The Best Culinary Schools in the USA

The Best Culinary Schools in the USA | Chef Sac

The best culinary schools in the US are often difficult to narrow down. What are some of your favorite things about food? Is there anything you dislike? What type of cuisine are you passionate about? These questions should come before deciding what school to attend, as they affect your experience and how well you'll learn and perform under pressure while at school.

The best culinary schools in the US consider these factors when enrolling students, opening up opportunities for everyone who wants to know and learn how to become a chef. However, it can be hard to know which one will lead you on a journey that meets all your needs with so many excellent programs.

This article will help break down the top five culinary schools in the country for you. Read on to find out more!

The Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America is considered as a global premier culinary school. It was established in 1946 and offered many different courses of study to prepare students for work in professional kitchens or opening their restaurants. The CIA has campuses all over the US, including the campus at Greystone in California.

As with most top-rated culinary schools, the CIA has various programs designed to suit individual learning styles and career goals. Some popular ones include:

  • Baking & Pastry Arts – Two year Associate Degree program
  • Engineering Sciences – Four year Bachelor's Degree program with an optional focus on Baking Science Specialty Area
  • Wine & Beverage Management – Associate Degree

The CIA offers exciting, high-quality programs that the best instructors teach. As a result, the CIA is one of the best culinary schools in America. With their excellent facilities and commitment to excellence, you'll graduate with the skills needed for a successful culinary career.

The Culinary Institute of America  in San Antonio, USA

The Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Paul Sableman.

Johnson & Wales University

Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is located right here in Rhode Island. JWU offers eight different programs leading to an Associate's Degree or Bachelor's degree. Some popular areas of study are below:

  • Culinary Arts – Two year Associate Degree program
  • Baking & Pastry Arts – Two year Associate Degree program
  • Food Service Management – Four years Bachelor's Degree program
  • Hotel Management – Four years Bachelor's Degree program

This top culinary school is a great place to train. With its emphasis on hands-on learning, JWU offers students the opportunity to work in some of the country's best kitchens and dining facilities. So whether you're looking for a campus experience or want to complete your studies from the convenience of home, Johnson & Wales University has something sure to meet your needs.

Johnson & Wales University Downcity Providence Campus

Johnson & Wales University - Downtown Providence Campus. Photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel.

The Culinary Institute of New York City

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) joined forces with New York City's Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) to create The Culinary Institute of New York City (CINY). It opened in 2011 as an affordable solution for those looking to gain the skills and experience needed for a successful culinary career.

Located in the core of New York City, CINY is dedicated to providing students with on-the-job training while still on campus. At The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), you will learn how to prepare some of the most refined foods available anywhere in the world. With its on-site restaurants, cafes, bars, and grocery store, CIA offers students direct access to some of the best facilities in the industry.

Additionally, this top culinary school makes it possible for you to learn without relocating by offering flexible programs that allow you to attend classes at any one of their many campuses across America or through online options. The CIA also offers adult continuing education courses!

Roth Hall, the primary facility at the school's Hyde Park campus

The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Photo by Jiashiang.

Johnson County Community College

Johnson County Community College (JCCC) is located in Overland Park, KS. It was founded in 1972 and currently enrolls more than 22,000 students each year.

Programs are offered for students at all academic levels. Popular Courses of study include:

  • Arts & Sciences: Associates Degree programs in Arts or Sciences
  • Business & Technology: Associates Degree programs in Business Administration or Applied Science
  • Engineering technology: Two-year program focusing on the technical skills needed to work in fields related to engineering
  • Hospitality Management: Career Oriented Associate's Degree program designed to prepare individuals for entry-level employment upon graduation

This top culinary school offers its students the opportunity to learn how to cook and manage a restaurant successfully. With its student-faculty ratio of 18:1, JCCC ensures that each student receives the individualized attention they need for success.

Johnson County Community College's Culinary Arts Department is currently housed in the newly renovated Sanford L. Steelman Building, featuring state-of-the-art kitchens and classrooms. This top culinary school prepares students to become chefs, food service managers, or restaurant entrepreneurs by providing a broad range of skills, including knowledge in culinary history and basic management principles!

The Johnson County Community College - Wylie Hospitality and Culinary Academy Building includes a demonstration kitchen in a culinary theater.jpeg

Johnson County Community College - Wylie Hospitality and Culinary Academy Building. Photo by Johnson County Community College.

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is a top culinary school. Escoffier is best known for its classic French cuisine, but it also offers programs in international cuisines including Italian and Chinese. The tuition varies based on the program and campus.

Located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts has an excellent reputation within the industry as a school that is dedicated to teaching students new skills while maintaining high standards along with a strong value system. Students can choose from different programs depending on what they wish to learn during their time here. They also offer many online courses.

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is perfect for you if you are looking to learn the best culinary skills from some of the best professionals in the industry.

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Craig Talbert.

Culinary Institute LeNotre

The Culinary Institute LeNotre ranks high in the best culinary school list and they focus on training students with the skills they would need to succeed as chefs and cooks within professional kitchens. They are best known as a school that turns out some of the best chefs in the country.

The tuition varies depending on if you are an international student or not and the program you choose. They do have a robust scholarships program and over 90% of their students receive financial aid in some format.

Located in Houston, Texas, LeNotre also offers various different programs so there’s likely one perfect for your individual interests. 

 These include:

  • Cuisine & Pastry Arts Management
  • Food Production & Food Service Administration
  • Baking Science & Technology
  • Professional Wine Studies - Advanced Sommelier Diploma Program (AWS)
  • Culinary Arts Diploma Program

Culinary Institute LeNorte - Culinary Arts and Baking School in Houston, Texas

Culinary Institute LeNorte - Culinary Arts and Baking School in Houston, Texas. Photo by Culinary Institute LeNorte.

Final thoughts: The Best Culinary Schools in the USA

The best culinary schools in America enroll students based on several factors, including their life goals and interests, which means that there are opportunities for everyone who wants to learn how to become a chef!

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  • Steven Docherty on

    Hello my name is Steve and i have been in the industry for 32 years and am really not happy with the Canadian culinary programs offered and would like to see the program get more longer courses and spending more time on all areas rather then 3 hours on breakfast cooking and 4 hours on vegetables i am not putting it down it just needs to be more professional like USA and Europe i am just curious if you could let me know what i could do or who to contact regarding this matter
    I love the culinary arts programs just would like to see it become more professional in Canada thank you for letting me send this message

  • Saad AbuSada on

    Need further info about Hospitality Management study and career path

  • ange on

    every type of course you wanna take in culinary takes patience and creativity

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