Top Rated School for Chef Training - Louisville, KY

May 05, 2021

School and Ranking Information

There are only three schools in the Louisville area that offer chef training. Sullivan University, Jefferson Community and Technical College, and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College's chef training programs are ranked below based on program size and other factors, such as accreditation status.

  • Winner: Sullivan University offers ACF-accredited programs with work experience opportunities. Sullivan has conferred a greater number of degrees and boasts awards for its programs, instructors, and students.
  • Runner Up #1: Jefferson Community and Technical College offers ACF-accredited certificate and degree programs taught by award-winning faculty as well as co-op summer internships.
  • Runner Up #2: Elizabethtown Community and Technical College offers certificate and associate degree programs, and it provides work experience through a student-run dining hall.

School Comparison Chart

Category Sullivan University Jefferson Community and Technical College Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
Location Louisville, KY Louisville, KY Elizabethtown, KY (47 miles from Louisville)
School Type 4-year, private for-profit 2-year, public 2-year, public
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) $13,860* $4,448 (in-state); $14,888 (out-of-state)* $4,368 (in-state); $14,808 (out-of-state)*
Chef Training Award Levels Offered <1-year certificates, 1-2 year certificates; associate degrees <1-year certificates; associate degrees <1-year certificates; associate degrees
Chef Training Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) (2018-2019) 111* 148* 33*
Most Popular Chef Training Program (2018-2019) Associate of Science in Culinary Arts (111 awarded)* <1-Year Certificate in Culinary Arts/Chef Training (136 awarded)* <1-Year Certificate in Culinary Arts/Chef Training (15 awarded)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 19% (2013 entering class)* 23% (2016 entering class)* 38% (2016 entering class)*
Noteworthy Received Exemplary Program Awards from the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC) 16:1 student-faculty ratio* Close ties with the Army Continuing Education System (ACES)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Winner: Sullivan University

  • School's culinary arts and baking degree programs are ACFEFAC-accredited
  • Instructors and students have won cooking awards
  • Program operates a fine dining restaurant
  • Praised by experts, including the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Director of Accreditation, Candice Childress, and a celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse
  • Up-to-date facilities, including modern kitchens
  • Affiliated Winston's Restaurant, an award-winning eatery

Sullivan University administers culinary programs out of both its Louisville and Lexington campuses. The Louisville campus boasts eight cutting-edge cooking and baking laboratories, as well as program-run eateries such as The Bakery, Juleps Catering, and Winston's Restaurant. Sullivan's programs include an Associate of Science (AS) in Culinary Arts, an AS in Baking and Pastry, and diplomas in professional baking and personal/private chef.

Both AS programs include classes in culinary theory and skills, applied math, sanitation, nutrition, conversational Spanish, and composition. The Culinary AS requires a restaurant practicum, while the baking AS requires an internship. Sullivan culinary students have successfully participated in numerous competitions, including an alumna who was recently named 'Student Chef of the Year' at a regional ACF conference hosted by the school.

Runner-Up #1: Jefferson Community and Technical College

  • Cooperative education and summer work experience opportunities offered
  • ACFEFAC accredited
  • Instructor and alumna Damaris Phillips is the winner of season nine of Food Network Star
  • Enrollment has grown by 10.7% in 10 years
  • Opportunity to work in commercial kitchens, labs and a dining room

Jefferson Community and Technical College is the biggest of the 16 schools that make up the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. It offers a certificate program in advanced culinary arts and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program in culinary arts. Both programs share a core of fundamental classes, such as sanitation and safety, garde manger, baking, cost control, nutrition, and human resources management. Both programs require either a practicum or an internship as well. However, the associate program includes 21 additional general education credits.

The school's Culinary Arts program also offers an AAS and two certificates in food and beverage management. These programs share the culinary arts core classes, while adding a business focus.

Runner-Up #2: Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

  • A work practicum or cooperative education experience is required for all culinary programs
  • Students operate on-campus lunch services
  • Fort Knox campus serves military personnel and their families, as well as the general public

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) offers diploma and AAS programs in the fields of catering and personal chef, culinary arts, and food and beverage management. All programs require core culinary arts and general education classes, though the course load is reduced for diploma programs. The personal chef and food and beverage management programs also include business classes, such as principles of management and entrepreneurship. ECTC culinary students operate the Culinary Corner dining room, and they offer carryout lunches once a week from a mobile cart.

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