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Culinary Arts Schools in Illinois

Though the state’s landscape is covered with cornfields, Illinois restaurants couldn’t be more diverse. For one, Illinois' strong immigrant background means that tasty cuisine from all around the world can be found there. Think top-notch Jewish delicatessens, Chinese and Thai fares, and Polish delicacies. Chicago has its share of signature dishes, like its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and Polish dogs. And in addition to traditional and hearty meat-and-potatoes Midwestern fare, Illinois is culinary innovation is at its best. Take molecular gastronomy, for example, featured in select Illinois restaurants. At his flagship restaurant in Chicago, Chef Grant Achatz creates seemingly impossible culinary surprises, like lychee bubbles filled with sage vapor on oysters. Wherever their ambitions lie, students in Illinois culinary schools have the opportunity to draw from these examples, and more.

Careers and Culinary Schools in Illinois

The Bureau of Labor Statistics listed Illinois as one of the top states in the country for chef and head cook employment levels. They also reported that the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metropolitan area has especially high employment levels for those positions. In addition, the National Restaurant Association reports that 9 percent of Illinois residents work in the restaurant sector with 6.5 percent growth expected during the next decade. As a result, more than 33,600 new jobs could be created in the state between 2014 and 2024.

While a degree in the culinary arts is not always a requirement to gain employment in the fast-paced restaurant world, a solid degree might help you advance in your career. Make sure to be fully aware of your options – if you're thinking of pursuing a culinary education in the state, be sure to peruse our list Illinois culinary schools below. Culinary arts schools, along with baking and pastry schools, are located throughout the state, so choose the one that looks right for you.

Additional Information on Culinary Colleges in Illinois from Chef2chef.net
Hotel Management Schools in Illinois

Additional Resources and Information for Culinary Students
The 2012 Zagat Survey on dining trends
National Restaurant Association information on Illinois’ restaurant sector
Bureau of Labor Statistics information for chef and head cook careers
Chicagoist blog: Interview with molecular gastronomist Grant Achatz

Browse These Illinois Culinary Schools to Get Started!

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Illinois .

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef, Project Runway.
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  • Academic programs available in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
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  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
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3 Program(s) Found
  • Students spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Programs provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • The first Le Cordon Bleu school officially opened its doors as a culinary school in Paris in 1895.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
Penn Foster , Online
  • 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.
  • Founding member of the National Home Study Council in 1926 (now DETC).
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • In a 2013 survey, 83% of students said they would recommend the university to others.
  • Most degree-seeking online and campus-based students are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
  • Average class sizes is 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Founded in 1937 in Davenport, Iowa as the American Institute of Commerce (AIC).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
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.
  • 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

Find Culinary Schools in Illinois by City

Chicago | Elgin

Other Illinois Culinary Schools

School Name City or Town Programs Offered
Belleville Area College Belleville Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais Family and Consumer Sciences
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale Carbondale Hospitality & Tourism
Kaskaskia College Centralia Advanced Cooking
Parkland College Champaign Foodservice
City Colleges of Chicago - Harold Washington College Chicago Hospitality
City Colleges of Chicago - Kennedy-King College Chicago Baking and Pastry Arts
French Pastry School Chicago Pastry Arts
Lexington College Chicago Associate of Applied Science Degree - Hospitality Management
Robert Morris College - Chicago Chicago Associate Degree Culinary Arts
Roosevelt University Chicago Hospitality & Tourism Management
Westwood College of Technology Chicago Hospitality Administration
Northern Illinois University Dekalb Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality
Illinois Central College East Peoria Culinary Arts - Associate in Applied Science
Elgin Community College Elgin Baker/Pastry Arts
College of Du Page Glen Ellyn Baking and Pastry Arts
College of Dupage Glen Ellyn Culinary Arts (AAS)
Southwestern Illinois College Granite City Certificate in Chef's Apprentice
College of Lake County Grayslake Hospitality and Culinary Management
Rend Lake College Ina Culinary Arts Management
Joliet Junior College Joliet Culinary Arts
Black Hawk College Moline Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
William Rainey Harper College Palatine Hospitality Management
Moraine Valley Community College Palos Hills Culinary Arts
Triton College River Grove Baking & Pastry Arts
Cooking wth the Best Chefs Roselle Baking & Cooking Classes
Lincoln Land Community College Springfield Baking and Pastry Certificate
Shawnee Community College Ullin Hospitality/Food Management.
University of Illinois at Urbana Urbana Hospitality Management