To my surprise, there was actually a variety of different kinds of schools out there, such as the Italian-specific Italian Culinary Academy, the general Culinary Institute of America, or the pâtisserie academy of Le Cordon Bleu Schools. Different schools specialize in different areas of culinary arts, for example, baking, pastries, Chinese food and the list goes on and on and on.
From this point I could not really figure out a definite list of ''best'' schools in America but I did find many usefull links to help you find your dream culinary school .
http://www.cookingschools.com/ - a good directory for finding local culinary academies
http://www.allculinaryschools.com/ - another helpful directory
http://www.cookstreet.com/ - a school that has special programmes for novice chefs
http://www.culinaryschoolsguide.net/ - a comprehensive guide to various culinary schools across the country
Make sure and check these links out for a wellspring of information that could guide your future cooking career.
Being a novice chef, my sources of recipes have always been sparse and few, and my only real asset in the cooking world is that I come from a cajun family. The other day I purchased the game ''Cooking Mama'' for the DS and I found it to be the most exhilarating experience. There were tons of recipes!
The game play is fairly simple and easy to get used to, and each step of making each dish is played out as a different player action that is rated according to speed, efficiency and accuracy. There are a lot of dishes to be made and learned from this game, and one could even consider it to be a tutorial to cooking.
If you want, you should definitely check out Cooking Mama.