Chicago offers sophisticated dining, a Polish influence on fast-food, and deep-dish or Chicago-style pizza. Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand opened for business in October of 2008, and the market offers foods grown or made within 250 miles of the city including fruits, vegetables, seasonings, baked specialties, and condiments. The center offers cooking classes on Wednesdays and Fridays using fresh ingredients and simple techniques. The center gives aspiring chefs convenient opportunities to shop locally and embrace eco-friendly principles increasingly popular in modern food trends.
Top Culinary Schools in the Windy City – Chicago, Illinois
Students can travel easily in Chicago due to the convenient Chicago Transit System of busses, trains and taxis. The city offers hundreds of community-college and local classes for sharpening culinary skills, but the major institutes include the following.
1. Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago of Le Cordon Bleu Program
Associated with the classic school in France, students train for Associate Degrees in Applied Science. Kitchens come equipped with the latest technology so students can easily transfer their skills to working applications in the restaurant kitchens.
- Students learn about restaurant operations including the front and back-of-the-house.
- Students run their own restaurant to gain invaluable experience.
- Students learn about classic techniques and modern trends that change dining habits.
- Students learn skills needed to pursue a variety of food-service careers in restaurants, institutional cooking, and the hospitality industry.
2. Kendall College
Kendall College enjoys the number-one ranking from prospective Chicago hotel employers and the Chicago Michelin Guide. Education at this institute provides students with solid backgrounds in hospitality management and business, communication, and culinary skills. Highly successful chefs need more than just kitchen skills in today’s competitive environment, and Kendall offers associate and bachelor-degree programs that turn love of food into satisfying careers. Students can specialize in pastry and baking, management, or savory preparations, but getting a well-rounded education could give any student an edge for finding a top job in the culinary field.
3. The Culinary Program at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago
Students learn to use their creativity and innovative ideas to become successful chefs, restaurant managers, and entrepreneurs. The school offers many courses of study including the following two-year and four-year programs.
- Chef/kitchen manager
- Prep Cook
- Pantry Cook
- Restaurant Manager
- Assistant Baker
- Assistant Catering Manager
- Assistant Purchasing Director
- Food Production Managers
- Line Cook
- Assistant Food and Beverage Manager
4. The French Pastry School
The school offers specialized instruction in baking and pastry arts, and the institute continues to help students after graduation with job placement and career-development issues. Students learn the most basic skills, advanced cake decorating, and artisan baking. The demand for artisan bakers and qualified pastry chefs continues to grow, signaling a return to dining values established for centuries across all cultural lines. Continuing-education courses allow bakers to strengthen their baking skills to meet increased challenges in the competitive food industry.
Chicago Offers Sophisticated Dining
The city includes thousands of restaurants, and education qualifies students to get the best jobs. Celebrity restaurants of note include the following dining spots.
- The Frontera Grill offers the upscale Mexican cuisine of Rick Bayless, award-winning chef and fourth-generation restaurateur.
- Charlie Trotters has consistently appeared on top-50 lists of the world’s best restaurants. The menu highlights seasonal ingredients, and each course prepares the palate for the next in a cumulative dining experience.
- C-House Restaurant, owned by “Top Chef Master” Marcus Samuelsson, offers adventurous takes on seafood such as salmon pastrami, fish tacos, and Little Neck clams.