America’s Top 20 Culinary Schools


Hands-on kitchen classes and practical field experience help define the measure of success.

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Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Campuses: Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colorado
Founded: Austin (formerly Culinary Academy of Austin) was founded in 2001; Boulder (formerly Culinary School of the Rockies) was founded in 1994. Both became Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts campuses in 2010.
Degrees/Programs: Certificates in Culinary Arts and in Baking and Pastry.

Columbus State Community College

Campus: Columbus, Ohio
Founded: 1963
Degrees/Programs: Associate of Applied Science Degree in Baking and Pastry, Culinary Apprenticeship, and Restaurant and Foodservices Management.

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)

Campuses: Hyde Park, New York; St. Helena (Greystone), California; San Antonio, Texas
Founded: 1946
Degrees/Programs: Bachelor’s Degrees in Culinary Arts Management, Baking and Pastry Arts Management, or Culinary Science; Associate Degrees in Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts.

El Centro College

Campus: Dallas, Texas
Founded: 1970
Degrees/Programs: Applied Associate Degrees in Baking and Pastry, Culinary Arts, or Food and Hospitality Service.

Faulkner State Community College

Campuses: Gulf Shores, Alabama
Founded: 1996
Degrees/Programs: Associate in Applied Science Degrees, Certificate Programs, and Training Certificates in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, Pastry and Baking, Hospitality Management, and Events Planning.

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Campuses: Jacksonville, Florida
Founded: 1990
Degrees/Programs: Associate of Science Degree in Hospitality or Culinary Management, Certificate in Food and Beverage Management; Certificate in Culinary Arts.

Indian Hills Community College

Campus: Ottumwa, Iowa
Founded: 1984
Degrees/Programs: Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts; Diploma in Bakery Program and in Chef Program.




i feel that 20 school is a bit too much to list. i would have gone with 10 at most. however this is still a great list.

Where is JJC on this list? Last I checked JJC spanked most of these school in culinary competitions, and field preparation. Oh well, I guess the money these schools spend on media exposure takes away from the students.

Perhaps Joilet is not on this list because JJC students/supporters leave negative comments and reak of sour grapes? Way to represent! Such a shame. I met Joilet students at the last ACF central regionals, and they were clearly a great group of kids. My school is on this list, and you can bet it spends little to nothing on media exposure. Try again.

Not all of these schools have deep pockets! Several of them are state run community colleges and there is no media exposure at all.

JJC is a joke. the only reason they have won anything was because they had alums on the judges panel.

This list is extremely misleading.....This is the top 20 PROGRAMS, not schools. There is a HUGE difference between Johnson & Wales, Providence campus and all the others; a huge difference between the ICS schools at the Art Institutes in Las Vegas & Fort Lauderdale (my alma mater) and the other campuses.....and most of the Cordon Bleu campuses are older culinary schools that franchise the name from the originals and have no affiliation with the originals in Europe.

Agreed. what are community colleges doing on a list next to the best culinary schools on earth. Im fairly sure if you put those community colleges up against the big names such as my school (CIA) or JWU or Le cordon Blu, they would be humiliated.

Only if you were putting them up against Johnson & Wales in RI, or the European LCBs. The Miami JWU and the franchisees of the LCB name here in the State would probably gettheir tall poofy hats handed to them.I wasn't dissing the smaller programs; on the contrary--I was pointing out that not all schools within a program are equal. JWU Providence is exceptional, JWU Miami had their student run restaurant closed by the Health Dept. Even the two or three Art Institutes that are exceptional, i wouldn't recommend, due to the parent company's recent foray into tuition gouging for federal loan monies. Even great education isn't worth 25 years of crushing student loan debt sometimes.

Actually, that's not true. A handful of the chefs at my school ( SICE of Grand Rapids Community College) are graduates from the CIA. They often say that our classes are as equal and we have better opportunities. I have even heard that they wished that they could have attended our program. Yes, we are a part of a community college, but that does not mean a thing. We also have the opportunity to continue to universities around us with most of the credits transferring and fulfilling majority of the BA degrees. Our school is constantly growing with great accredited, internationally rated & top in the world. So, CIA or JW is no different.


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