Finding Culinary Arts Colleges in Colorado

If you feel at home on the range, maybe you also feel at home on that other range – the one in the kitchen. And maybe you want to try your hand at making more than just steak and potatoes for your family and friends. Maybe you want to make them for a lot of other people – for pay. And maybe you want to make more than just steak and potatoes. Colorado has a range of culinary schools that will help you do just that. And you’ll get the meat and potatoes education to teach you culinary basics and beyond – so you can make more than just meat and potatoes.

Deciding on a program

Navigating the array of choices for culinary programs can be made easier once you know what to look for. The most important part of any program is the kitchen: look for one that is fully-equipped and is run by the students. Many programs will also sponsor a student-run restaurant or open dinner nights. For example, the Cook Street School of Fine Cooking has regular dinner nights that are open to the public. Make sure that instructors are experienced or are industry professionals or chefs. Finally, make sure your program offers job services, including counseling and placement, and has opportunities for apprenticeships and internships. Cook Street offer its students apprenticeships and internships, as well as study abroad options.

Once you decide on a culinary program, getting in should be the easy part. Most schools have an open admissions policy, which only requires that students have a high-school diploma or GED, as well as some basic academic requirements. If the program you choose is more selective, you may have to take an assessment of culinary skills. Work experience or other training that you may have, such as attendance at conferences or seminars, can also be used to support your application.

Tulsa City Skyline.

Finishing your studies

There are a number of options for finishing your studies at an accelerated pace. But even typical culinary programs can be completed in much less time than a traditional degree – only about two years or less. Some schools do offer intensive programs that can be finished in even less time. For example, select programs that can all be completed in as much as six months or as little as 5 weeks. Certificate and diploma options are available at many schools, and those can often be completed in about a year or less. Night classes and online options provide more flexibility for time-crunched adults.

Technology has made a lot of things possible to make our lives easier. Even your culinary studies are now possible in the comfort of your own kitchen in some cases. For other programs, classes are offered online as a complement to experience you’ve already had in the kitchen, either through work or previous study. Many more options are available if you’re looking at a management track.

Starting out in the job market

Graduates are likely to find a job they love in any of the thousands of restaurants, resorts, schools, and hotels in Colorado. Typical food industry salaries in Colorado range according to position, city, and experience. A Registered Dietitian earns an average annual salary of $61,080; a first-line supervisor will earn about $42,340; a head chef will earn approximately $50,890; and a restaurant cook earns an average salary of around $29,890.

2019 wage data sourced from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. Current wage conditions in your area may vary.

Your culinary technique will help you succeed, but networking can help get you in the door. Join professional networks such as the Colorado Restaurant Association to meet industry professionals and to gain access to important conferences and other industry events. Also, attend local food and wine festivals to meet the local talent and to get up to speed on the latest trends. While you’re there, you can even enter some food competitions and maybe get yourself noticed. You never know where you’re next (or first) job will come from.

Campus-based programs

Colorado Mountain College
831 Grand Ave.
Glenwood Springs CO 81601
Culinary Arts
Hospitality Management
Resort Management
HLC accredited

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
Food Science and Safety
HLC accredited

Cook Street School of Fine Cooking
1937 Market St.
Denver, CO 80202
Culinary Arts
SCDHEDPOS approved
ACF endorsed
No accreditation

Front Range Community College
3645 W. 112th Ave.
Westminster CO, 80031
Hospitality/Food Management
HLC accredited

Johnson & Wales University
7150 Montview Blvd.
Denver, CO 80220
Culinary Arts
NEASC accredited

Metropolitan State College of Denver
Speer Boulevard and Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80217
Hotel Management
Restaurant Management
Tourism and Events Management
HLC accredited

Paragon Culinary School
3125 Sinton Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80907-5015
Diploma de Cuisine (only certificate options)
Culinary Arts
CBE approval
No accreditation

Pueblo Community College
Pueblo, CO 81004-1499
Hospitality Studies/Culinary Arts
HLC accredited

The International Culinary School at the Art Institutes of Denver
1200 Lincoln St.
Denver, CO 80203-2172
Baking and Pastry
Culinary Arts (student restaurant)
Culinary Management
Food and Beverage Management
The Art of Cooking
HLC accredited

University of Denver
2199 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80210-4700
Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management
NCACS accredited

Online-based programs

American Culinary Federation
The ACF has over 200 chapters in the United States; its main campus is located in Florida
180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL
Continuing Education
Chef Certification
Chef Educators
Food Safety Certification
ACFEFAC Accredited

The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh – Online Division
The Ai has over 40 campus locations across North America, plus this online campus
420 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Culinary Management
MSCHE Accredited

Ashworth College
430 Technology Pkwy
Norcross, GA
Professional Gourmet Cooking and Catering
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC Accredited

DeVry University
This University has 90 campus locations in 26 different states
One Tower Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Hospitality Management
HLC Accredited

eCornell is an online program and subsidiary of Cornell University, located in New York
950 Danby Road, Suite 150
Ithaca, NY
Leadership and Strategic Management
Project Leadership and Systems Design
Financial Management
Management Essentials
Human Resources Management
Hospitality and Foodservice Management
Certificate in plant-based nutrition
HRCI and PMI Approved

Johnson and Wales University
JWU has campuses in Providence, Charlotte, and North Miami; its largest campus is in Rhode Island
8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903
Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
NEASC Accredited

New England Culinary Institute
NECI has two campuses in Vermont; its main campus is in Montpelier
56 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Hospitality and Restaurant Management
ACCSC Accredited

Penn Foster Career School
925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC & CHEA Accredited

Sullivan University
SU has three campuses in Louisville, Lexington and Fort Knox. The main campus for its Global e-Learning program is located in Louisville
2100 Gardiner Lane
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
Beverage Management
CCSACS & ACF Accredited

University of Phoenix
This University has campuses in over 40 states, and two locations in Canada
4602 East Elwood Street
Phoenix, AZ
Hospitality, Travel and Tourism
HLC Accredited

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5 Responses to “Finding Culinary Arts Colleges in Colorado”

  1. john notestine Says:

    I want to start a steak house in BV Co. in conjunction with a hotel I intend on building. I want to learn how to operate a restaurant so I can oversee the selection who should run it.

  2. Brian Toon Says:

    Free to Medicaid Eligible!

    Our 16-week culinary training program trains personnel for restaurant and commercial food service positions and helps place graduates in successful jobs. Students acquire the foundational knowledge and skills of cooking and baking, sensory awareness, and teamwork needed to work with competence and professionalism in a commercial kitchen or in a related culinary field.

    The curriculum includes four tiers of study plus optional community internship. It involves a minimum of book/lecture instruction with maximum hands-on coaching and experience. Students work side-by-side with seasoned, skilled food service professionals trained to work with students in an actual food service restaurant and catering business. In their course of study, students prepare approximately 55 recipes equipping them for a wide range of jobs in full-service restaurants, caterers, institutional, and hotel/hospitality. Real life internship opportunities (i.e., paid internships at DoubleTree by Hilton) allow students to reinforce their skills. A Training Program Coordinator monitors students’ progress and helps students work through transportation challenges.

  3. Steve Steelle Says:

    IBMC College offers career training in business, cosmetology, dental, healthcare, massage and paralegal studies. Through hands-on instruction, students are given the tools to succeed in a rewarding new career.

    Business Address:
    IBMC College
    3842 S Mason St
    Fort Collins, CO 80525

    Business Phone:
    (970) 223-2669


  4. Glenn Booth Says:


    How do we get our school ( listed on your site?

    thank you,

  5. eric Says:

    do u have a school in Colorado springs

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