Enroll in Chef Training Programs in Portland, OR

Portland is gaining a reputation for its burgeoning restaurant scene. The Food Network named it their “Delicious Destination of the Year” in 2007, and the New York Times featured the local culinary scene the same year. The city is also well-known for its microbreweries and its coffee. It’s a hotbed of opportunities for chefs. For those who are still dreaming of becoming chefs, there are several programs to give you the training you need.

School Selection

The focus of any quality culinary program should be on real-world training and experience. With that in mind, the kitchen should be fully-equipped with all the latest technology and tools that chefs need. Look for programs that go the extra mile by supporting a student-run restaurant – providing the training you’ll need. Chefs should be teaching courses, or there should be experienced instructors. As with any training program, there should also be opportunities for apprenticeships or other on-the-job training, as well as services for job placement or counseling. Some programs even offer options to study abroad.

When you’re ready to start compiling your application, keep in mind that minimum requirements are the completion of a high-school diploma or GED. More elite schools may ask for more in order to make the cut. Supplements can include aptitude testing or proof that you’ve spent some time working in a kitchen. Personal statements about your aspirations can also help your case.

Downtown Portland.

Program Completion

Culinary students have numerous choices for finishing their degree. Programs can range from an intensive or certificate course lasting as little as a few weeks to a traditional management degree that can take up to four years. However, most programs lead to an associate’s degree that can be finished in about two years. That doesn’t mean you’ll be locked into a full-time daily routine. Night and weekend classes offer some flexibility, as do online programs.

Online courses are likely the future of education, and more and more culinary programs are available through the web. Different options are available, with some programs offering online-exclusive content and others offering a hybrid of online and in-class courses. Check with your school to see if it offers programs that fit your needs.

Job Expectations

Before you’re an Iron Chef, you’ll start out as a pliant assistant in someone else’s kitchen. Expect your salary to grow as you move up the ranks from line cook to sous chef and, finally, to head chef. Your status in the kitchen as well as your years of experience will be the biggest factors determining your salary. Where you work will also be significant. If you are lucky enough to work in one of the top kitchens, you could be making more than those who have been in the business longer. Look for jobs at fine-dining restaurants, hotels, resorts and spas.

Graduates are likely to find a job they love in any of the thousands of restaurants, resorts, schools, and hotels in Oregon. Typical food industry salaries in Oregon range according to position, city, and experience. A Registered Dietitian earns an average annual salary of $70,170; a first-line supervisor will earn about $36,030; a head chef will earn approximately $51,130; and a restaurant cook earns an average salary of around $30,900.

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

To help expedite your rise to the top, network by joining professional groups such as the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association. It will also give you access to job listings (or just insider information), conferences and other events. Food festivals will also give you the chance to see and be seen by the local restaurant elite. Why not enter a cooking competition while you’re there, and give potential employers a taste of why they should hire you?

Campus-Based Programs

Oregon Culinary Institute
1701 SW Jefferson St.
Portland, OR 97201
Culinary Arts
Baking and Pastry
Restaurant Management
ACICS accredited

Good Keuken
5031 NE 42nd Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
French Culinary Arts
No regional accreditation

The Art Institute of Portland
1122 N.W. Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209-2911
Culinary Arts
Culinary Management
Art of Cooking
Baking and Pastry
NWCCU accredited

Le Cordon Bleu
600 SW 10th Ave., Suite 400
Portland, OR 97205
Culinary Arts
Patisserie and Baking
Hospitality and Restaurant Management
ACCSC accredited

Online-Based Programs

The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh – Online Division
Hotel and Restaurant Management
MSCHE accredited

Ashworth College
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC accredited

The Culinary Institute of America – CIA Pro Chef
Culinary Arts
CHEMSACS accredited

Johnson and Wales University
Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Culinary Arts & Food Service Management
NEASC accredited

Le Cordon Bleu – Online Division
Culinary Management
ACCSC & ACICS accredited

Penn Foster Career School
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC & CHEA accredited

SITE Academy
No regional accreditation
AHLA association

Sullivan College
Beverage Management
CCSACS & ACF accredited

Stratford Career Institute
Hotel/Restaurant Management
Travel and Tourism
DlA member, no regional accreditation

Virginia College Online
Culinary Arts
ACICS accredited

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