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10 Top Culinary Schools to Look for a New Chef

There are nearly 111,000 chef and head cook jobs in the United States today. If you’re seeking to fill one of these roles, it may have occurred to you to look at culinary schools to find fresh talent. Which schools are reputable enough to graduate top-level candidates to staff your facility? We have 10 of the top culinary schools for you to consider as a resource for your organization.

Best Culinary Schools

#1 When you think of the best culinary schools, the Culinary Institute of America has been around since 1946. Today there are campuses in three states with a variety of certifications available.

#2 The Institute of Culinary Education has facilities in both L.A. and New York. Students come out prepared to work in general culinary arts as well as hospitality management, baking, and more. It’s a particularly good place to look for restaurant and culinary candidates and graduates more than 14,000 students annually.

#3 Like the prior two institutions, Johnson and Wales University has multiple locations around the country with more than 10 different culinary training tracks for students to choose from.

#4 The Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska, may surprise you. It’s recognized as having one of the top culinary programs in the country. It’s a great program geared for top chefs as well as restaurant managers. The tuition is attractive, and so the program regularly graduates a diverse array of new talent into the field.

#5 Auguste Escoffier is called the King of Chefs. His talented faculty at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts specializes in teaching segments such as “Farm to Table,” where students learn about locally sourced and clean foods. Prior to COVID, this program was one of the few in the country devoted to online learning.

#6 The American Culinary Federation gave the Sullivan University National Center for Hospitality Studies an “exemplary” rating. In just 18 months, students can graduate from this top-of-the-line training program. Sullivan typically graduates chefs, food scientists, and nutritionists, among other specialty areas.

#7 The Culinary Institute LeNotre in Houston is another organization that has been around for a few years. It’s expanded since its founding in 1998 to include close to a dozen kitchen and pastry facilities. It’s a great institution with some very promising graduates for you to consider.

#8 It’s no surprise a culinary program in Chicago has made our top 10 list. The Culinary Arts Program at Kendall College has some leading instructors, each with more than 10-years of experience. Students can receive certificates all the way up to a B.A. in Culinary Arts. As you’re looking at schools to partner with, consider that Kendall has graduated a dozen students who went on to receive a James Beard Award.

#9 The Culinary Institute of Savannah is a great program graduating both young and mid-career chefs. In fact, the school specializes in bringing on students who are older and have been in the work world for a while.

#10 Drexel University offers both an undergraduate and graduate degree in culinary arts. Besides graduating some excellent chefs, the program also offers degrees in food quality assurance, product development, and much more.

If you are looking for top culinary candidates to help your team, there’s no need to establish relationships with these organizations. Instead, consider just picking up the phone to Gecko Hospitality to reach qualified, experienced candidates for the role you’re trying to fill. Contact us today. We can help.


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