The difference between culinary colleges and cooking schools may come down to a matter of degrees.
At a culinary college like Le Cordon Bleu or the Culinary Institute of America (the non-spy CIA), the degree you earn will include hands-on lessons in the kitchen, and general classes and experiences. These will broaden your knowledge, enhance your confidence, and inspire your creativity.
Of course, wherever there is culinary instruction there will always be an emphasis on technique. ("Today we will learn the correct way how to crack an egg" said the Professor to Audrey Hepburn's French cooking class in Sabrina.) Skills in slicing, dicing, plating, and actual cooking are as important in any nine-month diploma program in cooking school as at a 2-year degree program at a culinary college. And, depending on your career goals, interests and time, the nine-month diploma program at a cooking school may be the perfect fit.
But a culinary college goes beyond mere culinary training to offer activities and classes that can provide a foundation for future chef leaders.
Social clubs, sports teams (like the CIA Steels), residential life, campus events, even off-campus trips with other students can all have an impact on your develoment as a chef. These activities can help to increase your skills in critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork -- skills you'll need when running a kitchen.
A diploma from a cooking school can be a great beginning to life as a cook in a variety of industries. But to advance to become a chef, you'll want the broader experience of a culinary college.