Los Angeles Cooking Classes with Program and School Overviews

Jan 21, 2019

The Los Angeles area has eight colleges that offer cooking programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within 25 miles of downtown, and make an informed education decision.

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Cooking Schools in the Los Angeles Area

Cooking classes in Los Angeles can be found at several area colleges at the certificate and associate's degree levels. This article explores three that are no more than 25 minutes from downtown and the programs they offer. There's also a table of facts about each school that can help prospective students figure out which is their best option. The table includes data on the school's enrollment, tuition, acceptance rate and graduation percentage. Following this is some information on a few other area schools that offer cooking instruction.

  • Los Angeles Trade Technical College offers certificate and associate's degree programs in culinary arts and professional baking. This school is just 4 miles from downtown.
  • About 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena City College has two occupational skills certificate programs, one for baking and pastry and the other for kitchen assistant, as well as an Associate's in Science degree in Culinary Arts and a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts.
  • Cerritos College, about 17 miles from downtown Los Angeles in Norwalk, offers certificate and associate's degree programs in professional cooking as well as baking and pastry.

Comparison of Schools

This table takes important facts about each school and puts them together in a way that allows for easy comparison.

Los Angeles Technical College Pasadena City College Cerritos College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 12,984* 27,324* 17,218*
Campus Setting Large city Midsize city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $1,220 in-state,
$7,538 out-of-state*
$1,348 in-state,
$7,004 out-of-state*
$1,346 in-state,
$8,710 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017-2018) 75%* 61%* 84%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2016) 65% for full-time, 35% for part-time students* 74% for full-time, 55% for part-time students* 76% for full-time, 57% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2014) 27% (8% transfer-out rate)* 36% (8% transfer-out rate)* 24% (13% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) offers Certificate of Completion, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science programs. The culinary arts department features certificates and associate's degrees in culinary arts and professional baking. All of the culinary programs at LATTC are accredited by the American Culinary Federation Educational Institute.

Culinary Arts Certificate

Students in the 48-unit certificate program learn through lectures and hands-on experiences. Some of the general culinary courses explore culinary terminology, nutrition, international cuisine and beverage management. Cooking classes involve learning about baking, smoked meats, ice sculptures, soups and starches, salads and hors d'oeuvres.

Professional Baking Certificate

In this program, professional and experienced instructors teach students how to prepare baked goods, store food and rotate stock. Other classes address general topics like kitchen safety, inventory control and measurement. Graduates must complete 48 credits in order to complete the program.

Associate in Arts in Culinary Arts

To earn the A.A. in Culinary Arts, students are required to complete 18 additional credits of general education courses in addition to the culinary arts courses offered in the certificate program. Students have an opportunity to gain professional experience in the college's cafeteria, restaurant and commercial kitchen.

Associate in Arts in Professional Baking

Prospective bakers receive hands-on experience in LATTC's retail bakery outlet, where they learn how to prepare dough, decorate cakes and fill pies. Other required courses include inventory control, bakery equipment and the use of raw ingredients. Students receive assistance with preparing a resume and learn about interviewing.

Pasadena City College

Pasadena City College offers over 90 academic programs, with over 5,400 associate degrees awarded during the 2017-2018 academic year. Students can pursue cooking classes through two occupational skills certificate programs. These programs are designed to provide students with job skills in a short amount of time.

Occupational Skills Certificate in Culinary Arts - Baking and Pastry

The baking and pastry certificate program is six units and teaches students about baking and pastry techniques, safety and sanitation, measurements and temperature control, mixing and baking procedures, product cost and cooking equipment. Students learn how to make cakes, breads, cookies, cakes and fancy pastries. The program can be completed in two semesters.

Occupational Skills Certificate in Culinary Arts - Kitchen Assistant

The 16-credit kitchen assistant certificate program prepares students for employment in the food service industry. Students in the program receive an introduction to culinary arts, and they gain experience making breads and desserts in the food service baking and pastry course. Graduates can work as line or prep cooks in hotels, restaurants or resorts.

Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts

Forty units are required in order to earn your Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts at Pasadena City College. Courses include advanced baking and pastry, event management, quality cooking technique and food service production. After completion, students may go on to work in the field or complete their AS in Culinary Arts.

Associate of Science Degree in Culinary Arts

In order to graduate with an AS in Culinary Arts, at least 60 units and a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts is required. In addition to completing all culinary arts coursework required for the Certificate of Achievement, additional general education courses must be completed for this degree program.

Cerritos College

Cerritos College offers 180 programs and features education and career training opportunities in business, fine arts, health, science, humanities and technology. The health occupations department offers programs in culinary arts, child development, pharmacy technology, medical assisting and dental hygiene.

Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts - Chef's Training

This certificate program includes basic cooking classes and teaches students about commercial food production and food preparation. Foods such as meats, poultry and pantry items are included in the program content.

Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts - Professional Baking and Pastry

While earning a professional baking and pastry certificate, students take cooking classes in topics that range from food purchasing to food service safety and sanitation. There's an introductory baking class and two baking and pastry production classes.

Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts - Chef's Training

In the associate's degree program, the cooking classes are identical to those in the certificate program of the same study, except additional classes are required in order to meet graduation requirements. Graduates may seek entry-level positions at hotels, catering companies or restaurants.

Associate of Arts in Culinary Arts - Professional Baking and Pastry

As part of their culinary arts degree training, students explore the food industry through lectures and demonstrations of basic baking methods. The baking and pastry classes help students build their culinary skills to be used in professional bakeries.

More School Options

Additional schools in the Los Angeles area that offer cooking courses include Long Beach City College, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Mission College and Cypress College. These schools are approximately 20-25 miles away from downtown Los Angeles.

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