Culinary schools are great resources when you find yourself in need of catering services for a party or function. A culinary school offers the chance for you to provide world-class cuisine to your guests, without the expense often associated with established catering companies. It is also an opportunity for the culinary student, should you choose to move in that direction, to expand their resume prior to graduation. Which in turn, helps them secure a permanent position upon graduation.
Culinary Schools: A Forgotten Resource for Catered Events
Determine the type of dishes best suited for your catered event. Many culinary schools specialize in training particular cuisines and courses. For example, some schools teach the preparation of desserts and pastries only, while others offer education solely for different styles of entrees and side dishes. And there are some, particularly the larger facilities, that offer training in both.
Search your geographic area for schools that offer education in the type of cuisine you'd like for your event. There are certainly a number of nationally-recognized culinary schools, but do not discount the smaller, localized schools solely based on size.
Do your homework, as not all culinary schools are created equal. If the catered event is important enough - work-related, for example - it may be worth taking a tour of the facility and speaking to one or two of the chef instructors.
Examine your budget to determine what you can realistically afford. There are usually two options when utilizing culinary schools for catered functions; students near graduation or chef instructors. Hiring a student should be less expensive than securing the services of a chef instructor. If you choose the student option, they are usually supervised by a chef instructor when preparing your dishes. If your catered function warrants it, many chef instructors supplement their income by providing catering and private party services.
Contact the careers services department or person who oversees job opportunities for culinary students. This person will be able to provide the particulars regarding pricing, availability and the process for securing the catering services of students, chef instructors, or both.