The Art Institute of Seattle
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The Art Institute of Seattle

Part of the distinguished Art Institutes, The Art Institute of Seattle combines communication and critical thinking to deliver an innovative model of education that is vital for students to succeed in the competitive world of culinary arts.

The booming culinary sector in Asia has resulted in large numbers of students eager to cash in on growing opportunities in the Asian culinary arts scene. And in this field, the Arts Institute in Seattle is recognised as a leading educator.

The Art Institutes in North America, with a network of more than 40 campuses and a longstanding reputation for excellence, commands suitable influence both in North America and in Asia, thus working as the institute of choice for Asian students who are looking to boost their credentials and make a mark in the industry back home.

Course offerings range from basic diploma courses to in-depth bachelor degrees. Students hail from all over the world and from a range of backgrounds, creating the perfect melting pot to encourage open-minded and liberal experiences and debates. Some have just graduated from high school, while others have spent a few years in the industry and are looking to bolster their careers. In every case, the institute’s well-crafted programs open doors to exciting career prospects.

One of the secrets to the institute’s success is its outstanding faculty. These are industry leaders with formidable experience. Instructors have served as executive chefs in world-class restaurants or managers in production facilities. With such dynamism, the passion they bring to the classroom is contagious.

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Pic: The Art Institutes

The academic and hands-on training provided at the institute is bolstered by opportunities for internships in the Seattle area. Students are even given the opportunity to hone their skills at the institute’s own Portfolio Restaurant, and have the option to follow this up with an industry placement that ensures they have all the experience they need for an immediate transition to a career in the culinary arts.

Academics
For culinary arts students, finding the right educational fit can be daunting. This is especially true for students from Asia who are looking to cross the world and hone their skills in North America.

The payoffs are substantial for those who can see it through, especially considering the pay scale of culinary professionals in North America and the unique cultural perspectives that a student from Asia can bring to a modern restaurant. It is also beneficial for Asian students to fine-tune their skills at an institute abroad before returning to their home country.

These are the culinary arts course offerings available through the Art Institute of Seattle:

Baking and Pastry – Associate of Applied Arts
This course is designed to provide a student with all the skills they need to excel as a pastry chef. The position of a pastry chef is one that requires attention to detail, and the hands-on training students receive at the Art Institute of Seattle is crafted to develop a student’s knack for precision. Graduates are primed to seek positions as line cooks and pantry cooks in North American restaurants. Students often find recognition and career success when they return home to Asia for the exceptional standards of teaching that they receive.

The coursework covers all aspects of baking, but special emphasis is placed on bread baking techniques. Students also learn how to make cookies, tarts, cakes and pies from scratch. Beyond this, coursework in leadership and operations management ensures that graduates are a notch above their competitors at international job fairs.

Culinary Arts – Associate of Applied Arts
Becoming a standout culinary artist requires precision and plenty of practice. Based on these factors, this course relies on real-life training in practice kitchens. The emphasis is placed on classical culinary techniques, and most of the training is accomplished in teams. This group work means that students develop their confidence in social and leadership skills needed to flourish in a fast-paced industrial kitchen, while learning the technicalities of the art. Graduates go on to take entry-level positions as line cooks, first cooks and prep cooks.

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Culinary Arts Management – Bachelor of Science
This bachelor degree program is aimed at highly ambitious students with a passion for the culinary arts. The coursework is well rounded and goes far beyond the basic knife skills and prep methods that are taught in certificate courses. Academic theory and hands-on practice are integrated in this program, which includes courses in management, finance, service and human resources. Graduates find entry-level management positions with restaurants, catering companies, food service institutions and hotels.

Art of Cooking – Diploma
The Art of Cooking diploma course is designed for anyone who wants to develop his or her culinary skills. Students are taught the basics of baking, cooking and presentation, with an emphasis on regional cuisine. For an Asian student looking for a primer in North American culinary arts, there’s no better way to get started.

Baking and Pastry – Diploma
This diploma narrows the scope of the “Art of Cooking” program to focus on baking and pastry skills. Students learn how to create desserts from scratch and how to bake artisanal breads. Skilled bakers are hard to come by, and employers recognize the potential of a diploma such as this one from the Art Institute of Seattle. Graduates are primed to assume positions as pastry cooks and assistant bakers.

Learning the trade at Portfolio
Portfolio Restaurant
is owned and operated by The Art Institute of Seattle. It is open to the public, and students enrolled in the culinary arts programs gain invaluable industry experience here.
The restaurant perches on Elliott Bay and offers affordable dishes. The emphasis lies on fresh, seasonal favourites, and all of the planning and implementation of the restaurant is carried out by students. As with any fine-dining establishment, the menu changes seasonally to reflect what’s fresh and available. This gives students the opportunity to innovate and introduce new dishes on a regular basis, a skill that not just broadens their portfolio but also offers them confidence to succeed in this competitive industry. Students who can back their diploma or degree with plenty of work experience are given preference by employers. With this in mind, the training that students receive at Portfolio Restaurant directly translates into better job prospects.

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Pic: The Art Institutes

Campus life
Students at The Art Institute of Seattle gather from countries across the world. This multicultural environment is exciting, but adjusting for the first time within such a dynamic environment can sometimes be difficult. The institute’s international student affairs office makes the transition easier by offering guidance on immigration issues, school policies and even suggestions and recommendations on local events and activities.
There are three housing options available at the institute – staying in school-sponsored apartments; seeking independent housing with the help of an on-campus advisor; or signing up with the home stay program. Home stay is a particularly attractive and exciting option for students from Asia as they are given the opportunity to live with an American family. This provides outstanding opportunities in terms of engaging with and adjusting to the local culture. All participating families are interviewed and monitored by the housing committee, and students are matched based on their application and the questionnaires that they fill out when enrolling.

The institute also offers dozens of student-run clubs and organizations. Some of these are career-oriented and deliver advanced networking opportunities. Others are strictly for fun and place likeminded students in contact with each other. In either case, joining a local club is a great way to enhance your experience at The Art Institute of Seattle.

Living in Seattle

Seattle is one of the most dynamic and international cities in the United Sates, and is home to one of the world’s most innovative and recognised dining scenes. The city is also famous for its love of the bean; it is one of the biggest per-capita coffee consumers in the world and many of the local cafés serve up exotic brews from Indonesia, Laos and other Southeast Asian coffee producers. Starbucks was born here, but it is the gamut of offbeat locally owned coffee shops that grab tourist attention.

Outdoor activity is another enticing facet of life in Seattle. This may be the biggest city in the Pacific Northwest, but a trip to the top of the Space Needle reveals mountains, a craggy coastline and swathes of evergreen forests. Hiking Mt Rainier, kayaking Puget Sound and spotting humpback whales are all on students’ to-do lists.

Afterhours, attention shifts to the Seattle Waterfront, where a string of fine-dining restaurants serve fresh seafood and modern American cuisine. This is also one of the best places in the US for performance arts, be it an indy rock band or a classical opera troupe.

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