Culinary Educators Dish on The Next Generation of Chefs

New survey reveals the focus of today’s culinary education

Culinary Educators Dish on The Next Generation of ChefsA new study by Culinary Visions Panel surveyed culinary educators and students about topics, techniques and trends that are being taught in culinary schools around the country.

Culinary instructors felt that local and sustainable are the menu development imperatives for today’s chef to understand. Classic preparation methods are important, yet modern cooking techniques are also on the curriculum. Today’s culinary students are learning about traditional and unconventional foodservice venues and working with ingredients from around the world to gain an understanding of authentic ethnic and ethnic inspired foods. Students are also being challenged to create delicious menus that hit important health and wellness goals.

Following are trends industry professionals believed were important to culinary students:

  • Practicing local and sustainable menu development
  • Understanding classic European cuisine and modern cooking techniques
  • Creating delicious menus that hit health and wellness goals
  • Understanding unconventional venues like food trucks and pop-ups
  • Working with a global pantry of ingredients to prepare a wide range of ethnic offerings

Culinary instructors and students were asked to identify the ingredients they cannot live without. They agreed on the top four items: salt, garlic, olive oil and butter. Completing the list of the top five, instructors noted fresh herbs and students chose pepper.

“Culinary educators are in a unique position to have a significant impact on the menus of tomorrow through the knowledge and passion they share with their students. Understanding their perspectives give us a glimpse of trends to come,” said Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions Panel.

When culinary students were asked about their favorite meals to prepare, tried and true comfort foods and holiday meals were mentioned by almost everyone. Thanksgiving dinner, lasagna, braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and soup were the most widely noted favorite meals.

About Culinary Visions Panel
The Culinary Visions Panel is a research and trend forecasting firm that explores a wide range of culinary topics with food industry professionals and consumers. Culinary Visions Panel is a division of Olson Communications, a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For more information on Culinary Visions Panel, please visit

About the Survey
Culinary Visions Panel surveyed 49 chef educators and 27 culinary students about ingredients and techniques they thought were trending now and what was emerging as the next hot trend. The study entitled Culinary Trends: Thoughts and Perspective from Chef Educators and Culinary Students was released in March 2014. Topics included in the study were food, beverages, condiments, culinary themes and cooking methods.