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How do I Choose the Best Italian Culinary School?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

The average culinary school tends to lean toward traditional French cooking, as this is often thought the gold standard for preparation in the culinary arts. In most countries, particularly the US, there are fewer Italian culinary school choices. Some options exist, and especially if people are willing to travel outside the US, they’ll find a wealth of schools that teach the art of Italian cooking. On the other hand, since there are fewer Italian schools outside of Italy, this article will provide additional suggestions.

Arguably the best Italian culinary school choices are to be found in Italy. They are closest to the source of Italian cooking, ingredients, and mindset, and they can prepare students in a few months or years to take on top chef roles in many parts of the world. These schools can be expensive and they’ll require people to live in Italy during enrollment. Some people are able to get financial aid for certain schools, but it may be hard to work while attending school, unless a person can get a work visa. People might need to spend a few years working and saving in order to be able to live in Italy for a long time period without being able to work for living expenses. For people interested in a more basic acquaintance with Italian cuisine, some schools do have short programs that could represent basic training.

Ciabatta bread, a type of Italian bread.
Ciabatta bread, a type of Italian bread.

In other countries, there are fewer Italian culinary school options, though there are usually a few training centers that focus specifically on Italian cookery. These are often located in urban areas and many of them may have financial aid packages that make school more affordable. Some traditional culinary schools may have several specializations, and people can attend one of these and specialize in Italian cooking. There are additionally ways to learn Italian cooking through taking classes at local community colleges, restaurants, wineries, kitchen supply stores, or in other locales.

Culinary schools that employ high profile chefs as instructors often have strong alumni networks.
Culinary schools that employ high profile chefs as instructors often have strong alumni networks.

Many people argue that the kitchen is the best teacher, and if people can’t get to an Italian culinary school, they ought to instead find work in an Italian restaurant. This might mean starting at the bottom and working up to any kitchen position, but the person with dedication, good work ethics, and willingness to learn may become expert in cooking in this way. The advantage of this method is people get paid to go to “school” instead of paying for it. It can take a while to get any real training, and people considering this option may still want to look for local classes that would supplement their training.

Chicken piccata is a traditional Italian dish.
Chicken piccata is a traditional Italian dish.

Though not a Italian culinary school, the world of books and media are great teachers, too. There are many well-respected Italian chefs with cooking shows and even more books on the topic that allow people to learn and experiment at home. Quick trips to Italy to learn more by sampling local fare, even if not through a school, are also great options.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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