Graduating from culinary school is a huge accomplishment and deserves to be celebrated!

For those of you with a loved one who has just achieved this milestone, you may be wondering how to show your appreciation. After all, cooking is more than just a profession — it’s an art form!

We know that celebrating an occasion like this requires creativity and thoughtfulness, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are 7 thoughtful ways to congratulate your loved one on graduating from an excellent culinary school.

1. Cook a Special Meal

Cooking a special meal for your loved one is a great way to honor their graduation from culinary school. It’s the perfect opportunity to show them how proud you are of their accomplishment. Start by making a list of their favorite ingredients. Then, find a unique dish that features them. 

Once you’ve got the dish picked out, work with your loved one to prepare it. This can also be a great bonding activity with the rest of your family. Finally, sit down and enjoy the meal together. You can even make it much more special by setting the table with themed tablecloths or decor.

2. Throw a Party

Nothing says celebration like throwing a party! Invite your loved one’s closest family and friends to come over and join in the festivities. You can either hold the party at your home or rent a venue. Make sure to include their favorite dishes and drink, and try to invite a DJ.

While you could hire a caterer, you could also get creative by cooking dishes that your loved one made in culinary school. At the end of the party, you can start handing out gifts. And no matter what you choose to give them, you’re sure to make them feel appreciated and loved.

3. Give Them a Gift

Give them something special related to their new career, such as a cookbook, apron, or kitchen utensils. Or, you could find the perfect graduation keepsake online or by recording a video. Easy-to-use platforms like Memento can help you create a memorable grad video.

If you don’t want to stick to the restaurant or cooking theme, you can simply buy them something they enjoy. Consider incorporating personalization into their gift to give them more meaning. For example, you could etch their name into a ring or make them a photo album.

4. Take Them Out to Dinner

Show your loved one how proud you are by taking them out to dinner. Let them pick the restaurant and order whatever they want. Whether you’re going out alone with the graduate or with the entire family, make sure you pay for their meal and make their night a special occasion. 

If you want to make it even more special, you could take them to a restaurant that’s run by a well-known chef. This could help them feel inspired. It could also help them hone their pallet, as some of the best chefs are either to discern the right flavors and ingredients with taste alone!

5. Visit a Cooking Class

Give them the opportunity to learn more about cooking by taking them to a cooking class. They can learn from the experts and explore new techniques and dishes. You’re also supporting the food industry, which was one of the industries that were severely impacted by the pandemic.

When looking for a cooking class, find one that fits your loved one’s interests and skill level. There are many different types of classes available, from beginner to advanced. You can even look for courses that specialize in a certain type of cuisine, such as French, Italian, or Asian.

6. Take Them on a Food Tour

A food tour is another great way to celebrate your loved one’s culinary school graduation. Take them on a tour to explore the city and its culinary delights. Let them taste new flavors and experience different cultures. If you have the time, take them on a food tour out of state.

If you live in the United States, consider taking the Savannah Taste Experience in Georgia, the Sonoma Food Tour in California, or the Austin Eats Food Tour in Texas. Instead of a food tour, you could find one that focuses on beer and delicacies, such as the Fork Food Tour in Oregon.

7. Give Them a Day Off

While your loved one will likely enjoy working in hospitality, there’s no doubt that it can be quite stressful. So, give them the day off to relax and enjoy the moment. Take them to the movies or a spa and let them partake in some much-needed rest and relaxation after their long journey.

Or, give them a chance to blow off some steam. Many people use activities chocked full of adrenaline to cool off, so many take them snowboarding instead. See if they want to join kickboxing or a painting class, as these other activities are separated from cooking entirely.

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