Those with a passion for cooking have a plethora of opportunities to advance their skills and knowledge through formal training programs at community colleges and vocational schools throughout California. Education options include non-credit training programs, certificate programs and associate's degree programs in fields such as culinary arts. Skills covered in these programs may include baking, cake decorating, menu design, food service management and meat fabrication. In addition to practicing advanced cooking skills in laboratories and workshops, students often receive training in cooking facilities around campus or at a local restaurant.
Riverside City College
Riverside City College, located in Riverside, California, is one of the largest schools in the state offering certificate and associate's degree programs in culinary arts. The culinary arts degree program is designed to provide students with cooking skills and practical experience working within a full-service kitchen and restaurant. Learners are trained in baking, cake decorating, menu design techniques and classical knife cuts, and they also learn about restaurant business. Participants spend time in a workshop to gain hands-on experience in the kitchen. The certificate program has the same culinary arts and business courses except that it lacks general education coursework.
City College of San Francisco
The City College of San Francisco, located in the heart of San Francisco, offers culinary arts and food service management programs through its Department of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies. There are both non-credit training programs and an associate's degree program available.
Students can enroll in a non-credit training program that provides students with the entry-level job skills required for the culinary and food service industry. This program lasts two semesters and is completed at a downtown restaurant. There is also a 900-hour food technology and dining services course that includes a thorough introduction to the hospitality. The 4-semester associate's degree program in culinary arts and hospitality management offers three areas of concentration, including culinary arts, hotel management and food service management. The curriculum combines lectures with laboratory classes, which are held in several of the school's facilities, including the kitchens, snack bar, restaurant and bakeshop. Successful graduates also earn an Award of Achievement and a certificate from the American Culinary Federation.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Riverside City College||2-year, public; large city|| Culinary Arts Certificate,
AS in Culinary Arts
|$1,420 (in-state), $9,160 (out-of-state)*|
|City College of San Francisco||2-year, public; large city|| Culinary and Service Skills Training Program,
AS in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management
|$1,696 (in-state), $10,372 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.