Best cooking schools: how to choose and what to look for

Are you a food lover and ready to take on the next step to choosing your study options? You’ve come to the right place. As an internationally accredited culinary school, we want to help you on your path to discovering the best cooking schools for your needs. We’ve gathered a checklist of points for you to consider (and of course added why we may be a fit for you). Get excited and read on to learn what you need to look for. 


The ingredients to successful studies and beyond

When it comes to nailing down the best cooking schools, it translates to what is the best for you. Sure, there are countless study options and tertiary courses out there, but they are all designed to suit different interests, personalities, and career paths. But if you have taken some time to whittle your choices down to the culinary arts, congratulations! We fully support you in joining the world of cuisines. And of course, all culinary arts start with the right course as the first step on the chef ladder. 

School search checklist

We created a step by step checklist of factors to consider when exploring the best cooking schools in order to make your decision.

1. Begin with asking yourself questions

Who are you? And what are your needs? And why do you want to study? 

So often people launch into a frenzy of school searches to appease parents or peers without thinking of how it will benefit their interests and future. When considering studying, it provides an opportunity to do some soul searching. 

Engage in career guidance opportunities to expose yourself to possibilities you would never have considered previously. You may encounter a field and cool roles you never knew existed. Perhaps you are interested in cooking, but you might discover a whole new world of entrepreneurship and want to develop restaurants. Or geek out on combining technology and food innovation. Whatever it may be that sparks the flame to your crème brûlée, allow yourself some time to navigate the possibilities before you settle on a final course. (Side note — you can always go back and study if you change your mind. Never feel bad if you realise your passions and calling evolved).

2. Align your interests with your preferred study methods

Various schools have a particular way in which they operate. Some are designed for exclusively remote part-time study. Others present a traditional teaching method of full-time lectures and assignments, with exams at the end of terms. And there can be combinations of ways the materials are taught practically. This is essential for trade jobs and hands-on work like the medical field, clothes design, floristry and culinary arts. Once you are aware of your interests and study preferences, you can make an educated decision on the tertiary institutions you want to pursue.

At 1000 Hills Chef School, we offer two years of full-time comprehensive culinary courses to immerse you in vigorous hands-on industry training. If that sounds appealing to you, read more about our student experiences in our blog!

3. Next, institutions 

When it comes to considering institutes, look at all the important factors. These include the courses offered and the size of the institution (if you prefer smaller class sizes or want to have the full campus experience). Then, also look at the resources available (student centre, accommodation, facilities and features that will assist you in your study experience). Consider what qualification they will provide, where they are recognised and how if the school will assist you in finding employment. 

Also, make sure you have a good look at how long the course and supplementary courses are. Perhaps you want to start with a basic foundational course and then add on speciality training. These all need to be factored into your bigger picture of what you are investing your time and yourself into.

We offer small lecturer to student classes, with great facilities and accommodation. Not to mention our hall of fame of culinary awards since 2006. Some food for thought.

4. Last, but not least — the logistics

While one can envision a study experience at their school of choice, there will need to be a time set aside for breaking down how it will happen. These translate to the nitty-gritties like transportation. Will you need to fly there, or commute daily? And then the obvious — funding. Those who have the capacity and backing of funders (ie. willing family members or a gracious donor) will have those options. But for those of us who will need the extra financial assistance, we created a guide to student loans

Never be shy to ask about assistance when it comes to studying. There are resources out there like bursaries and programmes to help very capable learners achieve great things.

Get out there and discover you, your calling and your school

We wish you the best in choosing your top pick amongst the best cooking schools. For more information on how the 1000 Hills Chef School operates and our offerings, contact us. We love to talk about the culinary industry and how we can get you ready to meet it head-on.