Top 10 Culinary Schools in the US
For aspiring chefs and restaurant managers, there are many culinary schools they can choose from located across the U.S. Among those institutions, however, these 10 schools stand out for the quality of their educational programs.
Institute of Culinary Education (New York, NY)
Since its founding in 1975 by master chef and cooking teacher Peter Kump, the Institute of Culinary Education has become one of the most renowned culinary schools in the world, as well as the largest in New York City. ICE’s intensive “Global Curriculum” is taught by an experienced team of chefs specializing in cuisine from around the world, and has produced alumni who are often found on “Best Chefs” lists in most reputable publications and trade magazines.
International Culinary Center (New York, NY and Silicon Valley, CA)
The International Culinary Center (ICC, previously known as The French Culinary Institute) isn’t just one of the most award-winning culinary schools in the world; it also boasts a graduation rate of over 90%, due largely to its 12:1 student/teacher ratio, which allows the school to give its students intensely personal and well-supervised training in the culinary arts.
Le Cordon Bleu (Chicago, IL)
Le Cordon Bleu is one of the leading institutes to specialize in French cuisine, where students can obtain certificates in multiple culinary disciplines, or go for the full bachelor’s or associate’s degrees. The institute has schools across the U.S., as well as online courses.
New England Culinary Institute (Montpelier, VT)
This Vermont culinary education center offers a variety of certificates and degrees, including the school’s famous 3-year and 5-year programs which involve not only cooking school, but also internships working at restaurants.
International Culinary School (Washington, DC)
The International Culinary School is a part of the Art Institute of Washington, and boasts state-of-the-art facilities that host classes and exhibitions during daytime hours, evenings, and weekends. The school also offers an online learning program, making its services available to students who may not be able to attend its Washington campus.
San Diego Culinary Institute (San Diego, CA)
The San Diego Culinary Institute is famous for having one of the most intensive curriculums of any culinary school, but the intensity of the program is more than worth the experience students can get from it. Every teacher at the school is required to have a minimum of 25 years’ experience in the field, and must have been an executive chef for at least 5 years prior to joining the staff.
The Culinary Institute of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
New Orleans is world famous for the quality of its cuisine, and The Culinary Institute of New Orleans is the city’s premier culinary learning center. The school provides students with hands-on experience at local restaurants, and is known for constantly updating and improving its facilities and lesson plans to stay current with the trends of the industry.
The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
The Art Institute is a network of highly renowned California campuses, and the culinary program at AI’s Los Angeles facility is considered one of the best cooking schools on the west coast. AI’s culinary education program includes small class sizes and a choice of morning, afternoon, or evening classes.
The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College (Philadelphia, PA)
Aside from offering a world-class culinary education, Walnut Hill College’s Restaurant School also provides students with two unique opportunities: a chance to get experience working in the four French-style restaurants the school owns and operates, and a week-long trip to France to visit genuine French establishments.
Sullivan University (Louisville, KY)
Students who attend Sullivan University’s culinary program are given a chance to work at Winston’s—a 3.5 star restaurant run entirely by the student body—as well as at a bakery and catering facility that provide valuable industry experience to aspiring chefs even while they’re still attending school.
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