ROUXBE’S ONLINE COOKING SCHOOL – A REVIEW
So you have been searching around for an online culinary school. Maybe you are looking for a lower cost alternative to traditional culinary school, or you are in a remote area where attending a class is not an option. The good news is, there are some great resources out there to help you get started.
Our goal at The Culinary Cook is to help inspire and facilitate both young and old in their quest to develop their culinary skills. Many of our articles are directly from the culinary arts’ syllabus. There are so much to go over that it would take years to fully flesh out what is offered in an academic setting.
Rouxbe is an online cooking school that promises world-class instruction from well-respected industry professionals. Their courses are student-focused, with all their material sourced from ex-chefs and academic professionals.
What this means is their content is professionally developed with rich media that has a high production value. But is it worth dropping $500? $1,200?
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GET OUT IT?
Rouxbe is considered to be the closest thing to a culinary arts program. I have seen some terrible culinary arts programs out there but I have also seen world-class programs that would be tough to rival.
It is not going to be easy to determine whether or not Rouxbe is worthwhile to you or not and it depends on what you want to get out of the program.
Are you looking to start from square one? Are you working full time and need a way to fast track your career? Are you transitioning from basic line cooking to high-end restaurants?
Determine what your goals are. A Rouxbe membership can be worth its weight in gold or it can be useless for those who aren’t committed. The content Rouxbe provides is top notch, and the support and training you receive are world-class. What you do with it is up to you.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM A ROUXBE COURSE?
Let’s go over a few scenarios to determine whether or not any of the programs Rouxbe offers is right for you.
I am a Beginner Cook with Little to No Professional Experience
If you have a burning passion for cooking and a desire to build on your skills, you may be wondering if a Rouxbe course will help fast track you into a better cook. New cooks or “home-trained” cooks benefit the largest with culinary courses. They have a few bad habits and those that exist are easy to iron out.
The fact is, you being here is reason enough that you are wanting to improve your skill. The hard way to do this is through trial and error. Quite frankly that is difficult and can take a long time to achieve. Sometimes years! Smart people value their time and some people just don’t have the time to pick at the block one chip at a time. Rouxbe takes a jackhammer to it. Culinary arts is all about using the right tool and Rouxbe is the tool to show you how, quickly.
If you are looking to change careers, move into the culinary arts field, and have very limited experience then it is highly recommended that you start on the FOUNDATIONS. This will help you build some strong foundations for cooking professionally.
I Currently Work as a Line Cook or Prep Cook
The biggest obstacle I have seen cooks face in their career is skill plateauing. This is where a cook will stop learning new things and become stagnant. This can be because the environment is limiting, the mentoring is absent, or maybe the cook is overconfident. Maybe they haven’t had a pay raise in a while. Or perhaps they have seen their colleagues surpass them and move on to bigger and better things.
It is hard to come to terms with this reality. It can feel like FOMO to see yourself left behind. However, the first step is to acknowledge that you are here. Then you can commit to a true change. A good cook is constantly learning and the moment he fancies himself a big shot is the moment he stops learning and begins stagnating.
If you are here now it means you are recognizing that you may be plateauing and are seeking out ways to escape the lower rungs of the industry. First of all, congratulations. Never stop learning and watch out for those around you who will try to bring you down for improving yourself. Secondly, Rouxbe is industry-vetted. This means that the things you learn will directly support your next career move.
As more and more culinary arts programs close down, the more an online course will be necessary. As someone who is working in the industry, being able to take a course on your own time at your own pace is priceless. Business students have the eMBA. Cooking professionals have Rouxbe.
I Want to Start a Restaurant or Business
I have opened several restaurants from conception to launch. Food costing, hiring, vendor orders, net terms, you name it. I have seen many restauranteurs fail because they lacked the training needed to be successful.
Food costs and profit margins are very thin and a business owner needs to understand where his money is going and how best to streamline revenue.
Maybe you’re in your cubicle at work dreaming about making that big change and leaving your 9-5. The mobile food truck business is booming. More and more cities are embracing the cultural benefit they provide. If you are one of these entrepreneurs dreaming of one day owning your own food truck.
Or perhaps you dream of being a restauranteur. Schmoozing with customers who respect you and your business. Enjoying ‘work’ so much it is barely work.
Unless you have worked in the food industry for an extended period of time, you don’t have the skills needed to be successful. Opening a restaurant can cost upwards of $50,000 – $100,000. The benefit of a Rouxbe course is invaluable. Not only can you take it at any time, but it can be accessed for life.
The most successful restaurant owners I have worked for are those who started in the industry, worked their way up, and know the business. If this is not you, a Rouxbe course and subscription is a must.
I Am Seeking to Improve My Skills, But I Don’t Have Career Ambitions
Becoming a better cook is a respectable ambition. Some of the more advanced recipes and techniques require a larger skill set. This may be one of the reasons you are considering taking cooking courses.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to you before you dive head-on is to do your best to take it all on with a fresh set of eyes. You may think you know how to use your knife, but chances are you have developed some bad habits. Relearning can be difficult and frustrating. Like a right-handed person learning to write with his left, there may be areas within the content where it will feel alien. This is an important feeling to anticipate and prepare for.
If you are able to approach this with a new set of eyes and are willing to learn and relearn things that you may have been doing for years, then Rouxbe Online Cooking School will be a huge boon for you.
If you believe that you can skip most of the beginning content or jump to the sections you want to learn, you may end up missing key skills later on in the course. This can be frustrating if you have to go back and learn the basics.
Financially this is an investment in your own skills. I have met many cooks and chefs in my journey who did not believe they would be working as a professional cook. They ended up doing so from following their passion.
Rouxbe offers two types of access to their courses. Membership and full course purchase. Choosing which one is best for you is determined by your goals. The majority of users will prefer the membership option as it is both the least expensive and most versatile.
If you are a professional or aspiring professional, you will want to choose the full courses. There are several benefits of choosing the full courses over the membership that justify the pricing. They all boil down to this: one is for professionals, the other is for amateurs.
“Did he just call us amateurs?!” you’re thinking. Amateur is not a derogatory term. Rather, I use it in the context of someone who is not looking to capitalize on their skill. More so someone who keeps it in the realm of interest or hobby.
So which one is best for you?
At $9.99/month (or $99 annually), the membership offers jam-packed value for anyone looking to develop their culinary skill. You have access to the full suite of video lessons and recipes and are given a Certification of Completion. This certificate is issued by Rouxbe itself and is not certified by any certified culinary professional.
This membership is perfect for anyone wanting to start from the beginning or is a bit hesitant to dive in due to the cost of the regular courses. With their free 14-day trial, the membership offers a no-risk option for those who are serious about culinary training but want to dip their toe in first.
If you are looking for more professional accreditation that you can put on your resume, then the full courses are what you are looking for. Recognized by the American Culinary Federation, the program not only provides you with everything the membership does but access to chef-instructors who will guide you through the program. Not only that, but you have lifetime access to the course.
Upon completion, you receive a professional-level certification that must be earned through proving your skills to your chef-instructor.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It all comes down to this. You are here because you are seeking to improve your skill set. It could be because of professional need or personal need. Either way, we haven’t found anything comparable in terms of scope and depth offered by Rouxbe. Whichever direction you choose, you will make the right one. Knowledge is power!