Culinary Schools in San Diego, CA

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Graduates of culinary programs work everywhere from restaurants to cruise lines, hotels, resorts, clubs, hospitals, and schools. Enrolling in a culinary program will change your life for the better especially if you feel drawn to food preparation and management. The career choice is never monotonous as you can build a reputation in one sector or transfer from one to another. The industry is always on the lookout for competent, talented, and professional personnel to join their food service teams. Chefs and food preparation professional earn an income based on their level of experience, uniqueness of their offerings, and location. The income is highest for workers in large cities and established restaurants. Whatever the starting salary, there is always room for growth and expansion. Plus, there will always be jobs available for culinary arts graduates as the National Restaurant Association reports more than 11 million workers in the restaurant sector alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that growth in the industry will be 26 percent in the next decade- a rate that is much faster than the average for all occupations.

San Diego College of Continuing Education

Students enrolled in the culinary arts program at San Diego College of Continuing Education will learn the skills required to start a rewarding career in the food industry. They will learn how to plan and develop menus and prepare and cook food safely. Other areas of study include basic cooking principles, food preparation, safe food handling, and pastry making. Practical sessions will focus on the development of menus, budgeting, and the operation of a restaurant business. The program will emphasize both American and international cuisine and the skills required to become a chef. Instructors take a hands-on approach from the first day. Students will practice in an industrial style kitchen on campus. Graduates may continue to the Culinary Arts and Sciences or the Culinary Arts Advanced programs.

Program overview:
Culinary Arts
Duration: 2 semesters (full-time)

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • Must attend a mandatory orientation before enrollment
  • Provide a valid photo ID and social security card

Program cost:
The training is free but students must pay a materials fee of $425 at the time of enrollment.

Website: https://sdcce.edu/
Address: 4343 Ocean View Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92113-1915
Phone: 619.388.4956

Garfield High

Garfield High hosts a renowned culinary arts program that combines career training with practical living skills in a modern commercial style kitchen. The kitchen is furnished with cutting edge equipment and is adjacent to a courtyard that can hold up to 55 diners. Students will learn how to create edible masterpieces, the math of menus and portions, the history of food, and the business of restaurants and catering. Other areas of study include the science of food preparation, the geography of cuisine, and preparation and serving of food. Students will have the opportunity to develop real-life experience of the food industry as they cater events for the school district and other organizations. The hands-on experience helps graduates transition to the fast-paced world of food prep and catering.

Program overview:
Culinary Arts
Duration: 12 months

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age
  • Submit a completed application for admission
  • Must be in the 11th or 12th grade
  • Attend a student orientation
  • Must have a valid photo ID

Program cost:
Tuition is free for high school students. Students must purchase the required textbooks, practical kits, uniforms, tools, and equipment.

Website: https://garfieldhigh.sandiegounified.org/
Address: 1255 16th Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-362-4500

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College’s Culinary Arts/Culinary Management program offers a unique opportunity for students to work in a real-world setting as they learn. The school’s classroom driven restaurant is open to the public four days a week and is the designated site for the laboratory preparation and service curriculum requirements. The real-time learning and supportive feedback from instructors give students the confidence to transition into the industry. Course topics include introduction to hospitality and tourism, strategic leadership in hospitality, sanitation, safety and equipment, fundamentals of cooking and service, fundamentals of food production theory, menu analysis and event catering, quantity food preparation, food and beverage purchasing and control, and culinary practicum. Graduates will be able to use all basic culinary equipment, demonstrate knowledge necessary to produce food in a safe and sanitary fashion, and explain the relationship between purchasing, receiving, storage, and production of goods sold.

Program overview:
Culinary Arts/Culinary Management Certificate
Duration: 12 months
Units: 31

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Submit a completed application for admission to San Diego Mesa
  • Attend a program orientation with a student account
  • Complete all class requisites before apply to the Culinary Arts program
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Provide a valid photo ID and social security card

Program cost:
Tuition costs $46 per unit for resident students. Students who are not legal residents of California will pay $350 per unit. The costs for books, uniform, equipment, and other supplies are not included.

