Want a carrer in the culinary arts or restaurant management? Or just a few night classes in cooking Chinese? Or a day in Tuscany with a local pro? This list is by no means complete, but it is a start.
Accredited degree granting institutions
The Art Institutes. A chain of schools across the land offering degrees in culkinary arts, culinary management, and other creative endeavors from photograpy to fashion design and web design.
Culinary Institute of America. The original location in Poughkipsie, NY, just north of NYC in the Hudson Valley is considered one of the finest cooking and management schools in the world. Period. And the location is breathtaking. There is also a location in Napa Valley that is held in equal regard. And the wine is better there.
French Culinary Institute. Can you think of a better place to study food than in Manhattan? Many luminary chefs came through this route. Bobby Flay was in their first graduating class.
Kendall College. An independant culinary arts and baking school in Chicago offering four year baccalaureate degrees. An engaging faculty that has earned it high regard. They also offer degrees in education.
Le Cordon Bleu. The original. the one Julia Child went to, is in Paris, but they have franchised around the world, and in the US there are many across the country offering baking and culinary arts degrees in two years. Some locations are regarded better than others, and they ain't cheap, but they have turned out some great chefs.
Santa Rosa Community College. In addition to the necessary two-year AA degree programs in the arts and sciences, SRCC has culinary arts and probably the best two year program in viticulture, enology, and marketing.
University of California. There are two campuses whose wine programs are considered the best for grape growing and wine making, perhaps in the world: UC Davis and UC Fresno. Which one is better. If I try to answer that I might get shot.
Smaller schools and classes just for fun
Judy Witts Francini is a real market maven, an Italian cooking teacher, a food and wine writer of note, and Italian life coach. She began her culinary life as a pastry chef in a 5-star hotel in San Francisco after a year long trip to Europe. A passion for travel and a love of food brought her to Florence, Italy in 1984, where she fell in love with a city and a man. Her custom culinary programs are a full immersion in "being Italian" and anyone heading to this ancient city with a rich culinary tradition should consider taking a class. In addition, her website has an online dining guide for Florence and Chianti and her blog has the latest on what's going on in the Tuscany.
...more to come (to be notified when new recipes and other articles come online, be sure to subscribe to my free, spam free, email newsletter).
2) Please don't ask any questions that involve temperature unless you tell us that you are using a digital thermometer! Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F! If you are not using a good digital you have no idea what the temp really is so I can't help you. If you are still using a dial thermometer, please read this article about thermometers, then buy a good digital, and then, if the problem persists (chances are it won't), hit us with your questions. Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question like the type of cooker you are using.
3) Please don't ask "What grill (or smoker) should I buy?" We cannot pick the right cooker for your needs any more than we could pick the right car or spouse for you. Read our Buyer's Guides and the buying checklists and follow the links. We've shared just about everything we know. Pay attention to the awards I have given my faves.
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About Product Reviews and Best Value Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals. These are highly recommended products based on features, quality, and especially value. Rest assured that when we recommend a product, it is really because we like it, not because someone has paid us to say so because we do not accept advertising from products we review. We purchase many products we review although occasionally suppliers send us samples. We have always been transparent about when we are reviewing a product sample, even before the Federal Trade Commission Required it in 2009. Click here to read more about our medals.
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This link takes you to Amazon and tags anything you buy with a code so we get a referral fee. It works on anything from grills to diapers and it has zero impact on the price you pay. The best reasons to buy from Amazon are low prices, fast often free delivery, fair return policies, and often there is no sales tax. But clicking on that link before you shop helps us devote more time and money to you. Thanks!
Look At These AmazingRibs.com Best Value Gold Medal Winners
The prize for Best BBQ Tool at the 2012 The National Barbecue Association conference went to a simple inexpensive fridge magnet by Meathead. It includes the latest USDA recommendations as well as chef recommendations (and they often differ) as well as color photos of the different stages of doneness for red meats. The temperatures are the same for both indoor and outdoor cooks. Click here for more info and how to order it.
GrillGrates Take You To The Infrared Zone
GrillGrates are the best new product I have tested in years and the best thing to happen to beef since salt and pepper. The base superheats, eliminates hot spots, and blocks flareups. This is the concept behind the expensive new infrared grills. A must for gas grills. Click here for more about GrillGrates.
The Smokenator: A Necessity For All Weber Kettles
If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the amazing Smokenator and Hovergrill. The Smokenator turns your grill into a first class smoker, and the Hovergrill can add capacity or be used to create steakhouse steaks. Click here to read more.
ThermoWorks Pocket Thermometer - No More Guessing
A good thermometer is why I never serve overcooked or undercooked food. This one has a very thin tip with a tiny thermocouple so it gives an accurate reading in just six seconds. I cannot recommend it more highly. It will improve your cooking overnight and pay for itself in a hurry. And it is inexpensive. Click here for more about thermometers.
These are the same knives used at the best steakhouses (Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's and others). Machine washable, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, full-tang blades with excellent cutting edge retention, beefy hardwood handle, rust and stain resistant, and they stay shiny without polishing. And now they have the AmazingRibs.com imprimatur. Click here for more info on these wonderful knives.
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