Steve Martin once said, "A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." On this measure, Southern California enjoys more daytime than just about anywhere in the world. With its average 310 days of sun a year, Santa Monica, California, is more than a bright cheery place -- it is a culinary haven with a wide selection of local, fresh ingredients. This -- and the sunshine -- is why budding chefs should consider attending culinary school in Santa Monica.
Santa Monica culinary scene: Blending old and new
For Santa Monica chefs, daily inspiration is found in the beautiful landscape and healthy living that abound. It is a city where residents bicycle through streets, surf great waves and shop at the city's four weekly farmers markets. The Wednesday night market, which was named one of America's Best Farmers Markets by Travel + Leisure magazine, particularly draws a crowd. Area chefs can be found here, and at the other three markets, shopping for the freshest produce that Santa Monica has to offer, including cherries, avocados, nectarines and peppers.
By the time it gained statehood in the mid-19th century, California had added Native-American, Spanish and Mexican dishes as food staples. Within a century, while these early influences stuck, the culinary focus began to shift toward fresh, light and healthy, including in Santa Monica. By the end of the 20th century, chefs and students of Santa Monica culinary schools had become well-versed in a newly branded cuisine: California fusion. Thought to have originated in Santa Monica, California fusion brought international influences to local fare. For instance, mango salsa is, essentially, California produce infused with a Spanish heart.
Fresh living and produce: Culinary schools in Santa Monica
Many students choose culinary schools in Santa Monica because of the climate, and what better reason could there be for a chef? Climate means more than blue skies and surfing -- it is responsible for a year-round growing season. This means there are always fruits and vegetables "in season." It attracts a crowd of health-conscious individuals who demand healthy, delicious food. This, in turn, attracts great chefs, who also enjoy the climate and healthy living.
Santa Monica's restaurants provide an excellent backdrop for students' education. Celebrated local menu items include Zengo's chicken empanadas, Capo's Maryland crab torta and Areal's grilled octopus. In March 2013, Areal's chef Mette Williams further confirmed Santa Monica's status as a food haven when she won a TV competition that landed her a job at the famous upscale L.A. restaurant Culina Modern Italian. Just 70 miles down the road, L.A. presents additional opportunities for chefs, providing another reason to attend culinary schools near Santa Monica, California.
Farmers' Market, History, City of Santa Monica, 2013, http://www.smgov.net/Portals/Farmers_Market/About_Us/History.aspx
"America's Best Farmers' Markets," Travel + Leisure, Sarah Gold, April 2010, http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-farmers-markets/5
"Young Chef Wins Fabulous Job in TV Competition," Jay Weston, The Huffington Post, March 18, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jay-weston/mette-williams-culina_b_2890852.html
For information on Culinary Schools in Santa Monica, please visit any school below and request more information.