The 10 Best Culinary Schools in America

In partnership with Voss Water, The Daily Meal ranks the best professional cooking schools in America

Every aspiring chef wants the best education possible to, of course, become the best chef possible

Working in a restaurant is simply nothing like cooking at home for friends and family, and for even the most passionate of cooks, a life in a professional kitchen may not be the right choice. Many don’t realize or understand the extraordinary dedication, time, and hard work it takes to become a real cook — let alone a real chef.

Consider these 10 things before applying to culinary school, and if you still dare to submit yourself to the intensity of the culinary industry — or if you are burning with a passion that simply cannot be extinguished — getting the right education is key.

Click here to see the 25 Best Cooking Classes in America 

Every aspiring chef wants the best education possible to, of course, become the best chef possible. There are numerous educational options available to young future chefs, but where do you start? Which schools are the best?

  For the answer, The Daily Meal teamed up with Voss Water to present the 10 best culinary schools in America.

Facilities and instructors, degree programs, reputation and notable alumni, the length of study, and finally, the cost of tuition were all evaluated in the ranking process.

Although many schools offer pastry programs, bachelor’s degrees, and hospitality management courses, for comparison purposes — specifically in regard to cost and length of study — associate and certificate degree programs were primarily appraised.

So if you imagine yourself to be the next Anthony Bourdain, David Chang, or Daniela Soto-Innes, start with this list and choose the right school for you.

10. San Diego Culinary Institute

9. Sullivan University National Center for Hospitality Studies

8. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

7. L’Academie de Cuisine

6. Kendall College School of Culinary Arts

5. New England Culinary Institute

4. Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts

3. International Culinary Center

2. The Culinary Institute of America


1. Institute of Culinary Education