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Culinary Degrees: Top Rated Culinary School - San Diego, CA

Three schools in the San Diego, CA, area have top ranking culinary programs. Read on to find out more about what one of these top schools has to offer for culinary studies, as well as tuition and degree information.

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School Information

Culinary programs in the San Diego area are found primarily in community colleges. Based on distinction and number of 2-year degrees granted in the field of study, the following college is considered a top school in the San Diego area for culinary arts:

  • Winner: Grossmont College award more associate's degrees in culinary arts than any other postsecondary institution within 25 miles of San Diego. Students can choose from three different associate's degree programs: one in culinary arts, one in baking and pastry, and one in culinary entrepreneurship. Certificates are also available.

School Info Chart

Category Grossmont College
Distinction Larger of the two colleges in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District*
Location El Cajon, California
School Type 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) Undergrad: $1,387 (in-state); $6,897 (out-of-state)**
Culinary Programs Offered Certificate and associate's degree
Culinary Certificates and Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013 24**
Most Popular Culinary Level in 2012-2013 Certificate (15 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2010 Entering Class 23%**
Noteworthy Culinary faculty features several executive chefs

Sources: *Grossmont College; **NCES College Navigator

Grossmont College

  • Culinary program includes field trips, guest speakers and work experiences
  • Culinary studies combine classroom work with hands-on learning experiences in a campus kitchen
  • Many graduates work at well-known hotels, restaurants and casinos

Offering more than 150 degree and certificate programs in El Cajon, California, about 13 miles from San Diego, Grossmont College serves more than 18,000 students. The culinary arts department in the Division of Career Technical Education/Workforce Development offers three culinary programs leading to an Associate of Science degree. Certificate programs are also offered.

Four 13-credit Certificate of Achievement programs are available from Grossmont College. Students can choose from pastry cook, banquet cook, prep cook or line cook certificates. Coursework varies depending on the certificate chosen, with topics ranging from soup and sauce preparation to commercial baking. Food sanitation is a common course across all certificate programs.

The curriculum of the Associate of Science in Culinary Arts program features coursework in basic cooking techniques, food safety and sanitation, food preparation and menu creation. An international cooking course exposes students to the cultural significance of food.

The Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry program teaches basic culinary skills in addition to baking and pastry training. Students learn to bake breads, pastries, cakes, pies and tarts, and they acquire skills in cake decoration and centerpiece design. With a focus on the business and management side of culinary arts, the Associate of Science in Culinary Entrepreneurship program consists of coursework that covers a variety of culinary topics, from food preparation and production to food purchasing and sanitation. A catering management course teaches skills like staffing, accounting, promotions and menu creation.

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