Top School in Lexington, KY, for Culinary Arts Degrees

School and Ranking Information

Ten schools in the Lexington area offer degrees in culinary arts. Based on proximity to Lexington, accreditations, and program offerings, the top schools for culinary arts are:

  • Winner: College for Technical Education (CTE) offers a certificate and not a degree, but it is the only college within Lexington to provide training in culinary arts.
  • Runner Up #1: Jefferson Community & Technical College (JCTC) offers multiple culinary degree and certificate programs. JCTC is accredited by the American Culinary Federation.
  • Runner Up #2: Maysville Community & Technical College (MCTC) offers multiple culinary degree and certificate programs. Credit can be obtained for skills learned on the job.

School Comparison Chart

Category College for Technical Education Jefferson Community & Technical College Maysville Community & Technical College
Location Lexington Louisville (71.3 miles from Lexington) Maysville (60.2 miles from Lexington)
School Type 2-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $10,000* $3,440 (in-state), $11,840 (out-of-state)* $3,360 (in-state), $11,760 (out-of-state)*
Culinary Arts Degrees Offered Certificate Certificates, diplomas, associate's degrees Certificates, associate's degrees
Culinary Arts Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2012 18* 76* 36*
Most Popular Culinary Arts Program (2011-2012) Certificate in Food Preparation/Professional Cooking/Kitchen Assistant (18 awarded)* Certificate in Culinary Arts/Chef Training (59 awarded)* Certificate in Culinary Arts/Chef Training (27 awarded)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2009 Entering Class 38%* 15%* 32%*
Noteworthy Culinary department runs a full-service catering company** JCTC faculty member was named 2013 'Next Food Network Star'*** Students work in a commercial kitchen and dining room in the Maysville Institute of Culinary Arts facility during training****

Sources: *NCES College Navigator; **College for Technical Education; ***Jefferson Community & Technical College; ****Maysville Community & Technical College.

Winner: College for Technical Education

  • Low student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1
  • Students participate in several school-run cooking competitions each year
  • Orientation is required for all students

The nine-month certificate program offered by the College for Technical Education will provide a student with both academic and hands-on learning. The program incorporates classroom discussion, field trips to local venues, guest speakers, and hands-on cooking projects. Student teams participate in several school-sponsored cooking competitions each year, conducted in the spirit of the 'Top Chef' television show. A catering company, The Sauté Café, operated by the culinary department offers a wide range of food services, from breakfasts to dinners and from cocktail receptions to weddings. Work preparation, networking and job skills are taught in conjunction with the culinary training.

Runner-Up #1: Jefferson Community & Technical College

  • Training provided in commercial kitchens, laboratories, and dining rooms
  • One of only five Kentucky campuses accredited by the American Culinary Federation

Jefferson Community & Technical College offers three culinary-related Associate of Applied Science degrees; the three areas of focus are culinary arts, catering and personal chef training, or food and beverage management. Also available are certificate courses in food and beverage management, advanced culinary arts, and advanced food and beverage management. Training includes classroom learning, lectures, food preparation, event planning, and management techniques. A student must maintain at least a 'C' in all technical courses and an overall 2.0 minimum grade point average. Students must be prepared to take classes sequentially, since the culinary program at JCTC is based on a building block program.

Runner-Up #2: Maysville Community & Technical College

  • Credit may be obtained through the Credit for Prior Learning program for skills learned on-the-job
  • Offers three associate's degrees, three diplomas and seven certificates related to the culinary arts

Maysville Community & Technical College offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in culinary arts, catering and personal chef, and food and beverage management; requirements for the degrees range from 61-67 credit hours. Additionally, the school offers three diplomas that focus on those same areas, but only require between 48 and 55 credits. Certificates ranging from 16-47 credit hours are available in fundamental to advanced levels of the culinary, catering or food/beverage management specializations. In order to successfully complete courses, students must maintain both a minimum of a 'C' in all technical courses and an overall student grade point average of 2.0 or better. Culinary students receive training in cooking, management, sanitation, nutrition, and cost control.

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