Culinary Schools in San Jose, CA

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The rapid growth of the foodservice industry provides an excellent reason to become a chef if you’re skilled and creative in the kitchen. The advent of YouTube celebrity chefs and Iron Chef and similar competitions sheds some spotlight on the industry – causing many to consider a career in food preparation and hospitality. Although the job is physically demanding, stressful at times, and the financial rewards are not great when you’re just starting out, you might enjoy the freedom to express your creativity in preparing meals that others love. Culinary arts programs cover all the skills you need for entry-level employment as well as the business training needed to open your own food establishment if you choose. The possibilities are endless as to the routes you might take and the places you can go if you continue to build on your knowledge and skills to be listed among the world’s top chefs.

San Francisco Cooking School

The Culinary Arts program at San Francisco Cooking School provides an experience that will aid students in their careers in food preparation. Students will work with local chefs and talents during the in-class workshops and field trips. They will also choose a concentration to receive training in an individual sector. During the Bakery Day, students will execute restaurant service from start to finish and apply all that they’ve learned as they participate in the externship experience at local food establishments. Available concentrations are Restaurants, Food Media, or Food Entrepreneurship. At SFCS, the kitchen is the classroom, so students will cook and taste their way through the program. Course topics include knife skills, vegetable cooking, dry and moist heat cooking methods, proper sanitation and food safety, smart work habits, proper execution of egg cookery, grains and legumes, rabbit and fish, quick breads and pasta, sweet and savory doughs, restaurant week, menu planning, gelatin desserts, fresh cheeses, culinary basics, pace in the kitchen, and taking directions. Full-time classes meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Part-time classes meet Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00 to 10:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Program overview:

Professional Culinary Arts

Duration: 6 months (full-time) 12 months (part-time)

Contact hours: 720

Prerequisites:

  • Review and entire application before submission
  • Initial and sign where indicated
  • Attach personal statement and resume in the email submission
  • Provide two professional recommendations – submitted via the submissions form
  • Attend an interview with a member of the Admissions team and Chef instructor
  • Pay the application fee of $50 online – fee will be applied towards the tuition once accepted

Program cost:

Tuition for the program is $32,015. There is a kit fee of $600. A flexible payment plan is available for all students.

City College of San Francisco

The Culinary Arts program at City College of San Francisco teaches students the skills they need to start a career in culinary arts. The full-time credit program leads to an Associate of Science degree and includes core and general education courses. Students will complete the majority of training in a hands-on way as they prepare food in the student cafeteria and full-service restaurant at Ocean Center. Course topics include introduction o hospitality, culinary fundamentals, principles of food safety, nutrition and culinary arts, meat analysis, restaurant operations, procurement and costing, supervision and management, fundamentals of hospitality financial reports, and hands-on experiences.

Program overview:

Culinary Arts Management AS Degree

Duration: 5 semesters

Units: 72-80

Prerequisites:

  • Apply for admission to CCSF
  • Apply for Financial Aid
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Schedule and attend a new student orientation
  • Obtain English and Math placement through transfer credit, SAT or ACT scores, or waiver
  • Meet with an Academic Counselor to create an Education Plan
  • Register for classes and pay the required fees

Program cost:

Tuition costs $46 per unit for California residents. San Francisco residents may qualify for free enrollment through Free City.

  • Website: https://www.ccsf.edu/
  • Address: 50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, CA 94112
  • Phone: 415-452-5101

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Culinary Arts prepares students for entry into the professional food and beverage industry. The Culinary Arts AA option trains students in all aspects of the culinary arts field. Theory and extensive hands-on training cover classical and modern culinary and service techniques and best practice management skills. Students will learn from faculty who are industry professionals with extensive backgrounds in the food and beverage industry. Major courses include sanitation and safety, culinary arts survey, culinary fundamentals, introduction to baking and pastry, professional plate presentation, production baking, careers in the food and beverage industry, restaurant kitchen, and electives. Certificate options are alos available.

Program overview:

Culinary Arts AA Degree

Duration: 5 semesters

Units: 32 major units

Prerequisites:

  • Must be a resident of California
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Complete the prerequisite courses before applying to the program – must achieve a satisfactory grade of C or higher

Program cost:

Tuition costs $46 per unit for California residents. Students will incur additional costs for textbooks, uniforms, and equipment.

