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Culinary Schools in Chicago

Students of culinary arts schools in Chicago have many opportunities at their fingertips. This city is easily considered home to some of the best food in the country: although mainly known for its signature deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, Chicago holds more AAA five-diamond restaurants than any other city in the U.S and 21 restaurants recognized by the Michelin Guide. Diners enjoy hundreds of neighborhood eateries offering authentic ethnic cuisine, including Thai, Indian, Mexican, Italian, French, Spanish, Lithuanian, Ethiopian, Cajun, soul food, and more. Known for their culinary innovation, molecular gastronomy restaurants are also located in this popular city. Furthermore, a host of specialty food stores and seasonal farmers' markets make fresh produce accessible, along with the Downtown Farmstand, an indoor farmers market open year-round.

Culinary Arts

Chicago Culinary Schools and Employment

A 2011 Zagat Survey found that diners in Chicago buy about 47 percent of their meals outside of the home. Additionally, The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that chefs and head cooks working in the greater Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metropolitan area in 2013 earned mean annual wages of $44,930. Competition for top positions is going to be strong. While bls.gov expects employment for U.S. chefs, head cooks, and food preparation and serving supervisors to slow down from 2012 to 2022, the National Restaurant Association projects a 6.5 percent job growth in Illinois' restaurant industry over the next decade.

A degree from one of the culinary schools in Chicago isn't necessary to land a job, but a degree can teach skills that may help a career. If you are thinking about pursuing a professional cooking program, there are many culinary colleges in Chicago to choose from. Training is also available in pastries and baking, hospitality and restaurant management, and more. Use the list of culinary schools in Chicago below to help you make a decision about where to go next with your career.

Additional Chicago Culinary Resources
The 2010/2011 Zagat Survey on Chicago restaurants
Explore Chicago dining information and resources
Bureau of Labor Statistics information on a culinary education and job opportunities
National Restaurant Association NRA, Illinois

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Chicago

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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.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
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
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
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
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
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
1 Program(s) Found
  • Has been training students for creative careers since 1921.
  • Provides interactive course materials and unique approaches to curriculum that  support multiple learning styles.
  • Offers a 10% scholarship to eligible active duty, active and drilling members of the Reserve and National Guard. 
  • Its accelerated online courses allow students to learn new course material every 5 ½ weeks.
  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Other Chicago, Illinois Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
City Colleges of Chicago - Harold Washington College Hospitality
City Colleges of Chicago - Kennedy-King College Baking and Pastry Arts
French Pastry School Pastry Arts
Lexington College Associate of Applied Science Degree - Hospitality Management
Robert Morris College - Chicago Associate Degree Culinary Arts
Roosevelt University Hospitality & Tourism Management
Westwood College of Technology Hospitality Administration