What Supplies Should You Have When You Start Culinary School?


If you love to cook and are considering going to culinary school, it is helpful to know what types of costs and expenses you can expect up front. Although culinary school supply lists vary greatly, there are some pieces of equipment that you can expect to purchase. Fortunately, any materials that you purchase for culinary school are typically yours to keep once you finish your classes. Some students keep their materials, while others choose to sell them to incoming students.


  • Culinary schools typically have a uniform that students are expected to wear. This might include chef's whites, a hat, an apron or specific shoes. Chefs typically wear double-breasted button up jackets, pants and a tall hat. These clothes are designed to wash and wear well and to resist stains. If your school does not require specific shoes, purchase sturdy rubber-soled shoes that are comfortable. Remember that you will be standing in a kitchen for long periods of time.


  • Knives are one of a chef's most important tools. Your school may recommend a knife set or allow you to choose your own. If you are allowed to choose your own knives, ask which ones the schools recommends. Typically you will need at least a chef's knife, a paring knife, a cleaver and a sharpener. Choose knives that fit well in your hand and are not too heavy or too light. Purchase good quality knives, as you will use them often.


  • The types of cooking utensils you need varies, depending on the individual requirements of your school. Many schools sell specific sets that contain all of your required utensils. If your school does not offer this, purchase an instant-read thermometer, melon baller, pastry brush, vegetable peeler, can opener and zester. If you are required to purchase spoons, spatulas and tongs, purchase some that are non-stick and heat resistant.

Other Supplies

  • You may need to purchase additional materials, depending on your particular culinary program. Some schools require students to have their own pots and pans, while others keep them in the kitchen for students to use. If you have to purchase your own pots and pans, choose sturdy stainless steel ones with lids that fit tightly. If you are a pastry student, you may need to purchase additional pastry brushes and pastry tips.


  • Photo Credit Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Getty Images
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