(02/2002) This article is mainly gauged towards students
or future culinary students residing in North America, although
some of the scholarships on offer are available to those residing
outside the US.
as many of you will agree is a tough but rewarding career.
The challenge I see for the future of the industry is that
the cost of going to cooking school is becoming astronomical
and the compensation that a student will be offered is not
in line with the cost of being educated (or the cost of being
educated is not in line with the compensation, but that is
Some say “no pain no gain” true enough in many cases but when
your talking about college loans this does not have to be
the case - there are many ways to find financial assistance.
After browsing the Internet and making a few phone calls I
was able to get some good leads.
The first thing everyone needs to realize is that virtually
all scholarships are only awarded to enrolled students. No
scholarships are available to pay off a graduate’s existing
The financial aid office of the school you attend or wish
to attend should be the first stop on your scholarship quest.
The aid officer dudes will be able to tell you what is available
through the school, and what factors are associated. Often
your financial backing - cash money - is a factor, but not
in every case.
Many applicants do not receive financial awards due to laziness.
Failure to complete all the necessary paperwork or not following
the task through will yield no success. In many instances
a savvy, determined application form-filling student will
score several scholarships.
Hit The ‘Net
Claiming to be the Internet's leading scholarship search service,
FastWeb.com lets students create a personalized profile that
can be matched against an expansive database of colleges and
scholarships. The service is free and their database has over
600,000 scholarships totaling more than $1 billion. FastWeb
also notifies students when new scholarships are added and
application deadlines are approaching. The awards available
vary, some are granted for something as straight forward as
your national origin, having Italian or Greek parents or grandparents
can get you a grand. Other awards take a little more work.Many
request references and letters of application but these gems
can get you as much as ten bills…
Next, Ask James…Beard
The James Beard Foundation is a great resource. The foundation
offers assistance to both American and non-American students.
Visit their web site and you will see a bounty of opportunities,
you might even want to get a passport first - there are several
Here are a few examples -
Le Cordon Bleu London England -
Full tuition scholarship, excluding airfare, accommodations,
equipment, insurance and uniforms, for the 10-Week Basic Cuisine
Course. Scholarship is only available to an entering freshman.
Apicius the Art of Cooking at Lorenzo de’Medici, Florence
50123, Italy -
Full scholarship (approximately $3,700) towards tuition (excluding
airfare, lab fees and room and board) for Professional Program
of Culinary Arts. Applicant must have telephone interview
with Apicius prior to admission.
Ballymaloe Cookery School Shanagarry, Midleton, Co. Cork,
Full scholarship (excluding airfare) for 2 1/2 day cooking
demonstrations, including 2 nights of accommodation in self-catering
student cottages. The course emphasizes entertaining menus,
seafood and vegetarian dishes. Subject to availability.
Alain Ducasse Scholarship (Sponsored by Alain Ducasse)
$10,000 cash scholarship. The scholarship consists of a one-year
apprenticeship with the team of Alain Ducasse - six (6) months
in Monaco and six (6) months at Ducasse in New York City.
( This one is available to a culinary school grad.)
In addition to the examples listed you will find several cooking
schools and individual restaurants offering a variety of scholarships
- at a variety of values. You will also find up to 50 scholarships
valued at $1,000 and $2,000 each from the James Beard Organization
and several other very appealing financial freedom fighting
gifts ranging from five to ten large ones from other donors.
The James Beard Foundation allows students the opportunity
to apply for more than one scholarship - although you must
state which one is your priority. Eligibility factors differ
between scholarship but most request an essay as part of the
application and all require the applicant to fill out several
forms (which can be downloaded from their site). It also goes
with out saying that the higher value scholarships come with
higher competition, so work hard on your essay.
Cash For The International Crowd
The IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals)
Foundation International Scholarship Program provides funds
to qualified applicants for - beginning, continuing and specialty
education courses at accredited culinary schools worldwide,
as well as, independent study for research projects. Recipients
are selected on foodservice experience, strength of application,
references, skills and merit. Recipients are not selected
based on financial need, awards go as high as $12 500.
Let’s Go Local
Ask your instructors at school about local organizations that
give financial assistance to students. The local chapters
of the AIWF (American Institute of Wine &Food), ACF (American
Culinary Federation) and LDEI (Les Dames d' Escoffier) all
offer scholarships gauged towards developing local talent.
Another organization with a desire to develop local talent
is Charlie Trotter’s Culinary Foundation.
The master chef has founded his own organization that offers
assistance purely to Illinois residents. Students may attend
the school of their choice (it does not have to be in Illinois).
The application form can be found on Trotter's web site and
again students need to write an essay regarding their professional
desire to earn a scholarship. I asked Mary Hegeman ( Assistant
to Charlie Trotter ) - what are the criteria used to decide
which students receive a scholarship.
"We look for students that really have drive and a passion
for the culinary arts. Basically, we look for students that
we would want to hire here at the restaurant. The scholarship
can go to any amount and we are looking for applicants!"
Charlie Trotter is not the only professional to offer such
help so ask around, discover who can save you some cash.
Nothing in life is better than free money, so if you are going
to shoot for a scholarship, be commited and follow through
with the applications and apply for several. You might even
be able to buy your friends a round of beers with the money
that is available on your credit card now you are not spending
it on tuition...