While the temptation to sit and watch Ratatouille for the 10th time might be strong, don’t succumb to the couch just yet. Instead, we encourage our students to take advantage of the opportunity to blow top-choice colleges away with just how dedicated and brilliant they are. Summer is a great time to develop a niche that will set you apart from your competition. So, if you’re interested in pursuing culinary arts after high school, consider the activities below:
Since you’re already a superhuman at studying after all of those APs, why not keep up that momentum and take a course in something you’re really passionate about? While le Cordon Bleu does not offer courses for high schoolers, schools like Villanova do offer a two-week intensive. Students will get the opportunity glimpse into college life by living on Villanova’s campus. The focus of the course ranges from knife skills to the business end of culinary arts and includes day trips to DC and New York.
The New York Times also offers a two-week course in art, food, and theater where high school students (grades 9-12) will learn about emerging trends in the creative fields amidst the backdrop of New York.
A note: If you do opt to take a course that doesn’t span the entire summer, make sure you are doing something else productive, relevant, and rigorous with the rest of your time.
A friend of one of our writers was a great cook in high school. She grew up cooking excellent food (mostly recipes from where she grew up in Mexico), but had never developed her craft in other cuisines or worked on the business end. One summer, she got an internship with a Russian caterer. She worked incredibly long hours, both in the kitchen and helping to manage the business end. She had never worked harder in life but left the internship with, not only a fortified skillset in cooking and a stellar recommendation from her boss, but also the expertise necessary to pursue a career in restaurant or catering management.
Working or interning is an ideal way to spend your summer. Earlier in the post, we mentioned that you should spend your time developing a niche. Pick a specific track inside of the culinary arts and set your sights on really mastering that niche. Culinary schools and traditional colleges alike will have tons of applicants who are great cooks or who are interested in business, but they might only have one who is an expert in sushi supply chain management. Whatever you do, make sure it’s rigorous. Building an expertise takes hard work and colleges know that.
If your goal is to be in the kitchen, secure an internship with the top chef in her or his cuisine. If you are committed to becoming a farm-to-table restaurateur, reach out to the top startups specializing in locally-sourced events, like Outstanding in the Field. If you’re interested in culinary startup marketing, try Blue Apron. Is food criticism your true calling? Lock something down with an acclaimed publication like New York Times food column or Food + Wine. If your dream is to one day own a food empire or work in culinary television production, connect with the line producer at the Rachael Ray show.
We have helped a number of our students secure impressive internships. If you don’t have connections to a company where you’d like to work, reach out to us. We can help.
Need help securing a competitive internship or coming up with a strategy for the summer? Reach out to us here. That’s what we do.