Cooking Classes in Sacramento, CA with School Options

There are three schools within 50 miles of Sacramento that have cooking classes. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and admission info, and find out which school is the right one for you.

Sacramento-Area Cooking Programs

This article examines the only three schools with cooking programs in the Sacramento area. These schools, all within 50 miles of the city center, offer a variety of programs in fields including baking, restaurant management and general culinary arts. This article also includes a table of information about the schools that will help prospective culinary arts students make a sound decision about their training.

  • Just 10 miles from downtown Sacramento, American River College (ARC) provides an associate's degree program in culinary arts and several certificate programs that include cooking courses.
  • Sacramento students who attend the culinary arts programs at San Joaquin Delta College face a longer commute (42 miles from downtown Sacramento), but can benefit from lower tuition costs than ARC. It offers two certificate and two associate's degree programs in baking and pastry as well as in culinary arts.
  • Students who prefer a rural setting have the option of studying culinary arts at Yuba College in Marysville, 41 miles from downtown Sacramento. It offers a certificate and an associate's degree program in culinary arts.

Comparison of Schools

Students looking for a cooking school must consider factors such as the school's size, cost and its graduation rate. This table offers that information in an easy-to-access format.

American River College San Joaquin Delta College Yuba College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 31,858* 17,849* 5,529*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Midsize suburb
Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $1,104 in-state; $8,208 out-of-state* $1,104 in-state; $6,720 out-of-state* $1,124 in-state; $6,284 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 73%* 76%* 85%*
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; 50% for part-time students* 79% for full-time students; 58% for part-time students* 64% for full-time students; 40% for part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2014) 28%* 26%* 23%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

American River College

The culinary arts courses at American River College are provided by the school's Fine and Applied Arts division. Some of these programs require students to work in the Oak Café, the school's student-run, fine dining restaurant.

Introductory Baking Certificate

Students in this 21-credit program explore sanitation and equipment safety, fine baking and the process of becoming a chef. They also learn to make bread, dough and pastries and complete a food theory and preparation course.

Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management Certificate

Students in this certificate program must complete at least 41 credits of coursework, including hands-on training at the Oak Café. Students learn about advertising and sales, professional cooking, restaurant production and legal aspects of the hospitality industry. They also complete a hospitality management work experience.

Hospitality Management: Restaurant Management Certificate

This certificate program requires students to complete 10 courses. The curriculum covers food preparation, beverage operations, cost control and dining room management. Students also put in time at the Oak Café. Although the program puts an emphasis on management and customer service concepts, students still gain fundamental cooking skills.

Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management

Associate's degree candidates must complete 60 credits of coursework, including 43 credits in culinary arts classes. Topics covered include management and supervision in the hospitality industry, food service advertising and sales, professional cooking and becoming a chef. Students also must work at the Oak Café and complete an internship in hospitality management.

San Joaquin Delta College

San Joaquin Delta College offers 2 associate's degrees and 2 certificates in the field of culinary arts. These programs are provided by the school's Arts and Communication Division, and the school has a Student Chef Restaurant where students can receive hands-on training and gain real field experience.

Baking and Pastry Certificate of Achievement

This certificate program can be completed in 3 full-time semesters. Students must complete at least 26 credits of coursework. The curriculum includes courses covering plated desserts, baking and commercial food preparation.

Culinary Arts Certificate of Achievement

This program prepares the student for entry-level employment as a chef's assistant. Subjects studied include sanitation and safety, kitchen management, food and beverage costs, and garde manger. Students must earn 29.5 credits to receive this certificate.

Associate in Science in Baking and Pastry

In addition to courses in baking and pastry, this 60-credit program provides instruction on sanitation, commercial food preparation, food service management, and food and beverage cost technologies. Students in this program learn to prepare and cook breads, candies and pastries.

Associate in Science in Culinary Arts

Students must earn at least 60 credits to obtain this degree. Courses cover menu planning, beverage management, restaurant operations, purchasing and receiving, and baking. This program can prepare students to continue their studies in a 4-year program or become mid-level workers in the industry.

Yuba College

The culinary arts certificate and degree programs at Yuba College are provided by the school's Career and Technical Education division. Students in these programs receive real-world experience at Flavors, a student-operated restaurant.

Culinary Arts Certificate of Achievement

This certificate program requires students to earn 21.5 credits by completing 6 courses. Students learn about sanitation and safety, catering, basic food preparation and professional baking. The sanitation, safety and storage course prepares students for the ServSafe exam, required by the state to acquire the Certified Food Handler designation.

Associate in Science in Culinary Arts

The curriculum in this degree program includes the same courses taught in the certificate program. Students also study beverage operations and purchasing for food service and hospitality and complete general education courses. The program requires students to earn 24.5 credits in the culinary arts curriculum and prepares them for the ServSafe exam.


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