New(ish) online professional cooking course

Joined Jan 9, 2019
As any Brit will know, Leiths Professional Diploma is one of the most respected culinary courses available in the UK. They've recently started to offer the first term as a tutor-led online course, with optional accreditation (at their school in London for an additional fee) at the end. At nearly £4k, it's not cheap but still considerably less than their real world version. It might be worth a look. Being online, it's open to anyone worldwide.

I'll not link - I've nothing to promote :) But if you go to Leiths website you can see what's on offer.

Hope this might help someone, especially those trying to decide about going to culinary school vs work experience as an either/or move.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
There is no easy way to say it...

As an employer, I’m not going to respect any online culinary course that an applicant puts down on their resume.
Joined Jan 9, 2019
Sure, as an employer, you want someone who knows how to do stuff. That's the idea of this course - teaching someone how to do stuff before they even try working at the entry level in a professional environment. I don't think the idea of this course is to get it on your resume, more like as a starter to see if you want to continue and then pay the serious bucks for what's ahead if you want to get qualified to start working in a professional kitchen. I don't know how it is where you are, but in the UK they usually want you to have at least NVQ 1 or 2 before they'd even look at you as the lowliest of entrants. (Looking forward to howls of dissent.)

As an aside, and I hope this might give you a smile - after I got my first cheffy qualifications, about 100 years ago, and got a part-time job whilst still at college, I ended up heating up frozen sausage rolls and various other pre-cooked produce. It wasn't quite what I'd expected. But I did start to learn how some professional kitchens differ. Some are all about cooking 1600 sausages in an hour (yep, been there) others are about making quite difficult things to order. It's all interesting and good fun if you're into that kind of thing. But my main point is you need the background training to be able to do it with confidence - or at least do it successfully. I've seen some people fail mostly because they were too slow.

Now there's a point for discussion - isn't that what separates the pros from the ams? Speed? (I don't mean the drug.) :)
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Joined May 5, 2010
There are many online courses available in many areas of education, but I feel that for certain careers, an online education lacks the nuances that only hands on and eyes seen can provide.
I believe the culinary online course is one of them.
I understand your point and how it works though.....
AT home in your pajamas, you can learn to cook.

Sure an online course can show you how to make an emulsion and even how to fix it if it breaks; however the need to see, feel, smell, and learn, is simply not there from a pad or monitor.
As for the speed, that depends. From a fast food perspective, the food industry utilizes equipment to speed up the process and the employee responds to the equipment. In fine dining the need for speed comes second to quality, but is still necessary though.
Joined Mar 1, 2017
I never put much emphasis on a culinary degree for my employees. I've seen culinary school grads who couldn't poach an egg and cooks without culinary arts degrees make some of the finest dishes I've ever seen. But, I also come from a different era. Times have changed. The culinary renaissance that has exploded in the last decade has changed the game quite a bit.

I think on line learning is going to overtake brick and mortar schools for many areas of study. Times are definitely changing.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Well, yeah, online is great for studying, for learning the whys and how’s of various techniques.

But in order to master a technique, you need repetition, lots of it. There are many great baseball pitchers, born naturals. But they still had to throw that a ball a zillion times to perfect that

Same for boning out a chicken, making an emulsion, or even cutting a decent brunoise for a soup.

The whole concept of a “culinary school”— be it online or bricks and mortar is just plain wrong. Whatcha need is a system where you take a newbie, teach him the bare basics to make him/her useful enough in a kitchen, throw him/her into that kitchen for a few months, then come back, teach a few more basics building on the last set, and so on, and so on.

But the current N.American system is what we call “front end loading”. That is, you take a newbie, cram him/her full of information, but with very little repetition to practice those techniques, graduate them, then let them loose on an employer.

Oh, and that ideal system I described in the above paragraph? It exists and thrives—in Europe. It’s called an apprenticeship, and generally lasts 3 years.


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Joined Oct 5, 2001
It is one thing to get a degree online that is not a craft but cooking is a craft that requires thousands of hours to perfect. The only online degree that would make sense to me from a culinary standpoint is food costing, wine planning, menu planning etc etc. Watching a video of someone deboning a chicken is great for a home cook but not for someone looking to work in a professional kitchen.
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