Looking for accredited career colleges, technical schools, and universities in Illinois offering Culinary Arts degrees. Culinary arts training will make you skilled at food preparation and pave the way for a future as a chef, cook, or caterer.
Attending an Illinois college means close proximity to fascinating Chicago, a cosmopolitan city with a strong arts scene, great restaurants, and lots of affordable housing. It's also a great town for sports fans, with many world-class teams. There are also extensive stretches of rural land in Illinois, offering opportunities for hiking and fishing. And the Great Lakes provide a wonderful setting for boating, water-skiing, or simply long, thoughtful walks along the shore.
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The best chefs are creative artists whose medium is food. They bring together ingredients in both bold and subtle ways to make delicious edible creations. As with every artistic endeavor, the best culinary artists have something special that cannot be taught, but as is also the case with every artistic endeavor, excelling as a chef requires a great deal of training and skill development.
Education in the culinary arts is available at a variety of levels. A broad range of community-learning centers offer courses that are geared toward amateurs. Some colleges and universities offer more advanced training, some of which focuses especially on the science of food. Most prominently for aspiring professional chefs, there are culinary arts schools that focus exclusively on training professional culinary artists. Typically students at culinary arts schools are working toward an associate degree. In addition to classroom training, most chef training programs involve a strong out-of-classroom component, placing chefs-in-training as interns or apprentices in professional kitchens.
In the best kitchens, there are chefs working a variety of levels and with varying areas of focus. Some chefs specialize in entrees whereas others specialize in pastries and desserts. Some culinary artists focus even more intensely on one type of food, for instance, artisanal breadmakers. Recent graduates of culinary arts schools will begin at a low level in the kitchen and rather than creating their own dishes, will carry out the orders of the executive chef. Over time, however, they can develop their own recipes and can rise through the ranks to lead their own kitchens as executive chefs themselves.