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Culinary Schools in San Jose

Long before it became a part of Silicon Valley, San Jose was known as a part of the Valley of Heart's Delight. It was an area teeming with orchards and fields that produced apricots, cherries, prunes and peaches. Those fields and orchards were replaced with the expansion of high tech businesses and industry in the region, but delicious food lives on in San Jose. Today, the city hosts an eclectic food scene that includes Vietnamese, Middle Eastern and Mexican restaurants alongside fine dining and contemporary establishments.

Culinary Arts

Famous San Jose restaurants and chefs

Although sometimes overshadowed by San Francisco, its Bay Area neighbor to the north, San Jose has plenty of good food as well as numerous career opportunities for those getting ready to graduate from culinary schools in San Jose.

Here are just a few of the notable names that have made it big in the San Jose food scene.

  • Michael Mina: While he got his start in San Francisco, accomplished chef Michael Mina has gone on to share his culinary talents with other communities by opening 20 destination restaurants. Among those is Arcadia in San Jose.
  • Joey Chestnut: Not everything culinary related needs to be high-brow. San Jose resident Joey Chestnut is a competitive eater who rose to fame by proving he could everything from chili to shrimp cocktail to hot dogs faster than just about anyone else on the planet.
  • Mike Mashayekh: As a longtime restaurateur in San Jose, Mike Masheyekh opened the fine dining establishment Le Papillon in 1977. The restaurant has evolved over the years to meet the changing tastes of area residents and remains a top pick for local foodies.

Overall, the San Jose metro area employs more than 90,000 individuals as part of its leisure and hospitality industry. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which also found that jobs in the industry rose 4 percent from November 2013 to November 2014.

Zagat rates more than 40 restaurants in San Jose, ranging from fast food to chains to one-of-a-kind establishments. Of those, Le Papillon and Arcadia are both among the top ten restaurants. While those two picks can make for an impressive dining experience, they aren't the only places in town worth trying. San Jose foodies won't want to miss these other restaurants offering foods for every taste and budget.

  • Falafel Drive-In: Touted as the place for authentic Mediterranean food, Falafel Drive-In has been voted number one in San Jose by visitors to travel website TripAdvisor.com.
  • SmokeEaters: For those who like their food hot, SmokeEaters has you covered. Known for bar and grill type food, its Hellfire Challenge, which asks participants to down 12 Hellfire Wingers, was featured on the Travel Channel's Man v. Food.
  • Back A Yard: Over at Yelp, users have given Back A Yard the best overall ratings of any San Jose restaurant. It's a Caribbean American Grill that is also a 2015 Michelin recommended restaurant.

Of course, these are just a few of the restaurants catering to San Jose foodies. Dining enthusiasts can also find spots serving up Ethiopian food, Mexican fare and everything else in between.

Culinary schools & career outlook in San Jose

Students getting ready to graduate from cooking schools in San Jose can build upon the successes of current chefs and restaurants with their own career in the culinary arts. The diverse food scene opens up a number of other career possibilities. Graduates from culinary schools in San Jose may go on to be bakers, food service managers or even private cooks.

What's more, many of these occupations are expected to see double digit percentage growth in the coming years. The following chart represents average employment and wages in San Jose for a sampling of these culinary occupations, as well as the overall job growth expected statewide in the coming years.

OccupationTotal Employment in San Jose (2013)Average Salary in San Jose (2013)% Job Growth in California (2012-22)
Bakers 1,120 $26,610 11%
Chefs and Head Cooks 710 $45,290 13.7%
Food Service Managers 1,680 $55,510 11.8%
Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria 2,030 $31,250 16.2%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, and Projections Central

It's an exciting time for the culinary scene in San Jose. Old restaurant mainstays are being joined by newer establishments that are experimenting with bold flavors and ethnic cuisine. In addition, with business travelers and tourists alike making their way to Silicon Valley, San Jose will need workers to fill not only restaurants, but other hospitality hot spots as well.

Have a look at the list of San Jose culinary schools compiled below and make your entrance into the world of innovative cooking in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Sources:

  • Projections Central, California, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  • Best Restaurants in San Jose, CA, TripAdvisor, http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g33020-San_Jose_California.html
  • Economy at a Glance, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ca_sanjose_msa.htm
  • May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41940.htm#35-0000
  • Farrington Historical Foundation, Our Legacy, http://www.farringtonfoundation.org/legacy/
  • 2015 Top American Restaurants in San Jose Area, Gayot, http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/best-sanjose-ca-top10-american_51sj.html
  • Restaurants San Jose CA, Yelp, http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=famous+chef+restaurants&find_loc=San+Jose%2C+CA#find_desc=restaurants
  • San Jose Restaurants, Zagat, http://www.zagat.com/c/san-francisco-ca/san-jose-restaurants
  • Chef Michael Mina, http://www.michaelmina.net/chef-michael-mina
  • Joey Chestnut, EatFeats, http://eatfeats.com/query.php?_table=eaters&id=3
  • San Jose, Man v. Food, http://www.travelchannel.com/shows/man-v-food/episodes/san-jose
  • Le Papillon, Visit San Jose, http://www.sanjose.org/plan-a-visit/restaurants/le-papillon

This list also contains online schools that accept students from San Jose

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
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1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Online Courses
  • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
  • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
  • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
  • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
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  • Online Courses
  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
  • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
  • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
  • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
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  • Online Courses
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Transferable Credits
  • Ranked 25th among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • One of the world’s leading private research universities.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 9:1, and 56.8% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has an average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, of 96.8 percent.
  • Dedicated to a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education since 1880.
  • Its faculty includes National Academy members, Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and more.
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  • Online Courses
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2014 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Houses one of the largest library systems in the Pacific Northwest, with 3 libraries on the Pullman campus and a library at each regional campus.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
  • Has 5 Washington campuses in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

American University’s Kogod School of Business has been educating business leaders since opening its doors in 1955 as Washington D.C.’s first university-level school of business. Faculty members are scholars who are dedicated to fostering collaborative learning environments.

  • Online Courses
  • Ranked #11 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
  • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
  • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
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  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Saint Francis University’s 100% Online Master of Human Resource Management

Saint Francis University’s online Master of Human Resource Management program provides students with the theoretical and practical advanced knowledge necessary to become human resource leaders of the best kind.

  • Online Courses
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

• Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
• Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
• Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
• 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.

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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Gives students the option to choose from day, evening, and weekend classes to fit their schedule.
  • Offers public spa and salon services at all campuses for students to gain real-world experience.
  • Provides short specialty programs and workshops open to non-students as well.
  • Has 60 campuses across the United States.
  • Accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS).
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  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid

Other San Jose, California Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
San Jose State University Foods & Nutrition Studies