Denver Culinary Stars Rise a Mile Above the Competition
The mile-high city, famous as the gateway to the Rockies, ranks as one of the healthiest cities in the country. Sustainable food trends, organic foods and vegetarian dining options celebrate the tendencies of restaurant customers to ask for lighter fare, nutritional information on restaurant menus and seasonal produce and game from local sources.
Strong Sense of Community
Denver chefs compete for customers, but they share strong bonds of camaraderie. The culinary community offers world-class cuisines that emphasize healthy alternatives, but diners can also find plenty of comfort foods that blend Southwestern cuisine with wild game and ranch favorites.
Culinary Schools Offer Collegial Training
The growing influence of Denver chefs comes from the comprehensive culinary-training choices the city offers. Upscale restaurants, tailgate parties, recreational facilities and special-diet enthusiasts make Denver an idea place to get sophisticated culinary training.
1. Cook Street School of Fine Cooking
This culinary program offers training for top chefs, amateur cooks and mid-level chefs seeking to expand their skills. Concentrating on the flavors and cuisines of Italy and France, the five-month training program helps to train professional and serious amateur chefs. Students get more hands-on training than other culinary programs, and the facility partners with local eateries to offer paid apprenticeship programs.
2. The Art Institute of Colorado’s International Culinary School
This school offers certificate, associates and bachelor’s degree programs for committed chef candidates, whether fresh out of high school or changing careers. Students learn international cooking techniques to help them meet the challenges of creating popular fusion cuisines. Training includes the following programs:
- Certificates in Cooking or Baking and Pastry
- Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry
- Bachelor’s in Culinary Management degrees
The AAS degrees emphasize culinary or baking training, but students also learn about the business side of kitchen management. Courses include Food Production, Nutrition, Kitchen Management, Menu Management and other training needed for entry-level positions as garde managers, pastry chefs and station chefs.
3. Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University offers numerous associates and bachelor’s degree programs, and students benefit from liberal college educations and targeted culinary training. Students typically focus on their course majors beginning in their first year of school, and the Denver campus boasts 26 acres right in the middle of an historic city neighbourhood.
4. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
The Auguste Escoffier school represents the fastest growing national brand name for serious culinary students, rivaling the star power of Le Cordon Bleu. Located in nearby Boulder, Colorado, the school was formerly called Culinary School of the Rockies. The school partners with local farmers, artisan bakers and ranchers to deliver a complete farm-to-table experience for aspiring chefs, satisfying the trend toward sustainability in menu-planning.
The school’s 40-week program teaches culinary arts with a team slant because modern restaurants work best as group efforts between staff members and suppliers. Students learn the following techniques:
- Making ethical and sustainable food choices helps students to transition from school to kitchen management.
- Recreational cooking classes offer training in eclectic techniques such as cheese-making and creating specialty international cuisines.
- Students learn classic techniques of flambéing, braising and sautéing.
- Culinary students can choose to learn baking and pastry skills, advanced plating techniques and classic methods of preparing French pâtisserie and confections.