who pays the most money gets the highest ranking.
The approach to this article is to look at some of the best-known chefs and the culinary schools they attended. The top three culinary schools list the chefs that were graduated from their institutions. The final two schools of the top five look at the chefs that are their teachers and where they were graduated. Interestingly, you will note that the schools they attended are the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and French Culinary Institute.
1.) Culinary Institute of America (CIA) – New York – First Culinary School in the United States
Most chefs rank this number one for all around training. It was originally opened in New Haven Connecticut as the New Haven Cooking School. It originally opened to help returning WWII veterans find new professions. It opened with 50 students, who were trained by a chef, a baker, and a dietitian. It eventually moved to New York and changed its name to Culinary Institute of America.
They were the first Culinary School to be accredited.
The following chefs from CIA are world renowned.
*Daniel Boulud who owns Daniel, a restaurant in New York’s Upper East Side. He was awarded “Top Table” award from Gourmet Magazine; Chef of the Year by Bon Appetit; the late Julia Childs ate at his restaurant and praised him as a “great chef.”
*Delores Custer, Food Stylist – teaches at the New School for Recipe Writing and Development; and Development at CIA.
*Alex Bury, Renowned Vegan Chef. Trained in classical, flesh-based cooking, she used her knowledge from CIA to turn nutritional and healthy foods into fabulous vegan recipes. She owns a vegan restaurant, Sparks at the Inn, in Cotati, CA.
2.) French Culinary Institute – New York
It opened in 1984 by Dorothy Cann Hamiliton..In 1981 she originally wanted to open an American branch of Ecoles Gregoire Ferrandi, a French school. The school followed the principles of haute cuisine as written by Marie Antoine Careme the early 1700s. Chef Auguste Escoffier modernized and simplified the classic French haute cuisine. She approached, the head of the school, and told him of her idea. He refused. Two years later, Francois Mitterand, President of France, wanted to do business with the U.S. and decided to let the school do business in America.
*Daniel Bolud, Chef. He attended both schools.
Bobby Flay, Chef. Won Iron Chef in 2000. Gael Greene, Restaurant critic, awarded Flay Restaurant of the Year for his Mesa Grill; in 1993, he received the Rising Star Chef of the year by the James Beard Foundation.
*Farid Zadi, Chef. He has been a chef all over the world. At this point, he is teaching a Le Cordon Bleu at the California School of Culinary Arts.
3.) Johnson and Wales University – Various locations: Providence, R.I., North Miami, FL, Denver, CO., Charlotte, N.C.
*Emil Lagasse, Chef on Food Network, Regional James Beard Award; contributed recipes for the International Space Station, through NASA;
*Rahman “Rock” Harper, Chef, Hell’s Kitchen Winner, Season 3.
*Aaron Sanchez, Latin Chef and owner of the restaurants, Centrico and Paladar. A network star on the Food Network, guest on Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart.
There are more than these. The following are top-rated because of the chefs that teach there and the guest chefs who talk and give tips.
4.) The Institute of Culinary Education (formerly known as Peter Krump’s New York Cooking School)
The history of this school is very interesting. Peter Krump who was an educator and entrepreneur gave lessons to a few students in his home. He gave very basic lessons on cooking. The New York Times had an article on it. His theory was to develop principles of cooking and let the cooks basic taste to develop new recipes. Today, it is one of the best schools in the country, according to the awards they have received. They won the “Oscar” of culinary school awards in 2008, “International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Vocational Award. In 2003, they won the Avoctional Culinary School award. The Pastry instructor, Michelle Tamparkis, was designated as one of the top ten pastry chefs of 2010.
5.) The Culinary Academy of Long Island
*Mick Gehnrich is Chairman of Culinary Arts. He was graduated from CIA.
*Katheryn Miranda, Chairwoman, Baking and Pastry Arts. She was graduated from the French Culinary Institute,
If you are thinking of entering Culinary Art Schools, remember that most of these have offshoots in different states.