Top School with Chef Career Training - Santa Ana, CA

Seven schools in the Santa Ana, CA, area have chef training programs. Read on to find out more about what these top schools have to offer for chef training, as well as tuition and degree information.

School and Ranking Information

Considering program size and diversity, along with graduation rate, the top three options for chef training near Santa Ana, CA, are:

  • Winner: Cypress College ranks first because it has the largest and most diverse program.
  • Runner Up #1: Orange Coast College (OCC) is ranked second based on its graduation rate and program diversity.
  • Runner Up #2: Cerritos College has the second largest program and offers certificates and associate degrees in culinary arts.

School Comparison Chart

Category Cypress College Orange Coast College Cerritos College
Location Cypress, CA (11.5 miles from Santa Ana) Costa Mesa, CA (6.1 miles from Santa Ana) Norwalk, CA (16.9 miles from Santa Ana)
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $1,136 (in-state);
$5,984 (out-of-state)*
$1,184 (in-state);
$6,320 (out-of-state)*
$1,340 (in-state);
$6,072 (out-of-state)*
Chef Training Award Levels Offered Certificates; associate degrees Certificates; associate degrees Certificates; associate degrees
Chef Training Degrees and Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012 100* 76 (includes some other hospitality certificates)* 88*
Most Popular Chef Training Program (2011-2012) Certificate in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts (55 awarded)* Certificate in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts (36 awarded)* Certificate in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts (42 awarded)*
Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2009 Entering Class 29%* 38%* 22%*
Noteworthy Executive Chef Jeremy Peters has cooked for the United States Senate School's advanced culinary arts certificate is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Culinary arts program highlighted on the award-winning TV show American Health Journal

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

Winner: Cypress College

  • Past students have won honors and competitions
  • Program provides career opportunities by partnering with local businesses, such as TGI Friday's, Hyatt Hotels, and Disneyland
  • School offers smart classrooms and cutting-edge culinary facilities
  • Students gain hands-on experience operating the on-campus Bistro and Cafe Cypress
  • Program boasts small class sizes

The Cypress College hotel, restaurant, and culinary arts program offers certificates in food service management, culinary arts, and baking and pastry. As of 2013, all of Cypress College's culinary classes are offered at the North Orange County Community College District's Anaheim campus. All of the school's culinary programs include classes in nutrition, sanitation, safety, and culinary fundamentals.

Students can earn an Associate of Science (AS) degree by completing 25 units of additional general education classes. Food service management students take classes in management and hospitality law, while culinary arts students focus on cooking and handling food. Baking and pastry students learn to make breads, pastries, and desserts. Cypress College also offers a related special event management certificate and a restaurant/lodging entrepreneur certificate.

Runner-Up #1: Orange Coast College

  • Program operates a cafeteria and a fine-dining restaurant
  • Chef-instructor Bryce Benes won first prize at a national culinary competition

According to the school's website, almost half of OCC students choose technical and career programs. Students can pursue a basic certificate in culinary arts, which also serves as the beginning stage of an advanced certificate. The basic program includes sanitation, safety, and cooking and baking fundamentals. The advanced program includes garde manger, along with optional classes in catering and ice-carving. Both levels feature directed practice in working kitchens. An AS degree may be earned by adding the general education coursework required for graduation.

Certificates in baking and pastry, catering, and culinary food science assistant are also available. A level II culinology associate program is offered as well.

Runner-Up #2: Cerritos College

  • Head chef won statewide teaching award
  • Past student won state culinary student competition
  • School offers two culinary-specific scholarships
  • Renovations to culinary facility planned for 2014-2015

Cerritos College administers a certificate and an Associate of Arts (AA) degree in culinary arts/chef training. Graduates of this program are prepared to work in entry-level positions of the restaurant industry. A certificate and an AA are also offered in baking and pastry. Both programs include courses in sanitation and safety and offer hands-on experience in an on-campus cafe. Cerritos also partners with local businesses to bring connections and employment opportunities to students.

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