February 02, 2016 08:31
With a growing number of students showing an interest in learning to cook, and in making careers as chefs, cooking classes have mushroomed recently.
In a recent straw poll conducted by the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training, being a chef was among students' most-desired occupations.
Competition is also intensifying among students who apply for schools that offer culinary courses.
Private cooking classes are shifting their focus from housewives to students, holding seminars offering advice to students enrolled in their classes on how to get into culinary schools at home and overseas.
The boom has been attributed to the surging popularity of cooking and other foodie shows on TV, in addition to a newfound interest in cooking itself.
"As living standards increase, food becomes more than simply something to eat; it is perceived as part of a sophisticated culture. This has prompted many students to pursue a career as a chef," said Im Hyung-uk, who runs a private cooking school in Seoul.
However, some are concerned that students are simply drawn to the glamorous side of cooking, as personified by celebrity chefs.
It usually takes more than 10 years to become a chef, and only a fraction of those who do are able to open their own restaurants or work as a chief chef at a top-end hotel.
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