If you are the type who likes the heat in the kitchen, and are thinking of a career behind the stovetop, the answer is as close as your computer. Triumph Higher Education Group launched the first-ever online culinary school, the Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy for a very affordable price of $5,000. That is one quarter the cost of a traditional year tuition at a brick and mortar culinary school.
The first of its kind in the world, Escoffier Online puts culinary school within reach for beginners and enthusiasts alike – from the aspiring chef seeking a career to the hobbyist taking a passion to new heights. Tuition includes access to a detailed curriculum, a professional kit of essential cooking tools, and a personal culinary mentor gleaned from a team of accomplished professional chefs.
“Whether you have a $50,000 education from a renowned culinary school or you’re self-taught, you still start your career on a kitchen line – that’s just the reality of the restaurant profession,” said Chef Mark Dowling, Vice President of Academics and Executive Chef at Triumph. “Escoffier Online gives aspiring chefs an entirely new option, with an opportunity to learn the essential building blocks of cooking, at a fraction of the price – no matter where they live – and putting them on the fast track to a culinary career.”
The chef-designed program focuses on the building blocks of a culinary education, with core courses covering Culinary Basics, Culinary Groundwork, Culinary Essentials, and Culinary Careers. Each course includes a series of interactive learning modules addressing a multitude of topics, from basic knife skills to stock and mother sauce preparation, braising and roasting, and more.
The program is designed to take two to four months, with up to one year to complete coursework. No set start dates means students can begin the culinary journey anytime, anywhere, as long as they have access to a kitchen and a computer. “This is truly a revolution in the world of culinary education because we’re doing so much more than simply bringing a great program online; we’re using the Internet to completely change the definition of a culinary education and who can get it. Our program won’t just level the playing field, it will give our graduates a real competitive edge,” explained Jack Larson, Escoffier Online co-founder and Executive Chairman at Triumph. Larson’s background in traditional and online education and vocational training, and his relationships with top industry chefs and instructors provided the vision for the web- based program.
Upon completion of the program, students become “Escoffier Certified,” with a diploma signed by Michel Escoffier, great grandson of the esteemed chef. Escoffier Online has been approved and recognized by a number of leading culinary organizations, including the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chicago Chefs of Cuisine Inc., the American Personal & Private Chef Association, and others.
To enroll, or to find more information on Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy, visit www.escoffieronline.com
Escoffier Chef Mentors
Here are a few of the chef’s mentors that will be part of the online Escoffier Chef program.
Chef Mark X Dowling
Vice President of Academics and Executive Chef.
Chef Dowling is a professional chef and culinary educator and has accumulated 40 years of experience in the foodservice industry and in post-secondary culinary education. He has led culinary teams for Marriott, Amfac and Movenpick Hotels, in California, New York and Europe. He owned an export trading company in the late 1980’s that conducted international trade with companies in Japan, Taiwan and West Malaysia. Chef Dowling holds an MBA in Marketing from Everest University, a B.S. in Hospitality Management from the University of New Haven, and an A.S. from the Culinary Institute of America. He was certified by the American Culinary Federation as an executive chef and culinary educator.
Mark has extensive culinary education industry experience and food service industry experience. Before joining Escoffier Online, he was Department Chair for the culinary arts program at the College of Lake County, near Chicago. Prior to that he worked for Jack Larson at Career Education Corp. as Chief Academic Officer for the Culinary Division, where standardized all of the diverse curriculum for the various schools that made up the Le Cordon Bleu program. Before joining CEC he managed the Disney Culinary Apprenticeship program at Walt Disney World. Mark also was executive chef for Creative Catering Inc., of San Francisco, and executive sous-chef for the Silverado Country Club and Resort in Napa. His first teaching role was as a Chef/Instructor and then Department Chair for culinary arts at Contra Costa College, near Berkeley, California.
Chef Hans D. Susser
Chef Susser has forty years’ experience in the global hospitality industry. He has worked as an executive chef, regional executive chef, food & beverage manager, culinary educator and has served as a member of executive committees with some of the most prestigious hospitality operations worldwide, such as Starwood Hotels Int’l, Intercontinental Hotels, Caesar Park Hotels, Avari Towers, Royal Viking Line and Royal Caribbean cruise lines.
Amongst numerous awards, Chef Susser’s proudest professional moment was when he was awarded the “1997 Five Star Diamond Award” as one of the Best Chefs in the World. Chef Susser was senior chef Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of culinary arts and was the main creator of the syllabi for all culinary classes during his time at the school. He also started the school’s “cook book club”, served as program chair for the culinary program in English and successfully implemented and started a Spanish language diploma program. Nominated as Teacher of the Year 2006 and 2011, Chef Susser is also fluent in 3 languages with basic proficiency in 6 additional languages.
Chef Mario Martinez
Chef Martinez is a Certified Executive Chef through the ACF (American Culinary Federation), a Certified Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and a certified ServSafe Food Manager through the NRA (National Restaurant Association). He has been a food and beverage professional for over three decades with experience as an owner, as well as a chef for corporations and resorts. Mario has also been a Food & Beverage Director and GM of numerous stand-alone and multi-unit up-scale restaurants, as well as hotels/resorts and gourmet retail establishments. He brings extensive experience as a culinary instructor for both student and food enthusiasts alike. He has been a food service Trainer/Facilitator, R & D Chef, Menu/Recipe Editor, Gourmet Retail Buyer, Data Integrity Specialist & Ad Copywriter. Chef Mario graduated from Miami-Dade College and the University of Phoenix for Business Management.
Chef Michael Zema
Chef Zema served as the Program Director and Culinary Professor for 30 years at Elgin Community College. He was the recipient of the Chicago Tribune’s Good Eating Award, served as the Academic Ambassador for the National Restaurant Association, received the honorable Doctorate of Food Service from NAFEM (National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers) He was also awarded the president’s medallion from the American Culinary Federation for Outstanding Culinary Education, and served as the President of the ICHRIE, International Council of Hospitality and Institutional Educators. Chef has won numerous medals and awards in professional culinary competitions as the advisor and manager of ECC’s Student Culinary and Management Teams. Additionally Chef Zema designed the state of the art culinary teaching kitchens at ECC.