Defining Success in Culinary Arts – ChefXChange

Higher education has been a hotly debated topic for many years and will certainly continue to be a thorn in the side of many. Is it worth it? What about the loans? Does it actually help you enter the job market? Is it a profit-making, soul-sucking, ponzi scheme that will leave you in debt for the unforeseeable future, accruing a stifling amount of interest? Depending on the variables, we’re sure you have an opinion… and it’s probably to one or the other extreme. What about culinary arts school? The food and beverage industry is no exception–the same questions and the same animosity or complacency exist. Let’s see some stats defining success in culinary arts.

Defining Success in Culinary Arts:

Eater International has published several articles exploring if culinary arts school is worth it here, here and here. Statistically speaking, they offered some compelling arguments that a culinary arts degree isn’t worth it:

defining success in culinary artsWhat is your definition of “worth”? If defined strictly in monetary terms, then no, the ROI on that culinary arts degree isn’t ideal.

defining success in culinary arts

There’s so much more to a culinary arts degree than just the monetary input and the ROI. Discipline, experience, skills learned and the mentorship students receive arguably has infinite value. “Is it worth it?” doesn’t seem to be an accurate question to peg to the debate.

On this topic, I’m rather impartial to the extreme arguments in favor or against attending culinary arts school. In a profession such as the culinary arts–where a storm of creativity, passion, will and skill yield artists–my school of thought is that though we know what components contribute to great chefs, who are we to place specific value on how they get there? The journey isn’t easy, nor is there a specific path that guarantees success.

We have many talented chefs on the platform, all with their own stories of how they arrived where they are now. Take private chef Madison (Washington, DC) for example. Madison entered Johnson and Wales University’s culinary arts program right after high school. He earned his associates degree in culinary arts and has had a lucrative career ever since. Does he attribute this solely to his culinary arts degree? No. First and foremost, Madison had a fiery passion for the culinary arts prior to entering his that program. He also expressed the importance of staging. He staged at Michel Richard’s Citronelle, prior to beginning his formal culinary education. These and many other moving parts have contributed to chef Madison’s culinary success.

We have amateur, apprentice and professional chefs joining our platform every day. Having a culinary arts degree and being a professional chef aren’t necessarily one in the same. One chef that we are excited to be onboarding is Chef Jay (Washington, DC). Jay had an extensive career in education and then decided to make a career pivot. Culinary arts had always been a passion and hobby of Jay’s for as long as he can remember. He decided to commit to turning that into a career. Now, years later, Chef Jay is known for many things (his sweet potato pie was the best I’ve ever had, full stop).

As ChefXchange Community Managers, we have the pleasure of getting to know all of our chefs… and their stories. We can surely tell you, there has been no clear indicator that one specific path leads to more success than another. We encourage you to pursue your food related aspirations with gusto! Peruse our chef profiles and open your eyes to the wide array of unique culinary experiences that are at your fingertips! Whether you admire the artistry and would simply like to enjoy a meal, or learn from your chef as they cook for you in your home, we have plenty of options for you.