Our 8 Best Culinary Arts Schools

Our research team has analyzed many culinary programs and has ranked the top culinary schools based on our findings. The following culinary programs represent our winners and can be trusted to offer excellent training at a fair value.

Our list also includes a few international culinary schools for the aspiring traveling chef. Culinary Schools were judged on a number of factors, including but not limited to, faculty to student ratio, value, post-graduation career effectiveness, and overall satisfaction by the students. Local Cooking Classes is pleased to announce International Culinary Center as our Overall Winner for Top Culinary Program. The ICC staff provides a world-class teaching environment which is personal and individualized thanks to their low student to teacher ratio. We want to congratulate the team at ICC for maintaining one of the highest standards in the culinary field and always continuing to push the creative boundaries within culinary arts.

Programs Offered at ICC

– Professional Culinary Arts
– Professional Culinary Arts + Farm-To-Table
– Professional Pastry Arts
– Italian Culinary Experience
– Spanish Culinary Arts (NYC only)
– Cake Techniques & Design (NYC only)
– Art of International Bread Baking (NYC only)
– Intensive Sommelier Training
– Culinary Entrepreneurship (NYC only)
– Additional ICC program details here


New York Location
462 Broadway
New York, NY 10013
NY: (888) 324-2433

California Location
700 West Hamilton Ave
Campbell, CA 95008
CA: (866) 318-2433

Career Programs: Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Cake Techniques & Design, Bread Baking, Italian Culinary, Spanish Culinary, Culinary + Farm-to-Table, Sommelier Training, Culinary Entrepreneurship

For 30 years, the International Culinary Center (ICC) has been known as one of the best professional cooking schools in the world. Our graduates include talents such as Bobby Flay, David Chang, Dan Barber, Michael Chernow and Daisy Martinez. Whether the focus is Classic Culinary, Pastry Arts, Cake Design, Bread Baking, Wine Studies or Restaurant Management, an ICC graduate leaves with the credentials, confidence and global connections for a rising career.

The secret to ICC’s award-winning program: a Total ImmersionSM curriculum with hands-on instruction that transforms students from novice to professional skill levels in six months and entails real-world restaurant line work. Deans include legendary chefs Jacques Pépin, Jacques Torres and José Andrés.

A low student-to-teacher ratio assures students get the attention needed to flourish in our state-of-the-art kitchens. The ICC experience reaches far beyond the kitchen; set in the culinary capital of New York City’s Soho and California’s lush Silicon Valley, students have access to some of the very best restaurants, vineyards and chefs in the world. Last month, the White House announced that ICC was selected with the James Beard Foundation to build the USA Pavilion at World EXPO in Milan, a testament to the excellence and excitement at ICC as it marks its 30th anniversary next year. Learn why Mario Batali says that learning to cook at ICC is “like going to Oxford to study English.”  

To read more about International Culinary Center, please visit our ICC page.

Press Release – Other Top Culinary Schools” Our research team has analyzed many culinary programs and has included only the top culinary schools based on our findings. Our winners can be trusted to offer excellent training at a fair value while still maintaining an innovative edge in the culinary field. We want to congratulate the culinary schools below for maintaining one of the highest standards in the culinary field and always continuing to push the creative boundaries within culinary arts.


50 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 847-0700

Career Programs: Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking Arts, Culinary Management, Hospitality Management

The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) is New York City’s largest and most active center for culinary education. Founded in 1975 by Peter Kump, the school offers highly regarded eight to 13-month career training programs in Culinary Arts, Pastry & Baking, Culinary Management, and Hospitality Management. With an in-depth global curriculum, dedicated chef-instructors, a strong record in job placements, and a clear entrepreneurial focus, ICE is widely recognized by top industry organizations as a premier pathway to begin or continue a culinary career.

ICE also runs the largest program of hands-on recreational cooking and baking classes and wine education in the country, in addition to hosting hundreds of corporate and private cooking events a year.

ICE just won the 2013 International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Cooking School of the Year award. ICE was also a finalist and winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2008 Awards of Excellence for Culinary Schools. ICE students and alumni regularly are nominated for or win top industry awards, such as James Beard awards, Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in America, and Dessert Professionals’ Top Ten Pastry Chefs.

Other Programs:

Our whole recreational department of classes is available as electives to students so they have 1800 choices. Coming up choices include classes like Techniques of Fish and Shellfish, Gluten-Free Bread, Easy Weeknight Suppers, Parisian Afternoon Tea & Vegetarian BBQ. We also have new programs for our professional development department like Professional Bread Baking and Professional Cake Decorating. In addition we have a series of Professional Development classes for those who are already Chefs. It helps Chefs stay ahead of the trends.

Holistic Nutrition & Culinary Arts
Email: info@baumancollege.org

Locations: Berkeley, Sonoma County, and Santa Cruz California and Boulder Colorado

Natural Chef Training Program

The Natural Chef Training Program is committed to the development of nutrition-based, therapeutic chefs who are artists in food preparation and presentation. Coursework emphasizes nutritional and therapeutic cooking as well as a mastery of all necessary kitchen skills, including knife skills and ServSafe® requirements for safety and sanitation. In addition to culinary skills, instruction in business development, marketing, and large scale food production will help prepare students for a wide variety of careers upon graduation.

