Q&A with Michael Rahal: Alternative Culinary Schools

April 23, 2013

Michael Rahal is the founder of Rahal Farms, a holistic farm in Fairview, Tennessee. Rahal Farms runs a culinary school that Mr. Rahal leads, and it also has a dairy center for fresh cheese and bread.

Question: How is Rahal Farms’ culinary school different from a traditional culinary school?

Answer: The answer is a very long list. At traditional culinary schools, there is a big focus on the classroom and many of the classes are just like a traditional college course.

Question: What about the financial aspect?

Answer: Rahal Farms does not charge anywhere near what a traditional culinary school charges. If someone is not entirely certain about pursuing the culinary world professionally, the debt is extremely hard to justify. Alternative culinary schools do not have the sort of overhead costs of large organizations, so the prices are much more reasonable, even low enough to suit hobbyists.

Question: Is there a difference in the actual cooking?

Answer: Yes, the cooking taught at Rahal Farms is centered entirely on what is produced at the farm. The idea is not to learn a fancy science trick; it is to focus on fresh, simple food that allows impeccable ingredients to shine.

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