Diablo Valley College

Diablo Valley College provides culinary arts students with the skills and experience they need to become a chef, caterer or entrepreneur. The school offers several certificate and degree options. The Culinary Arts AS degree includes hands-on learning in the teaching lab, fully-equipped kitchen, retail pastry shop, and restaurant. Course topics include introduction to the kitchen, safety and sanitation, protein fabrication, stocks, soups and sauces, breakfast, brunch and bitro cuisine, purchasing operations and systems lab, inventory and ordering systems lab, baking foundations, fundamentals of cuisine, nutritional guidelines in food preparation, international cuisines, fundamentals of modern restaurant, Garde manager, and electives. Graduates will receive an AS Culinary Arts degree.

Program overview:

Culinary Arts AS Degree

Duration: 4 semesters

Units: 60

Prerequisites:

  • Apply to DVC online
  • Apply for Financial Aid
  • Complete the online orientation after receiving a student ID number
  • Obtain English/ESL and math placements – standardized tests are not available
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Complete the COUNS 095 class to obtain academic advising and complete an educational plan
  • Register for classes in the inSite portal

Program cost:

Tuition costs $46 per unit for California residents. Students will incur additional costs for textbooks, uniforms, and equipment.

  • Website: https://www.dvc.edu/
  • Address: 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
  • Phone: 925-685-1230

Center for Employment Training

The hands-on culinary program at CET provides adults with skills needed for entry-level employment. Students will learn safety and sanitation and will have the opportunity to earn a Food Manager’s Serve-Safe certificate. Classes will include kitchen-related math and vocabulary, methods of cooking, sauces, stocks, and soups, starches, and vegetable cookery. Students will practice in the pantry, learn baking and pastry skills, and study nutrition concepts. Instruction will include lectures, hands-on classroom, small group, and individual projects. Course modules include customer service skills, basic computer skills, job preparedness, nutrition and menu planning, knife skills, culinary terminology, and baking basics. Students will have access to tools and equipment for training on a daily basis. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Program overview:

Culinary Arts Certificate

Duration: 29.5 weeks (part-time only)

Clock hours: 810

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Applicants under 18 years but older than 16 years may be admitted but must have a high school diploma
  • No preacademic experience is required for admission to the program
  • Complete CASAS ESC Appraisal to demonstrate reading and math proficiency
  • Attend a general information session presented by an Admissions Advisor
  • Sign the enrollment agreement
  • Provide a social security card and driver’s license or official picture ID

Program cost:

Tuition costs $15,200. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

  • Website: https://cetweb.edu/
  • Address: 701 Vine Street, San Jose, CA 95110
  • Phone: (408) 534-5360

Mission College

The Culinary Arts Associates in Science is an expansion of the Hospitality Management program at Mission College. The curriculum covers traditional and modern food preparation, presentation, and service practices common throughout the industry. Training will also include menu planning, maintenance of a safe and fair working environment, and cost control. Students will learn to use forecasting techniques to translate business objectives and financial documents, create and execute kitchen functions and processes, and lead the kitchen in a professional manner. They must complete the applicable units with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better to graduate from the program.

Program overview:

Culinary Arts Associates in Science

Duration: 24 months

Units: 60

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Apply for admission to Mission College and obtain a Student ID number
  • Apply for Financial Aid
  • Obtain English/ESL and math placements – standardized tests are not available
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Sign the enrollment agreement
  • Provide a social security card and driver’s license or official picture ID

Program cost:

Tuition costs $46 per unit for California residents and $353 per unit for nonresidents.

Laney College

Laney College provides culinary arts students with the practical knowledge, skills and experience to succeed in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Experienced faculty are professionals who are approved by industry organizations like the Retail Bakers Association (RBA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The curriculum covers theory and practical experiences in restaurant management and cooking procedures. Course topics include introduction to culinary arts, hospitality careers, culinary math fundamentals, ingredients and equipment, stocks, soups and sauces, recipe, formula and food costs, dynamics of heat cooking, quantity food production lab, introduction to baking, managing food sanitation, dining room service and management, Garde manager and contemporary American bistro cooking, and supervision in the hospitality industry. Graduates will receive an Associate in Science degree. A certificate of achievement option is also available.

Program overview:

Culinary Arts Restaurant Management Associates in Science

Duration: 24 months

Units: 60

Prerequisites:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Apply for admission to Laney College
  • Apply for Financial Aid
  • Obtain English/ESL and math placements – standardized tests are not available
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Sign the enrollment agreement
  • Provide a social security card and driver’s license or official picture ID

Program cost:

Tuition costs $46 per unit for California residents. Costs for books, fees, and equipment must be covered by the student.

  • Website: https://laney.edu/
  • Address: 900 Fallon St, Oakland, CA 94607
  • Phone: (510) 834-5740