How Online Schooling Transformed and Created Access to Culinary Education

December 21, 2022
Barbara Castiglia

Online schooling has been around since the late ‘80s but didn’t become more common until the early ‘90s. Today, all types of educational courses can be accessed and completed solely online — even hands-on disciplines, such as culinary schooling and experiential trades. In addition, even though predominantly higher education or certain trades offered online courses, the COVID-19 pandemic compelled all grade levels to move to an online format, further increasing enrollment numbers and interest in pre-existing online schools.

But in terms of culinary arts, how does the online schooling format work when it comes to such a hands-on skill? What are the benefits of it?

In the latest episode of “The Main Course,” host Barbara Castiglia talked to Ken Rubin, the Chief Culinary Officer at Rouxbe — an online culinary school. The pair discussed how culinary education has transformed with online access, the current trends in the field and the ways the pandemic impacted it, along with the current state of online culinary schools.

They also explored the ways in which online culinary schooling works. Just like other types of educational courses, culinary arts is no different and a lot of culinary education often comes from instruction via live videos or recorded ones, said All Culinary Schools. Rubin added that the people behind these culinary programs are usually very seasoned experts themselves. Even restaurants are getting behind programs to boost their workers’ experience.

“The skills we can offer through that employer-led program not only help that person at that job, but because the Rouxbe learning, and the certification, and the credential that you receive is transferable, it gives that person currency. It gives that person something they can take with them, if and when they leave that job,” said Rubin.

Castiglia and Rubin further discussed culinary education …

● How online culinary schooling helps level the playing field for aspiring cooks

● Rubin’s background in the culinary field and the shift in culinary education through
online access

● Rouxbe’s approach to creating professional cooks

“We kind of took this approach where we knew what worked in the industry from a training point of view. We know really deeply what worked in professional chef schools … and was really this idea of taking online as a platform but still empowering those learners, those aspiring cooks, to create a context where they’re still cooking and practicing and doing all those skills — just in their own home kitchen,” said Rubin.

Ken Rubin is the Chief Culinary Officer at Rouxbe. He started working with the company a decade ago and is an experienced chef and culinary educator. Rubin is also a food anthropologist and a speaker with more than two decades of culinary experience. He is a graduate of Colorado College and the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to his role with Rouxbe, he is also a chair for the James Beard Foundation’s Broadcast Media Awards Committee.

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