The Best Culinary Schools

The timeline of culinary arts in America goes back to the 1800s. The first cooking school in America was founded in Boston, and in 1896 the first cookbook was written by Fannie Farmer.

If you intend to become a part of this rich history, culinary schools are an important first step. As a student in culinary school, you will learn the basics of professional food preparation, sanitation, food waste management, nutrition, and the business side of operating a restaurant. Below are some of the best culinary schools in the country.

1. Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu is one of the world's best culinary institutions, and it has campuses in the United States and around the world. Le Cordon Bleu has existed for more than 100 years with a focus on mastering classic culinary techniques, French cuisine, and hospitality management. Many students who graduate from Le Cordon Bleu go on to work at five-star restaurants. Some graduates even some start their own successful restaurants. Legendary cooking-show host and cookbook author Julia Child studied at this school before starting her career. The Le Cordon Bleu campuses in the U.S. offer a program where you can receive an associates' degree in culinary arts.

2. Johnson and Wales University

Johnson and Wales University was founded in 1914 and is considered one of the top culinary arts programs in the nation. This school offers a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts. Some of the offered courses include traditional European cuisine, nutrition and sensory analysis, garde manger, advanced patisserie, and brewing arts. Johnson and Wales also offers 40 study abroad programs so students can obtain real-world experience in restaurants around the globe. Johnson and Wales has campuses in Providence, R.I.; Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. This school has also received high ratings from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

3. Culinary Institute of America

The Culinary Institute of America was founded in 1946 as New Haven Restaurant Institute, and until the 1970s it was based in New Haven, Conn., before relocating to Hyde Park, N.Y. As of this year, 27 of the institute's graduates have been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award. The school's graduates include big names like John Besh, Michael Chiarello, Anthony Bourdain, and Sara Moulton. The Culinary Institute of America offers an associate's degree in culinary arts, a bachelor's degree in culinary arts management, and a bachelor's degree in culinary science.

These three culinary schools are known for their excellence in training aspiring chefs for long-lasting careers. They offer diverse degree programs and real-life work experience through internships and study abroad programs. Before choosing which culinary school is right for you, think about what kinds of instruction you are interested in and what your specific career goals are.

Last Updated: August 10, 2017