Cooking Classes in New Jersey with School Overviews

Jul 20, 2019

New Jersey has roughly 10 schools that offer cooking certificate and degree programs. Learn about the classes, tuition info and program options for eight of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Students looking to learn about the culinary arts in New Jersey can find a variety of programs at two-year schools throughout the state. Certificate and associate's degree programs are the most common, though non-degree programs are also available. These programs often allow students to gain hands-on experience through internships and other work-related activities. Some programs may also offer concentrations or specializations.

Although 10 New Jersey schools offer cooking programs, the eight outlined below are public or private non-profit institutions. Aspiring cooks may also find training at an additional for-profit school in Newark. Below are short overviews of nine NJ schools' cooking programs, as well as a comparison table that highlights program and tuition info at a glance.

Atlantic Cape Community College

Mays Landing's Atlantic Cape Community College offers an associate's program with required classes in nutrition, baking, pastry and garde manger. Students also fulfill a mandatory cooperative education experience. The school's facilities include teaching kitchens, a gourmet restaurant and a small retail bakery. A 5-month training course in the culinary arts, as well as classes and workshops are also available through the college's Continuing Education Division.

Bergen Community College

Paramus-based Bergen Community College has short Certificate of Achievement programs in baking, catering and professional cooking, requiring only 1-2 semesters of study. Students can learn food preparation, in addition to gaining skills in purchasing and other aspects of hospitality management.

A 1-year certificate also is available in the culinary arts. It focuses on nutrition and menu planning, as well as food preparation techniques, baking and garde manger. Students can also pursue a 1-year certificate in culinary science that delves into the chemistry of cooking, while also including the cooking classes described in the aforementioned certificate program.

The school also offers an associate's program in business technologies that teaches food preparation techniques. Within this program, students can specialize in catering/banquet management, culinary entrepreneurship, hospitality management or general hospitality.

Brookdale Community College

Situated in Lincroft, Brookdale Community College has a 12-credit Culinary Arts Letter of Recognition program for those who need to take specific classes at the request of their employers, including training in sanitation and safety. The school also has a 30-credit certificate in pastry arts that requires classes such as baking, patisserie and confectionery. Another option is the college's 33-credit culinary arts certificate program that provides instruction in basic food skills, breakfast/lunch cookery, nutrition, meat/seafood and purchasing.

The culinary arts associate's program includes many of the same cooking classes as the certificate programs, but also offers courses in garde manger, American regional cuisine, international cuisine and an externship. Students can practice their skills at the Windows Dining Room and The Bakery Shop.

Rowan College

Located at the school's Mt. Holly campus, Rowan College's facilities include a production kitchen and a student-run café. Two associate's programs are available in the culinary arts, and they include classes in baking, American regional cuisine and purchasing, to name a few. The college also has a pastry arts program that provides training in patisserie, purchasing, advanced baking, confectionery arts and more. In addition, a culinary arts practicum is required for students in all the above programs. Non-degree cooking classes are also available, and they may include topics such as vegetarian cooking, pasta, holiday meals and breads.

Hudson County Community College

Jersey City's Hudson County Community College has a Culinary Arts Institute that houses kitchens, bakeries, a dining room and an ice sculpting room. Certificates of Proficiency are offered in cold food, baking and hot food. The college also offers a culinary arts certificate program that can be completed in approximately one year. It includes classes in baking, breakfast cookery, purchasing and nutrition, as well as a 600-hour externship at a hotel or restaurant.

Students seeking a more comprehensive culinary education can enroll in a culinary arts associate's program that covers food preparation. Training in purchasing and menu planning, as well as an externship, is also required. In addition, a baking/pastry option is available, with hands-on training taking place in the school's pastry labs.

Mercer County Community College

In West Windsor, aspiring chefs can find an associate's program with concentrations available in pastry arts or culinary arts. Both options contain classes in professional baking, food preparation and healthy cooking, in addition to an internship. MCCC also offers an associate's degree in culinology, combining classes in food preparation and food science. Students also serve an internship. Facilities are comprised of modern labs and a student-staffed dining room.

Middlesex County College

Edison's Middlesex County College offers a 2-semester Certificate of Achievement in Baking/Pastry Arts that includes courses in pastry techniques, baking basics and an externship. Additionally, students can pursue a 34-credit certificate program in the culinary arts that includes classes in food preparation, baking, quantity food production and garde manger, as well as an externship.

This school's culinary arts management associate's program includes cooking classes such as baking, garde manger and quantity food production, in addition to relevant food and drink management courses. A summer culinary arts externship is also necessary. Additionally, students can take cooking classes as part of the associate's programs in hotel/motel management and restaurant/food service management.

Ocean County Vocational Technical School

Toms River is home to the Ocean County Vocational Technical School. The institution offers a 1-year, 900-hour program that has technical preparation agreements, which allow students to continue their studies at various partner institutions. Training includes baking, food preparation and management. Students also obtain hands-on experience by operating a banquet and dining establishment.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Cooking Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Atlantic Cape Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Culinary Arts Training Program,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$4,818 in-district;
$6,318 in-state;
$7,818 out-of-state*
Bergen Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate of Achievement in Baking, Catering or Professional Cooking,
Culinary Arts Certificate,
Culinary Science Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Business Technologies - Culinary Entrepreneurship
$4,500 in-district;
$8,154 in-state;
$8,526 out-of-state*
Brookdale Community College 2-year, public; rural fringe Pastry Arts Academic Credit Certificate,
Culinary Arts Academic Credit Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$4,869 in-district;
$7,963 in-state;
$8,663 out-of-state*
Rowan College 2-year, public; rural fringe Associate of Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate of Applied Science in Pastry Arts
$4,725 in-district;
$5,235 in-state;
$7,185 out-of-state*
Hudson County Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Certificate of Proficiency in Baking, Hot Food Production, or Cold Food Production,
Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
$5,718 in-district;
$9,978 in-state;
$14,028 out-of-state*
Mercer County Community College 2-year, public; rural fringe Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts,
Associate in Science in Culinology
$4,206 in-district;
$5,394 in-state;
$7,638 out-of-state*
Middlesex County College 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate of Achievement in Baking and Pastry Arts,
Culinary Arts Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts Management,
Associate in Applied Science in Restaurant/Food Service Management,
Associate in Applied Science in Hotel/Motel Management
$3,516 in-district;
$7,032 in-state;
$7,032 out-of-state*
Ocean County Vocational Technical School Less-than-2-year, public; large suburb 900-hour Culinary Arts Program $10,160*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

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