As a geographical area, Long Island's four counties include suburban Nassau and Suffolk, NY. Cooking classes are offered as both stand-alone courses and as part of degree and certificate programs by 2- and 4-year colleges, as well as public education systems. Courses in these programs allow students to gain practical experience, and internships are also included in some programs.
Nassau Community College (SUNY)
This Garden City school is one of more than 60 community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, and the school offers programs in approximately 70 fields of study. The culinary arts options include two certificate and three degree programs from the hospitality and business department.
Students in the food service technology certificate program and the food service administration/restaurant management associate's degree program take two hands-on courses in food preparation that provide training in culinary techniques and skills, baking, quantity food production and sanitation. Associate's degree students also take a course in event planning, which offers additional experience in catering, cooking and recipe development.
The programs in food and nutrition, dietary management and hotel technology all include a food production course that covers basic cooking skills, such as preparation methods, along with sanitation requirements. Future professionals in the food service and hospitality programs have the chance to participate in internships.
Suffolk County Community College (SUNY)
Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) is a multi-site institution with three campuses in Brentwood, Riverhead and Selden. SCCC is the largest 2-year school in the state and offers in excess of 100 academic transfer and professional programs to over 25,000 students on Long Island. Prospective cooks can complete certificate and degree programs in the culinary arts with specializations in baking and restaurant management.
The culinary arts certificate program in restaurant management requires two semesters or 31 credits to complete and includes topics in beverage, wine and hospitality management. In addition to an introductory course in cooking, students can take courses in American, Asian, French and Mediterranean cuisine. The associate's program in culinary arts/restaurant management requires many of the same culinary courses as the certificate program, but it also includes a 4-credit internship.
At the Riverhead location, students can enroll in standalone cooking classes through the school's professional development and continuing education division. They can learn how to prepare baked goods, brick-oven pizza, homemade pasta, hors d'oeuvres and Thai food. Most of the courses are one session, but there's a 2-session class on bakery cookies. Program fees vary by course.
If you're interested in taking cooking courses in the area in order to become a professional cook, it's important to know what the local food service certification requirements are. In Suffolk County, an individual who has been certified in food safety must be on duty while a food service business is in operation, and certification requirements include an exam preparation course. According to New York State law, ready-to-eat foods cannot be prepared or served with bare hands, and food workers in Nassau County must follow the local health department guidelines for glove use and hand washing. Such guidelines don't apply to you if you're only looking to take cooking courses for recreation or personal enrichment, though. Below you'll find the five schools in Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties that offer cooking classes, followed by a comparison table with course and tuition information.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Cooking Programs Offered||Annual Undergraduate Tuition Costs (2015-2016)|
|Nassau Community College (SUNY)||2-year, public; large suburb||Certificate in Dietary Management,
Certificate in Food Service Technology,
Associate in Science in Food and Nutrition,
Associate in Applied Science in Food Service Administration and Restaurant Management,
Associate in Applied Science in Hotel Technology Administration
|$4,854 in-state, $9,388 out-of-state|
|Suffolk County Community College (SUNY)||2-year, public; large suburb|| Professional Development & Continuing Education courses,
Certificate in Culinary Arts (Restaurant Management),
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts (Restaurant Management)
|$5,100 in-state, $9,490 out-of-state|