California Culinary Colleges ... junior colleges are popular here

Why choose California culinary colleges? From the most sophisticated city of San Francisco to the rural small towns surrounded by wineries or golden villages by the sea, California has everything to offer you in a culinary education.

California has some of the most reasonable costs for education for residents and especially at junior colleges where culinary degrees are available. 

Most junior colleges will offer an option to transfer to a 4-year school but you need to check with the adviser to make sure they do and you take courses that prepare you for transfer. 

Requirements vary depending on the school but usually there is an expected grade point average to be maintained to earn your degree or for entry. 

City College of San Francisco

Having lived in San Francisco, I can tell you it is a very exciting place to live and definitely one of the best locations for culinary. A very diverse cuisine representing cultures from all over the world. 

The wine culture influences the food as well as fresh vegetables available at market stands everywhere all year round. In San Francisco the hospitality industry is robust.

Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management:

Three degree programs:

  • Culinary arts  
  • Food service management 
  • Hotel management 

Two-year programs on semester system to earn Associate in Science Degree and Award of Achievement.  All programs include a management related course. Aligned to obtain certification from American Culinary Federation. 

Students must complete an unpaid internship for credit. Eight-hour day, five days a week - begins early and ends around 2PM - however, they do not recommend part-time work because of the difficulty of maintaining a work/school schedule.

Restaurants, cafe and cafeteria are run by students which gives great training in food preparation and service industries. 

Very reasonable cost for California residents but rigorous program - other requirements: carry 40 lbs and have a 2.0 grade point average minimum from college or high school.

Excellent for culinary - culinary and hospitality studies include cooking, service, lodging, institutions, chains, management, Credit and non credit programs.

Non-professional classes available also--see Food and Fitness course for home cooks is a unique course for nutrition education.

There is a non-credit program available in culinary and service skills. 

Degree programs will facilitate transfer to 4-year college if desired by the student. 

50 Phelan Avenue, SW 156 
| San Francisco, California 94112

Telephone: 415.239.3152
City College of San Francisco

Columbia College

Sonora - rural community college in Sierra foothills - low faculty to student ratio - 2-year program. 

The Annual Columbia Wine Tasting benefits the culinary arts program.

Associate in Science Degree in Hospitality Management: emphasis on Culinary Arts, Hotel Management or Restaurant Management. 

Preparation for: Chef, Line Cook, Hotel Management, Pantry & Dessert Chef, Restaurant Management.

Advisory committee advises on the curriculum to keep cutting edge - consists of local owners of ski resorts, hotels and restaurants. And wine making is a passion - there is a kitchen lab and pastry shop.

11600 Columbia College Dr Ste 1 | Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 588-5135
Columbia College

Diablo Valley Community College

  • Certificate in Baking and Pastry 
  • Certificate in Culinary Arts  
  • Certificate in Restaurant Management  

Eight-hour days/4 days a week - 2 year program to earn a certificate.

Transfer option to 4-year colleges offering hospitality and culinary arts degrees such as Univ of nevada in las vegas and Johnson and Wales Univ. - Transfer students must consult with advisors on curriculum to assure transfer. 

321 Golf Club Rd. | Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 
(925)685-1230 2614
Diablo Valley College

Orange Coast College

Costa Mesa - Another Southern California coastal town south of Los Angeles.

  • AA Degree in Culinary Arts; 
  • Preparation for beginning positions in a commercial kitchen. 
  • Certificate in Advanced Culinary Arts - 9-month program (required certification of achievement in Culinary Arts) - prepares students for chef and head cooks. 

No on-campus housing but apartment listings. 

  • Cafeteria is run by students 
  • The school's catering service helps hospitality students get hands-on catering experience.
  • Culinology Certificate: Culinology is a term by the Research Chefs’ Association and is a blend of culinary arts and food science. Students completing this certificate will have career opportunities in food manufacturing, chain restaurants, hotels, ingredient supply houses, consulting and academia, R & D, sales, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and the media.

2701 Fairview Rd. | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 
(714) 432-5835 25
Orange Coast College

Santa Barbara City College

A beautiful campus by the ocean in beautiful Santa Barbara and a college town. Blue skies most of the year in this Mediterranean climate.

  • AS Degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Arts 
  • Certificate in Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary Arts  

Real life training in their cafeteria, coffee shop and dining room facilitates training.

Two areas of focus:

  • Culinary or Hotel Management  
  • Two year program for degree or certificate 

Off-campus work experience is required as part of the program.

Excellent variety of optional courses such as wine courses, Ice Carving, Modern Food, Advanced Artisan Baking , Farmers and Chefs course, Meat Analysis, Nutrition, Foods of Italy, Chinese cooking, Event Planning, Bar Management, and more.

721 Cliff Dr. | Santa Barbara, CA 93109 
(805)965-0581 2457
Santa Barbara City College

University of Antelope Valley

Lancaster - North of Los Angeles about an hour and a half away - This is not a community college but a 4-year private university (culinary programs are shorter). Programs offered are:

  • Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Associates Degree
  • Culinary Arts Certificate

Certificate programs do not require you have a GED or high school diploma.   There is, however, an Ability-to-Benefit Test.

Morning and evening classes are available.  Semester system.

On-campus dormitories may be available.

Variety of cuisines is taught and classes for beginning your career. Based on the Le Cordon Bleu techniques.

44055 N Sierra Highway | Lancaster, CA 93534University of Antelope Valley

More California Schools:

San Francisco Culinary Schools

Schools in Napa Valley

› California

Please verify all information for California Culinary Colleges - By seeing the department adviser at colleges you will receive more detailed and accurate information than can be provided here. There is a lot of information that we do not have access to since our research is done mostly from sources on the internet. Please call or visit the schools and do your own thorough investigations. We do not recommend schools or give advice. This is an information only website.