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Home | Culinary Schools & Culinary Colleges | Culinary Schools by State | California | San Jose, CA

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.

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
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  • The first Le Cordon Bleu school officially opened its doors as a culinary school in Paris in 1895.
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  • 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.
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  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • In a 2013 survey, 83% of students said they would recommend the university to others.
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  • Founded in 1937 in Davenport, Iowa as the American Institute of Commerce (AIC).
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  • Its career-focused online and hybrid programs are designed to address the skills gap in America.
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
  • Offers over 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.
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  • Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
  • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
  • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
  • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
  • Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
Good for Working Adults
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Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

  • Online Courses
  • Admission is on a rolling basis, with programs starting each month.
  • Accepts Military Tuition Assistance (MTA) and will assist in getting required documents toan Educational Service Officer.
  • Lecture classes will have no more than 120 students. Lab settings will typically have 6, 9, 12 or 24 students to one lab instructor.
  • Career Development Department helps students edit resumes & research the job market. It also maintains an updated record of potential employers in the industry.
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  • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
  • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
  • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
  • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
  • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
  • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
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  • Online Courses
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  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current and relevant.
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
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  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs and Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
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  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • The program culminates in a Master of Science degree, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies External link.
  • The school was founded in 1903, dedicated to its mission, “to improve the health and well-being of all people.”
  • The program is a blend of highly interactive online class sessions, social connections between peers and faculty, and real-world clinical experiences.
  • Programs include health systems administration, international health, and more.
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  • Ranked #11 in the 2014 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
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  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
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  • Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon University is a premier, private, accredited, nondenominational Christian university located in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 16:1 and 33.9% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • As a Christian university, the school encourages students to find their purpose in Christ, with an emphasis on applying Christian values and ethics to the workplace.
  • 65% of students have cars on campus, and alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age.
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  • Ranked #18 Best Education Schools by U.S. News and World Report in 2014.
  • Established in 1918 with the mission, “to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally.”
  • The first major research university to offer an online M.A.  in teaching program.
  • Offers certificate through doctoral programs in teaching, counseling, and more.
  • All programs taught with the guiding principles of leadership, learning, accountability, and diversity.
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Other San Jose, California Culinary Schools

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