Website: https://www.sdmesa.edu/
Address: 7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego, CA 92111-4998
Phone: 619-800-2230

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Culinary Lab

The Culinary Diploma program at Culinary Lab is designed for adults who want to learn modern cooking techniques and pursue a career in the culinary industry. The focused curriculum covers modern techniques and scratch cooking, knife skills, vegetable cookery, salads and dressings, whole animal such as pig, lamb, and beef, plate design, advanced plant based, modernist techniques, plating for the camera, breads, pastry, buffet design, small bites, and family and friends’ buffet. The instruction is 100 percent practical with no classrooms or textbooks. A 1000-hour paid apprenticeship is included in the program. Flexible schedules are available for students’ convenience. Classes meet in person twice per week.

Program overview:
Culinary Arts Diploma
Duration: 12 months

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Schedule and complete a phone interview
  • Attend a campus tour
  • Submit an application for admission
  • Must have a valid photo ID
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

Program cost:
Financial aid is available for eligible students.

Website: https://culinarylabschool.com/
Address: 201 E 4th St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: 714-248-0417

Southwestern College

The Culinary Arts program at Southwestern College prepares students for work in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The curriculum is designed to help students develop kitchen skills and food handling techniques. Areas of study include food preparation, functions of ingredients, methods of cooking, food economics, safety, nutrition, and sanitation in the kitchen. Course modules are business English, professional cooking – basic skills, soups, stocks and sauces, advanced skills, cultural foods, food service safety, sanitation, and nutrition, food purchase and control, and computer literacy. Graduates will demonstrate the standards for excellence in purchasing food, preparation of food, and food presentation for in the culinary industry. They will have the required skills to secure entry-level employment in the field.

Program overview:
Culinary Arts: Cooking Essentials Certificate of Achievement
Duration: 64 weeks
Units: 19

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Meet with an Admissions Advisor
  • Attend a program orientation
  • Submit an application for admission
  • Must have a valid photo ID
  • Have a high school diploma or GED

Program cost:
Tuition costs $1,656 for resident students. The cost for non-residents is $12,464. Books and supplies cost an additional $2,384. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

Website: https://www.swccd.edu/
Address: 900 Otay Lakes Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91910-7297
Phone: (619) 421-6700 x5247

Grossmont College

Grossmont College’s Culinary Arts program prepares students for a career as an executive chef teaching of basic principles of food safety and preparation. The program features a wealth of practical experiences on campus as well as through field trips, guest speakers, and apprenticeships at food establishments in the local area. Course topics include quantity foods preparation and production, food purchasing for culinary arts, sanitation for food service, menu management, essential skills, intermediate skills, principles of soups, stocks and sauces preparation, buffet and catering, healthy lifestyle cuisine, baking and pastry arts, advanced food preparation for fine dining, fruit, vegetables, ice carving, and competition, seminar for work experience, and advanced work experience in culinary arts.

Program overview:
Culinary Arts Certificate of Achievement
Duration: 64 weeks
Units: 19

Prerequisites:

  • Be 18 years or older – applicants under 18 must obtain parental consent
  • File an application for admission online
  • Submit official high school and college transcripts
  • Schedule and attend an orientation and program advisement appointment
  • Complete formal registration for the class
  • Provide information and evidence of residence

Program cost:
Tuition costs $46 per unit for resident students. The costs for books, uniform, equipment, and other supplies are not included. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

Website: https://www.grossmont.edu/index.php
Address: 8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Cajon, California 92020
Phone: 619-644-7000

Chula Vista Adult School

The Culinary Arts Baking and Pastry course at Chula Vista Adult School covers all aspects of effective bakery management to prepare students for a career in the food service industry. The curriculum will cover an introduction to baking, chocolate techniques, cookies, breads, pie crusts, decorating and serving pastries, rolls, and other desserts. Students will also learn cake design, wedding cakes, tiered cakes, and decorations. Classes meet Mondays through Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Program overview:
Culinary Arts – Breads, Pastries, Desserts & Cakes
Duration: 18 weeks

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age – applicants under 18 must obtain parental consent
  • Register for the program
  • Attend a student orientation
  • Must have a valid photo ID and social security card

Program cost:
Tuition is free to ease the burden on families during the pandemic but students must pay a supply fee of $125.

Website: http://cva.sweetwaterschools.org/
Address: 1034 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Phone: 619-796-7000
Fax: 619-425-5447

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