Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen – No Such Thing

Modern Food Culture and the Rapid Rise of Culinary Arts Education Facilities

Weary of convenience foods, tired of rushing through unsatisfying meal times, and craving something more nourishing to both body and spirit, people at dining tables across the country are rebelling one plate at a time. They’re willing to invest in good food, and are looking for their investment to pay off somewhere around the intersection of “sustainable” and “delicious.” Folks are getting serious about what they eat, how it’s prepared, and from whence it came. Many people celebrate foodie culture from couches, if not in actual kitchens, as they tune in to watch rock stars of the culinary world showcase their skills through every form of media. From cooking shows to sleek glossy cookbooks to hugely popular food blogs, never before has information about how to cook been more accessible, more visible, and more widely published. Little wonder that home cooks are covering their iPads with flour while swiping through recipes next to the stove. The public can’t get enough.

As this rising interest in good food and its preparation meets a very pragmatic force, the New Economic Normal, a significant trend emerges. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, by necessity or by choice, a huge swath of the workforce is returning to the classroom to learn new skills. Many of these career changers are following their passions and taking to the kitchen. It’s likely to be a wise move. While many industries have stalled in recent years, if not crumbled outright, the restaurant industry is growing, and is currently the nation’s second-largest private sector employer. The number of jobs for chefs, head cooks, and food preparation workers is expected to increase by 9% by 2020, substantially outpacing projected gains in other industries. Little wonder, then, that classrooms at culinary institutes these days are full-to-bursting. The increase in demand is remarkable, but hardly surprising.

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