The role of culinary education in The Future of Dining Posted September 30, 2005 It's certainly true that the deep and broad ranging supply of real, trained and educated talent now available in this country has and will contribute to the growth of good professional and non-professional cooking. That's really good news, and accomplished in less than 20 years. Cooking schools are profitable and seem fun to own so they are an appealing new venture, especially for crossover technical school owners who lost Federal funding about a dozen years ago. This, along with more specialty food retail (Whole Foods leading the way) and a busier, more urban life, even in bedroom communities just make the explosion that much more sustained. And one you eat well for a while it's hard to go back to frozen junk. As to the chefs all cooking the same thing, I find that statement truly odd and just a little impolite. Recipies used to be exchanges at quilting bees and church socials. Food is good gossip. The guy at the restaurant's back door has other back doors to visit and a truck full of farms greens to unload. I mean really, when I hear people complain about seeing too many beet with goat cheese on arugula salads on menus I just laugh. Wanna get locked in a TGI Fridays for a month? People try things but everything can't and shouldn't be new. Judy Rogers of Zuni Cafe says that some people like to cook something new every day. She likes to cook the same things over and over and see how different they are each time. Seems like there's room for both. In the not-too-distant past, an American chef almost by definition had not gone to culinary school. Now, fine restaurant kitchens all over the world are populated by students trained at dozens of American culinary academies. Culinary education seems to be booming, with existing educational institutions adding culinary programs (not just cooking, but also academic programs related to the study of food), new cooking schools opening and the established cooking schools expanding.Surely, this helps to raise the standard. It may also be the reason why the menus at most second-tier fine-dining restaurants are interchangeable. What does the future hold?