Cooking Colleges

Some high school students decide to steer away from “traditional” colleges.  In fact, many high school students desire to learn more information about cooking colleges.

Cooking Colleges: An Overview

Cooking colleges are schools dedicated to educating students about the art and science of food preparation.  Most cooking colleges’ award degrees, but some cooking colleges award certificates.  Either way, the degree or certificate is designed to demonstrate that a student has undergone a specific curriculum and as a result, displays a certain level of competency about food preparation.

Many cooking colleges are associated with certain public restaurants in the area where the school is located.  These partnerships that cooking colleges have with local restaurants, allow students to acquire the experience necessary to be a successful chef.  Students get the chance to work in real environments and perform a variety of different roles.  If you are a student who’s in the process of researching cooking colleges, then you should definitely consider whether or not the cooking colleges that you are interested in offer programs or arrangements similar to this.

History of Cooking Colleges

One of the first cooking colleges, Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School, was founded in 1895 by Marthe Distel.  The next well-known cooking college was opened in 1902 by Fanny Farmer in Boston, MA.  The name of this school was Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery.  These two cooking colleges lead the way for future cooking colleges to evolve.

9 Well-Know Cooking Colleges

Below, I’ll review 9 of the more well-known cooking colleges.

1. The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute – Offers a variety of culinary arts programs with more than 40 locations in North America, as well as an online division.

2. Le Cordon Bleu Schools North America – Offers a variety of current courses, constantly adapting to the current and future needs of culinary, tourism, and hospitality services.

3. The French Culinary Institute – Located in New York City, this cooking college offers a world-class faculty and a program that is unlike any other in the industry.

4. The Culinary Institute of America – An excellent program with campuses located in Hyde Park, NY and St. Helena, CA.

5. Strayer University – A quality, but affordable and flexible culinary arts degree program.

6. University of Phoenix – Offers convenient culinary arts class locations, in addition to online learning.

7. Star Career Academy – Prepares students for various careers in restaurants, hotels, resorts, catering, and corporate dining.

8. Johnson & Wales University – College of Culinary Arts at this university allows students to select from a wide range of degree programs.

9. Kaplan University – Offer hands-on degree programs that allow students to train for culinary arts careers in a matter of months.

Additional Resources for Cooking Colleges

To learn more information about cooking colleges, you can visit the American Culinary Federation’s website.  This website has a ton of information on cooking colleges, including information on the following topics: Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, and Restaurant Management.

I hope this information about cooking colleges was helpful.  Remember to follow your dreams and understand that it’s okay to consider non-traditional college options, like cooking colleges.  Good Luck.


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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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