8/28/2012 01:00:00 PM

So You Think You Can Cook? Open Enrollment for New Culinary School

The dream team behind the new San Francisco Culinary School, photo by Dan Dion
Culinary school has taken a bashing lately, but wannabes still determined to get into the business might want to look into the new San Francisco Culinary School, a brand new kind of training program that jettisons the aspic and ice sculpture agenda of yesteryear for a highly focused, chef-driven cooking program rooted in California values which teaches candidates the relevant skills to succeed in a modern kitchen (or catering operation or small food business).

The professional program is small (limited to 14 students), short-term (six-ten months depending if you attend full- or part-time), students are guaranteed two-month-long externships in some of the city's top restaurants, and best of all, the teaching brass is some of the most respected working chefs of our time. Founders Jodi Liano and Catherine Pantsios (Bay Area veteran chefs and alumnae of Tante Marie's cooking school) have tapped deans Daniel Patterson (Coi, Plum), Craig Stoll (Delfina, Locanda) and executive pastry chef Bill Corbett (Absinthe, Boxing Room), as well as a board of advisors that includes Stuart Brioza (State Bird Provisions), Melissa Perello (Frances), Mourad Lahlou (Aziza), Laurence Jossel (Nopa, Nopalito), Staffan Terje (Perbacco), Ryan Farr (4505 Meats) and others to be part of the brain trust to shepherd the school's curriculum. 

Fittingly, the school's new state-of-art teaching facilities will be located in Civic Center at 690 Van Ness, which was once home to Jeremiah Tower's famed 690 Speedo restaurant. The inaugural semester begins in January 2013 and the school is accepting applications for qualified candidates now. For more info, check out the school's website.

Home cooks also take note: the San Francisco Culinary School also plans to roll out a series of short-term and one-off hands-on recreational cooking classes and events geared for non-professionals that will be taught by the city's finest starting in November. Of particular note are the six-week Back to Basics course and three-week long Beyond the Basics classes that home cooks can try before determining whether they're ready to take the plunge for more in-depth training. For more info on those classes and info on the school's coming fall Open House, check out its blog


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