Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Ultimate Decision: Culinary or Baking?

One of the hardest questions perspective CIA students face is which path to choose...

When I was filling out my application, I couldn't decide... do I want to devote my life to cooking, or am I more of a baker? I hope that with this post, I can help you answer that tough question 
so you can get cookin' (or baking)!

Culinary Arts Degree:

If you choose to follow the Culinary path, you will undergo two years of rigorous training that will teach you everything you need to know to be a successful Chef in the hospitality industry. Besides the primary culinary classes that teach you basic knife skills, basic cooking skills, and the art of collaboration in the kitchen, you are also exposed to many different World cuisines.

You will then complete an 18 week externship (stay tuned for some posts about extern!) and then return to the CIA for another year (or so) of Management classes, as well as courses that focus on Wine studies, and also training for the Front of the House, which will prepare you to work in two of the five restaurants we have here on campus. 

For more info on the courses in the AOS Culinary program, click here!


You might be a Culinary student if you...

-are able to think quickly, and work with speed and precision
-work well under pressure
-don't need to use exact recipes all of the time, you like to improvise
-are ok with getting a burn, and are working around hot stoves and in warm temperatures
-are prepared to work with sharp tools
-can work under a time constraint and keep your cool
-can handle some tough critics, especially your Chef-instructors and fellow students
-work well with others and in a group setting


Baking and Pastry Arts Degree

If you choose to enter in the Baking and Pastry program at the CIA, you will start your degree learning all about baking basics. Classes will teach you the art of baking technique, pastry technique, breads, and individual desserts.

You will also complete an 18-week externship, and when you return, classes become a bit more specialized. Our wonderful baking and pastry faculty will teach you the art of chocolates, sugar, cake, and fondant work, gluten-free products, and plated desserts, as well as Management classes and a class on Wine Studies. Spending some time in the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe, as well as some of our other campus restaurants, marks the culmination of your degree!

For more information on courses in the AOS Baking and Pastry Arts program, click here!

You might be a Baking student if you...

-are extremely precise and detail-oriented
-have patience, sometimes you have to start a recipe all over again!
-can follow exact directions and work with specific recipes
-have basic artistic ability (not required, but it helps!)
-are ok with cooler and very clean conditions
-have basic math skills and can remember important ratios and formulas-are ok working on a project by yourself


Your success in the Hospitality industry is all about what you put into it. If you dream about one day being on the Food Network, or making it as a Megastar chef, be prepared to put a lot of hard work, sweat, and determination into your career.
One thing is fore sure, choosing the CIA will put you miles ahead of anyone else, and help you achieve your dreams!

Stay hungry and curious,

Blayre :) 

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