Top 8 Culinary Schools in California

Best Culinary Schools in California

Best Culinary – Baking & Pastry – Hospitality Schools in California

California offers one of the largest selections of culinary schools, baking schools and hospitality management programs in the country. If you are living in California and thinking of training to become a culinary chef, pastry chef or enter the field of restaurant management, there are a number of good choices for you to consider.

From the redwood forests to the Golden Gate Bridge, the state of California is a magnificent and exciting place to live. If you’re considering a career in the culinary arts, the Napa Valley and famous wine country offer a variety of culinary opportunity. Likewise, the booming tourism industry in California could mean that it is an ideal location for those interested in hospitality management.

Is There a Top Culinary, Baking or Hospitality Management School Near You?

I’ve listed several of the best California culinary institutes below, in addition to detailed information about Sacramento and San Francisco culinary schools. The schools listed below represent some of the best in the state of California based on accreditation, reputations and student reviews. The right one for you will depend on location, courses, tuition and scholarship availability.

I work with several culinary schools via their brokers and the best way to see if one of these schools is located near you is to fill out the short form below, find a school, fill out the rest of the information request and a representative from the school will contact you to answer your questions and explain how to apply.


The International Culinary School at the Art Institutes

The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute

The International Culinary School at the Art Institutes had 6 locations in California including Hollywood, Inland Empire, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco.

With over 35 years of history as an educational institution, it’s no surprise that The International Culinary School at The Art Institute is known for delivering industry-standard culinary skills and training to students across the United States.


Institute of Technology

Institute of Technology Modesto

The Institute of Technology has two campuses in California, Clovis and Modesto.  The Clovis campus is located at 564 W. Herndon Ave – Clovis, also called called the “Gateway to the Sierras,” and within short driving distances are both the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

The Modesto campus is located at 5601 Stoddard Road – Modesto, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley and the largest city and the seat of Stanislaus County

International Culinary Center

International Culinary Center Campbell

The International Culinary Center in Campbell, CA offers diplomas in Professional Pastry Arts and Professional Culinary Arts. They are located at 700 West Hamilton Ave. Campbell, CA. Through their award-winning, Total Immersion curriculum, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals from experienced chef-instructors who are going to expect the best from you.



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Culinary, Baking & Hospitality Career Outlook in California

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for jobs in the restaurant, food service and hospitality industries is good with projected growth rates. The table below demonstrates some important information you may want to consider when deciding if going to culinary school and then working in California is right for you.

Occupation Total Employment in California (2014) Average Salary in California (2014) Annual Hourly Wage
Bakers 27,900 $26,490 $12.73
Bartenders 57,450 $24,720 $11.89
Butchers & Meat Cutters 20,840 $29,740 $14.30
Chefs & Head Cooks 15,840 $45,340 $21.80
Cooks, Restaurant 126,360 $24,750 $11.90
Cooks, Fast Food 109,620 $20,060 $9.64
Cooks, Short Order 19,080 $23,950 $11.52
Food Service Managers 34,600 $52,010 $25.01
Hosts and Hostesses 43,200 $20,650 $9.93

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Culinary & Hospitality Industry in California Statistics

  • – the average culinary salary for job posting in California are 10% higher than the average nationwide in March of 2013.
  • BLS* – In May of 2014, there were 15,840 Chefs & Head Cooks in the state of California
  • BLS *- the average salary for these Chefs & Head Cooks was $45,340
  • BLS* – Average Hourly Wage for Chefs & Head Cooks is $21.80

The Restaurant Industry in California

The restaurant industry in California is a huge part of their economy and generate jobs for thousands of California residents plus important tax revenues to the state. For every dollar spent in California restaurants, an additional 61 cents is generated in the state’s economy.

According to

  • There were 68,144 eating and drinking places in California in 2014
  • $72.3 billion in restaurant sales projected 2015
  • Restaurants will account for 1,605,300 (10%) jobs in California in 2015
  • By 2025 the projections are 1,781,300 jobs, a 11% job growth