Do I really need Culinary school if I can learn everything from YouTube?

In the digital age, where information is readily available at our fingertips, it’s not uncommon to question the necessity of formal education in certain fields. One such field is culinary arts. With a plethora of cooking tutorials and recipes available on platforms like YouTube, one might wonder, “Do I really need culinary school if I can learn everything from YouTube?” While it’s true that you can learn a lot from YouTube, it’s important to understand the differences between self-taught learning and formal culinary education, and how each can impact your culinary journey.

The Benefits of YouTube Learning

YouTube is a fantastic resource for learning. It’s free, accessible, and offers a vast array of content. You can find tutorials on everything from basic knife skills to complex French pastry techniques. Here are some benefits of learning from YouTube:

  • Flexibility: You can learn at your own pace, on your own schedule.
  • Variety: There are thousands of recipes and techniques from different cuisines around the world.
  • Cost-effective: It’s free! All you need is an internet connection.

The Limitations of YouTube Learning

While YouTube is a great resource, it does have its limitations, especially when compared to a formal culinary education. Here are some things to consider:

  • Lack of structure: YouTube videos are not organized in a progressive, structured manner like a culinary curriculum would be.
  • No hands-on guidance: If you’re doing something wrong, there’s no instructor to correct you.
  • No certification: While you can learn a lot, you won’t receive a formal qualification or certification from YouTube.

The Advantages of Culinary School

Culinary school offers a structured, immersive learning experience that YouTube can’t match. Here are some advantages of attending culinary school:

  • Structured learning: Culinary schools provide a comprehensive curriculum, covering everything from basic skills to advanced techniques.
  • Hands-on training: You get to practice under the guidance of experienced chefs and instructors.
  • Networking opportunities: You can connect with fellow students, instructors, and industry professionals.
  • Certification: Upon completion, you receive a certification or degree that can enhance your credibility in the culinary industry.


In conclusion, whether you should go to culinary school or learn from YouTube depends on your personal goals. If you’re a casual home cook looking to improve your skills, YouTube might be sufficient. But if you’re aspiring to become a professional chef, culinary school can provide the structured learning, hands-on training, and networking opportunities that YouTube can’t. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make based on your aspirations, time, and resources.