Cooking classes are available in Orange County through the culinary programs at local-area colleges. Students who want to take cooking classes as part of an academic program have options to earn associate's degrees or certificates in the culinary arts and related areas. To earn a certificate or associate's degree in the culinary arts, students are generally expected to complete a series of textbook courses and hands-on cooking workshops; internship opportunities may also be offered.
Orange Country has four colleges that offer culinary programs, but only three of these are public schools. These three schools are detailed below.
Since 1975, Cypress College in Cypress, California, has nurtured the skills of students who are passionate about cooking. Through a mix of study, demonstration and practical experience in the campus-run cafe and bistro, students learn the ins and outs of this demanding yet creative field. The school offers two-year associate degrees and certificates in culinary arts, restaurant management and baking and pastry; all of these programs include cooking classes. Students in each of these programs are taught the basics of nutrition and sanitation before moving on to more hands-on courses, such as culinary fundamentals, baking fundamentals and international cuisine. Each program requires that students complete a hospitality internship.
Orange Coast College
Situated in Costa Mesa, California, Orange Coast College emphasizes hands-on instruction in its culinary programs. The school offers certificates in basic and advanced culinary arts, as well as basic and advanced pastry making. Students who wish to earn an associate degree have the option to complete general education requirements for an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree.
The basic culinary arts program covers nutrition, sanitation, culinary principles and baking principles, while the advanced culinary program covers beverage management, garde manger and menu planning. Students in both baking and pastry programs study nutrition and baking principles, but only those in the advanced program study culinary principles and menu planning. The school also offers a professional culinology associate degree program and a culinary food science assistant certificate program that go over the science behind food making in addition to culinary principles.
Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, offers numerous programs that include cooking classes as part of the curricula. Students can enroll in certificate or associate degree programs in culinary arts, catering, food service, foods or nutrition.
While the nutrition program is not cooking class-intensive, students are required to take a vegetarian cuisine or healthy cooking techniques course. The culinary arts, catering, food service and foods programs all require an internship and include courses in nutrition, baking fundamentals, sanitation, food preparation and culinary principles.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Cooking Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Cypress College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate in Baking and Pastry,
Certificate in Culinary Arts,
Certificate in Restaurant Management,
Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry,
Associate of Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate of Science in Food Service Management
|$1,138 (in-state); $6,154 (out-of-state)*|
|Orange Coast College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Certificate of Specialization in Basic Baking and Pastry Arts,
Certificate of Achievement in Advanced Baking and Pastry Arts,
Certificate of Achievement in Basic Culinary Arts,
Certificate of Achievement in Advanced Culinary Arts,
Certificate of Achievement in Culinary and Food Sciences Assistant,
Associate in Arts/Associate in Science in Basic Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate in Arts/Associate in Science in Advanced Baking and Pastry Arts,
Associate in Arts/Associate in Science in Basic Culinary Arts,
Associate in Arts/Associate in Science in Advanced Culinary Arts,
Associate in Science in Culinology and Food Sciences
|$1,184 (in-state); $6,584 (out-of-state)*|
|Saddleback College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate of Achievement in Catering,
Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts,
Certificate of Achievement in Foods,
Certificate of Achievement in Food Service,
Certificate of Achievement in Nutrition,
Associate in Science in Catering,
Associate in Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate in Science in Foods,
Associate in Science in Food Service,
Associate in Science in Nutrition
|$1,326 (in-state); $5,750 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator