There are two ways most people end up dreaming about being a chef.
The first is that they cook at home, have fun preparing fresh food that tastes good, and think they have the chops to take that to the restaurant level.
The second is that they watch Food Network.
And here in Connecticut, there are a few places where you can try to make that dream a reality. You can learn the skills it would take to run a kitchen or hold your own on Chopped. But soon there will be one less food-based dream factory in our state.
According to WTNH, after 30 years in operation, the former Connecticut Culinary Institute (presently known as Lincoln Culinary Institute) will close up shop after its next graduation.
In all honesty, I don’t know much about the place. From what I’ve read, it offered legitimate preparatory courses for hopeful chefs, but also offered more casual classes for home cooks. It was the best of both worlds.
And while I never got the chance to experience what the school had to offer, I can only imagine that everyone who did has a fond place in their heart for it. After all, if we’re being honest with ourselves, the fastest way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach.
Hopefully the other culinary education options in Connecticut will pick up the slack. Learning to cook is one of the most useful ways to spend your time. It’s a marketable skill. It can help you stay healthy. It can help you save money. And, usually, if you a cook a meal for someone you like, they’ll like you back.
So while you’re on your couch watching a Chopped marathon this morning and boasting about how you could probably make it to the dessert round, pour a little out for the Connecticut Culinary Institute. For 30 years it helped make Connecticut’s culinary dreams a reality.