Culinary Schools and the Reality of Food Service

Le Cordon Bleu to Close all US Schools

The reality of food service is that a degree is not a requirement.  But a degree from a reputable school doesn’t hurt.

About 9 years ago, I was in a situation that required I make some serious changes in my life.  After a series of medical crisis that left me with permanent nerve damage and unreliable function in my right hand as well as chronic pain, I had to make some career choice changes.  I made the decision to hit college and get a degree in culinary arts.  I have forever loved cooking, diet books are fascinating to me.  I love food science.  The plan was to get the degree, work in a field related to food, and eventually get a bachelors degree in nutrition or food science.  We had done college searches for the kids in recent years, and knew that finding the right school was extremely important. The research started.  First was the most visible, which was Le Cordon Bleu, a for-profit corporation that could send students out into the real world in as little as 6 months. And leave them with tens of thousands of student loan debt.  I opted not to attend.  There were various reasons, one of which was the money, but more importantly, the credits would not transfer to a traditional college or university.  It seemed to be a waste of time and money, especially with the desire to continue on to a bachelor’s degree.  I ended up choosing Austin Community College, and have never regretted it for a moment.  Not only did I get an education that provided a solid foundation for the future, it was inexpensive and the cost matched the truth about working in food service.   Food service is not a high paying career.

This week, Le Cordon Bleu announced it was closing all of it’s campuses in the USA.  The details in the Eater. com article revolve around a number of reasons, primarily related to the earning ability