In-house Culinary Skill Hours further hone students’ culinary prowess, while an independent Culinary Externship allows students to have hands-on experience in the area of their choice: as a personal chef or caterer, in a natural food restaurant, for a community kitchen, at a retreat center, in a cooking class, and more.

Nutrition Consultant Training Program

The Nutrition Consultant Training Program provides students with an in-depth knowledge of the foundations of whole food nutrition as it contributes to the prevention of illness and the promotion of optimal health. In the program, students study the fundamentals of nutrition: physiology, anatomy, macro and micronutrient selection, and the effects of foods on the body. They graduate equipped with the tools necessary to provide expert evaluation of diet and lifestyle, and to make recommendations for food selections, supplementation, and lifestyle choices which will enable their clients to reach their best health.A supervised internship allows students to gain experience in venues such as a health practitioner’s office, spa, community center, health club, school, and beyond. Students will use the skills they have learned in their training – writing, presenting, client consultation, research, menu planning, etc. to guide them in selecting their specific areas of interest. During the internship students work in the field, establishing valuable professional connections and partnerships.

Culinary Arts Management Program

2600 Mission Bell Dr.
San Pablo, CA 94806

Email: wchau@contracosta.edu

The Culinary Arts Management program is committed to providing a quality education and training for all students, especially those seeking to become hospitality professionals. Faculty members foster the growth of the individual by providing each student with the skills and knowledge to achieve excellence in his or her goals. The program works in partnership with the hospitality industry to benefit both the students and the professional.

Culinary Arts students hone their skills in real-world settings that offer a rich blend of theory, skill development, and practical application. Many students work and study in the on-campus restaurant, The Three Seasons, which is open to the public a few days a week. Others get practical experience by working on off-campus catering assignments or in internship settings. All students work in the commercial kitchen that is the heart of the program.

1989 Program Excellence
2012 Exemplary Program
2008 National Bellwether Award
Leis Family Class Act a Top 100 Restaurant

310 Kaahumanu Avenue
Kahului, HI 96793

Email: speere@hawaii.edu

Students gain hands-on training, beginning in the skills building laboratory, and then as they rotate through nine kitchen facilities, including a bakery and pastry kitchen, confisserie, garde manger kitchen, production kitchen, quick-order broiler/grille, banquet kitchen, exhibition kitchen, innovations kitchen, and a kitchen for international cuisine. Students prepare for the real world by operating seven restaurants, including a full-service restaurant and six quick-serve outlets.

The campus mall alongside Pa‘ina includes tree planters with seat walks and an open courtyard that provide outdoor seating for 200. Planting areas around Pa‘ina will be used to grow herbs, ornamentals, and Hawaiian staples such as taro, sweet potatoes and ti leaves for use in the cooking classes.

There’s growing emphasis in the culinary industry on new methods to safely prepare, handle and store food products to eliminate food-borne diseases. Pa‘ina utilizes state-of-the-art techniques and equipment, including dedicated seafood/meat butcheries, blast chillers, blast freezers, and vacuum sealers to promote food safety.

Special Recognition:

The Leis Family Class Act was named a winner of OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Best Restaurants in America. The list of winners is derived from more than 5 million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for approximately 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


Email: hello@nginyc.com
Phone: 212-645-5170

48 w. 21st St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10010

Founded in 1977 by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) is the international leader in health-supportive culinary education. Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program is a comprehensive and professional program that trains students to meet the growing demand for culinary professionals who are able to make the connection between food and health. Natural Gourmet Institute also offers public intensives, hands-on instruction, demonstrations and lectures for the healthy cooking enthusiast. On Friday night, the school is transformed into an intimate dining room, where NGI’s Chef’s Training Program students and instructors prepare a three course vegetarian Friday Night Dinner that is innovative, delicious and beautifully presented.

International Culinary Schools

16-20 Wendell Road
London, W12 9RT
Tel: +44 (0) 208 749 6400 x227

Program Highlights: Leiths School of Food and Wine is a leading London cookery school for both professional and amateur cooks.  Leiths run a number of one day and classes from baking, pastry and knife skills workshops, to Thai, Middle Eastern, or Japanese Cuisine. Other classes include one week courses, Saturday morning classes and evening drinks or cookery classes.  There are classes to suit all levels of abilities and timings.  For those looking for a career in cookery Leiths offer a range of professional courses ranging from 10 weeks to one year. Come to Leiths and leave with all the essential skills and confidence necessary to be a culinary success.


Loc. Caminia
88060 Staletti’ (CZ), Italy
Tel: +39.334.333.2554
Email: info@italianculinary.it

Program Highlights: The Italian Culinary Institute in Italy presents in-depth courses that cover every area of cuisine, baking, gelato and patisserie. All programs focus on developing innovative preparations and techniques to produce new menus, production lines and dishes.

Particular attention is given to gustatory perception, flavor assemblies, express cooking, seasonal menu planning, plate art and modern alimentary standards for healthier eating.