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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
  • 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
  • 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
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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
  • 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
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2014 & 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked #7 Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Has over 240,000 alumni on record, including Joseph Biden, Stephen Crane, Dick Clark, and Joyce Carol Oates.
  • Offers study abroad programs in several countries all over the world.
  • Has achieved accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Its main campus is located in Syracuse, New York, with extended campuses in a number of major metro cities including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, and more.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Students can complete an entry-level technician program in about a year, and manufacturer training and graduate in as little as 18 months.
  • Provides technical education training programs for automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, and marine technicians.
  • Partners with many well-known manufacturers, including General Motors, Porsche Cars North America Inc., and BMW of North America LLC.
  • Offers internships to students and alumni for first-hand experience.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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  • Financial Aid
  • 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
  • Has taught thousands of graduates since its founding in 1989 as a career training school.
  • Proud to be a Microsoft IT Academy member.
  • Offers English as a Second Language programs to international students through their ESL Academy campuses in Illinois and Massachusetts.
  • Aims to provide quality, career-focused training led by enthusiastic professionals.
  • Established with campuses in Skokie, Chicago, Elgin, and Gurnee, Illinois.
  • Presents several scholarships—including military and merit-based awards for those who qualify.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
  • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
  • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
  • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • 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