The Best Chef Cooking Schools and Colleges

Culinary Institute of America

Culinary geeks from all over the United States have flocked to this Manhattan-based culinary school because of its reputation in the culinary community. The CIA is an award-winning institution, and hosts a variety of different annual events and parties. In recent years it has become popular for its famous graduates, such as Anthony Bourdain from the hit television series No Reservations. On-campus housing is available for students in the CIA’s 18-room guest house.

University of Phoenix

With over 50 locations in the United States, the University of Phoenix is becoming more and more popular because of its program availability and online learning programs. Work-and-pay-at-your-own pace courses are available, and students have access to online libraries, advisers, and book stores. Classroom sizes tend to be small to ensure proper individual instruction.

Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu has a variety of different institutions located all over the world, and are partnered with many popular culinary schools. They offer a variety of different programs, which may have more of a focus on French cuisine. Students may also learn the French language as well as classical French cooking techniques. Because of the school’s reputation, tuition costs tend to be more expensive.

Lincoln Culinary Institute

If you’re looking for a more fun-filled experience to go along with your culinary education, this culinary institute offers programs which allow students to learn and travel at the same time. For the Advanced Italian Culinary Arts program, students may choose to attend a three-work course at the Castle of Costigliole d’Asti in Monferrato, Italy.

Top Diploma Programs


Culinary Arts Diploma

This is one of the most common diploma programs, and is available at a variety of different trade and technical schools, and community colleges. Because of this, the cost of tuition tends to be cheaper than a university diploma program. Students can complete the program in just 30 to 36 weeks, depending on which institution they choose to enroll in.

Baking and Pastry Diploma

Also available in a variety of different culinary schools and universities, this diploma program is becoming more and more popular for those looking for work as a baker or pastry chef. At the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Connecticut, students can choose between two types of programs for this diploma, depending on whether they want to study in the day or in the evening.

Culinary Management Diploma

Similar to a culinary management degree program, a diploma still teaches students how to properly manage and supervise staff, only it can be completed in less time and is generally cheaper than a degree. Students could earn this diploma within 26 to 35 weeks, depending on which institution they choose to enroll in.

Gourmet Cooking and Catering Diploma

This diploma program is ideal for students hoping to own and manage their own catering business. It is becoming a popular diploma program because it is the quickest way for students to learn the basics of food service and preparation, and it is also available online. This diploma program costs between $500 and $700 depending on which institution you choose.

Top Degree Programs

Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts

This associate program is one of the quickest, easiest, and most affordable ways to gain entry-level work in the culinary business. This degree takes approximately two years to complete, and is available at a variety of different culinary institutions, colleges, and trade and technical schools. Because of this, tuition tends to be cheaper compared to an associate’s degree program in a university.

Associate’s Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts

This is a popular degree program for future bakers and pastry chefs because it is available in schools all over the United States. Traditional and modern cooking methods are included in the curriculum, and students will learn how to prepare and design various desserts, cookies, tarts, pies, sauces, cakes, frozen desserts, and much more. After completing the program, graduates can use their credits to support a future bachelor’s degree.

Associate’s Degree in Culinary Management

If you’re hoping to complete a management degree in a short amount of time, an associate’s degree may be the best option. It is generally cheaper than a bachelor’s degree, but still educates students on the various skills needed in order to successfully manage and supervise staff. This type of degree can be completed within one to two years, and is also available online at the University of Phoenix, so students can study around their own schedule.

Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts Management at the CIA

A bachelor’s degree in management is one of the most common programs if students want to gain extensive knowledge before managing their own business. The program generally takes four years to complete, and is more expensive than an associate’s degree in culinary management. At the Culinary Institute of America, students who enroll in this program may choose to attend a four-week food and wine seminar in California, Italy, or Spain.

Top Chef Courses

Food Writing Courses

For this course, students learn how to review food and beverages based on plate presentation, and may even learn how to write recipes. There are also online courses available dedicated to recipe and cookbook writing. The cheapest courses cost between $40 and $100, and can be completed in three hours. Some courses may include travel writing as well as how to write press releases and query letters.

CIA Boot Camps

The Culinary Institute of America offers a variety of different boot camp courses, where the culinary impaired can learn how to prepare and present various types of food. Courses can take two to five days to complete, and can range between $850 and $2,000 per person. Titled “a boot camp vacation,” students can choose between campus locations in New York, California, or Texas. Some boot camp programs focus on Mexican or Asian cuisine, while others focus on pastries and barbecued food.

Vegan Courses

Healthy-eating courses are becoming more and more popular in the culinary community. Vegan course curriculum includes how to provide proper nourishment by blending different spices and ingredients together, and educates students on international and ancient cooking methods. Students will also learn how to work with soy, grains, seeds, nuts, wheat, and rye. Courses range from three hours to five weeks, and cost approximately $25 to $150 per class, depending on the length of the course and which program you choose.

Getaway Courses

Need a vacation AND a culinary boost? Taking a culinary course overseas is a great way for travelers to learn more about cooking while experiencing other cultures. Various cooking courses are available overseas in Italy, France, and Spain, and generally cost between $200 and $300 per person, not including travel costs. If you`re looking for a course in the United States,  New Orleans cooking classes in Louisiana train students on how to use flavors found in traditional Creole and Cajun cuisines. There are several half-day cooking classes available which cost approximately $150.

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6 Responses to “The Best Chef Cooking Schools and Colleges”

  1. Kaan Says:

    I want join pro-chef school in eu for my carrier. which schools will be suitable for me ?(im in forreign statue,Im Turkish)

  2. Luis Manuel Herlanda Says:

    To Whom may concern:

    I would like to know more about Colleges or Universities based on Culinary Arts I’m looking for an actually school and not just like a courses.

    Which one is the best school for that in Italy?
    Can you help me with that please!

    Thanks for your Time.

  3. Bettina Says:

    I am looking for the best program and certification in nutritional cooking. Could you please give me a few choices. Midwest area preferred but not limited to.

  4. Maria felix Says:

    Hi my name is maria felix i want to be a culinary chef and own my own money but i dont know where to start and what do , I love to cook everything i hope yall can help me im in 11th grade and i want to start my future right after i leave high school



    I am from Alcor hotel its a four star property that is located in a estern part of india . We need to trained our chefs for thai cooking that’s why I want to know any clases that is located in Bangkok

  6. Ma.Laura Milici Says:

    I AM A Naturopathic Doctor and I am looking for a raw vegan vegetarian course to do. I live in Spain.. Online is great for me as well. Anything for Dr’s?

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