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Cooking Classes in Raleigh, NC with School Overviews

For those who want to turn their love of cooking into a culinary career, there are approximately four schools within about 40 miles of central Raleigh, NC, offering training. Read on to get an overview of these colleges' program options and requirements to find out which one is right for you.

Raleigh Cooking Schools

Students looking for cooking programs in the Raleigh, NC, area have a handful of options for culinary education. Get details on the programs available from three schools, including information on courses and co-op work experiences. You can also check out a table to get relevant facts and figures about each college, such as tuition rates and campus setting.

  • At around five miles from the city center, Wake Technical Community College is the closest school to downtown Raleigh that offers degree, diploma and certificate options for aspiring chefs.
  • Vance-Granville Community College is located in Henderson, NC, and is about 40 miles from central Raleigh. It offers a culinary arts associate degree program.
  • Situated approximately 37 miles from Raleigh's downtown, Central Carolina Community College in Sanford also has an associate degree program for students interested in cooking professionally.

Comparison of Schools

Finding the right program is just one factor when deciding where to apply to college. This table displays stats on student enrollment, retention rates and more for the profiled schools.

Wake Technical Community College Vance-Granville Community College Central Carolina Community College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 22,494* 3,329* 5,188*
Campus Setting Large suburb Distant town Distant town
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $2,768 in-state; $8,912 out-of-state* $1,948 in-state; $6,556 out-of-state* $2,544 in-state; $8,688 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 44%* 77%* 68%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open Admissions N/A - Open Admissions N/A - Open Admissions
Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017) 70% for full-time students* 65% for full-time students* 70% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014) 16%* 34%* 25%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Wake Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College is the largest community college in North Carolina. The school offers over 240 degrees, certificates and diploma programs that are designed for aspiring technical professionals, as well as students interested in continuing education opportunities. The college offers diploma, associate degree and certificate programs in both culinary technology and baking and pastry arts.

Culinary Arts Certificate

This program is aimed at individuals interested in learning the basics of culinary technology and finding immediate employment in the industry. Some topics of study include culinary safety and sanitation. Cooking courses cover basic baking skills and culinary techniques.

Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate

This is a 2-semester program that is designed for aspiring professional bakers and pastry artists. The program consists of 16-credits of courses that provide an overview of baking technical skills. These courses cover hot and cold desserts, artisan breads and cake design. The program also includes courses in sanitation and basic culinary skills.

Culinary Arts Diploma

This 4-semester program requires completion of 43 credit hours. Students explore cake design and decorating, menu design, food cost control, baking techniques and basic culinary methods. Coursework is divided between classroom study and lab work. Participants also develop skills required to own or operate a culinary business.

Baking and Pastry Arts Diploma

This 6-semester program includes courses in sanitation and safety, business management, baking, cake design and decorating, nutrition and chocolate artistry. During the final semester, students learn to create and display plated desserts, and they provide a demonstration of their talents in this area.

Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts

This 72-credit program begins with classes in nutrition and sanitation. Some classes have a classroom and lab component, so students learn theoretical concepts in addition to technical skills. The program's cooking classes cover breads, classical cuisine, garde manger and cake design. Students complete a co-operative work experience course and may choose a second one as an elective.

Associate in Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts

Students enrolled in the baking and pastry arts program must still complete the general cooking-related classes, such as sanitation and basic culinary skills. Classes cover breads, pastries and chocolate desserts. Students also focus on cake design and decorating, confection artistry and bread production. The program requires learners to get co-op work experience and complete research projects.

Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System. Students can find associate degree and certificate programs in more than 40 areas of study. The school offers a culinary technology degree program through the Division of Business and Applied Technologies.

Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Vance-Granville's culinary technology curriculum is designed for students interested in culinary work in hotels, restaurants, health care facilities and schools. The 67-credit AAS program emphasizes the practical application of culinary theory. Courses cover food and beverage service, baking, sanitation and general food preparation.

Central Carolina Community College

Central Carolina Community College is located approximately 37 miles away from downtown Raleigh. Students interested in cooking courses or culinary training may be interested in the school's associate degree program in the culinary arts. This program teaches the fundamental skills a student would need to utilize in a professional kitchen.

Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts

Central Carolina's 65-credit culinary arts AAS program is specifically designed for students with an interest in obtaining entry-level jobs in the hospitality industry. The curriculum offers training in food and beverage service, fundamental cooking methods and sanitation. Work-based learning experiences are required in this program.


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