International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute 8623 Mayfield Rd., Chesterland, 440-729-7340, www.icasi.net.
Until recently, Cleveland's would-be culinary professionals had few local venues available for pursuing their dreams of 20-hour workdays, lower-back injuries, and the specter of looming bankruptcy. But with the recent launch of Loretta Paganini's International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute, any motivated Northeast Ohioan can now learn to slice and dice with the best of them. The professional certificate and diploma culinary programs -- offshoots of Paganini's popular home-hobbyist School of Cooking in Chesterland -- teach future chefs everything from how to whip up a basic demi-glace to menu-development, food-costing, and staff-scheduling, and prepare students for jobs ranging from prep cook to personal chef. Even those of us who prefer sitting in the front of the house to toiling in the back should rejoice over ICASI's aims: The deeper the culinary talent pool, after all, the bigger the splash on Cleveland's food scene.