California Culinary Academy
California Culinary Academy is a goal for a number of students. I worked with a young man who had the appreciation for food and the appetite, as well as the motivation to go for a chef’s career. I remembered that years earlier I had a roommate who was a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, a man named Peter who would bring home the most divine of custard and fresh berry tarts, frittatas, and other delights. So I told my student about the school.
I then got curious myself, concerned as I was that my economically challenged teens wouldn’t be able to afford the tuition at California Culinary Academy. I checked their website, which is not what you might expect but is http://www.baychef.com/. First, I discovered that like any accredited academic or technical institution, the California Culinary Academy makes financial aid application accessible. You can even apply for it online.
Then, while I was there, and most pleased with the usability of the site (very clean, very organized), I checked out the features of the renowned cooking school. The trainers, teachers, or coaches are professional and established chefs, restaurant and bistro managers, and culinary professionals. The schools facilities and equipment are up to date, allowing for learning of cutting edge (no pun intended) techniques. The technology is also current, allowing for a certain amount of virtual training, practice, and testing. And the majority of the courses/classes are conducted not in a lecture setting but using a hands-on approach—for as most of us will attest, we learn best by doing…and doing ourselves….
There are campuses in the north end of SF, which they call San Francisco’s Culinary Hot Spot; in California Hall on Polk Street, which is considered the “nerve center” of the academy; and at the south end of San Francisco, on Rhode Island, where the new modern kitchen and mixology lab (as well as a gaming room where student chefs can practice bar and casino operations) are centerpieces to instruction. With the help of financial aid, my community college student can transfer to California Culinary Academy, can choose a specialty, and can earn certification or degrees in Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry Arts and/or Hospitality & Restaurant Management.
Check out the academy’s website, read the press releases that extol the virtues of the well-known institution, call, drop in for a visit, or email for a tour, for details and course descriptions, and for a first step in working the trail toward exquisite chefdom!