25 Best Cooking Classes In America

For most, attending culinary school is not a logical career step — even if one fosters an extraordinary appetite for good food and a serious passion for cooking. In most cases, the time, the cost, and the practicality of vocational school are simply, albeit sadly, unreasonable.

 Nevertheless, that doesn't stop cooking enthusiasts from literally craving the professional instruction and knowledge taught in cooking schools, and it doesn't stop them from wanting to be better cooks! For these types of people, recreational and advanced amateur cooking classes are the answer.

As we get closer to the No. 1 spot on the list, the seriousness and depth of the training and the breadth of learning sharpens. Specifically, here is what we looked for when reviewing amateur cooking classes:  

The range of options: We studied the spectrum of topics offered, their frequency in scheduling, and their accessibility to potential students. 

Click here to see the 25 Best Cooking Classes in America (slideshow)

The value of program: We reviewed the facilities, the instructors, and reputation of the school, and most importantly, the seriousness of the school. A higher ranking reflects classes that will truly teach the students how to become better cooks; helping them to understand the process, the science, and the fundamental techniques of cooking.

Boot camps: Boot camps are intensive cooking series courses designed to give a more thorough education. These courses are more comprehensive and are differentiated from the one-off classes offered; therefore schools that included these intensive courses within their curriculum were weighted accordingly.  

Cost: The cost of the courses were compared the value of the classes offered. Note that location and reputation of the school significantly impact the cost of the classes (making them more expensive) although the quality in education and atmosphere is usually, in our opinion, worth the value.

25 Best Cooking Classes in America

25. Sur la Table 

24. De Gustibus Cooking School

23. Hipcooks

22. The Brooklyn Kitchen 

21. Cakebread Cellars 

20. North Carolina BBQ Society 

19. Kitchen on Fire 

18. Cook Street 

17. Home Cooking New York

16. The Chopping Block 

15. Loretta Paganini School of Cooking

14. Culinary Classroom 

13. The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

12. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

11. Portland Culinary Workshop 

10. Bon Vivant Cooking School

9. Chef's Choice Cooking Classes–Johnson and Wales

8. The French Pastry School 

7. New School of Cooking 

6. Chocolate Academy 

5. Kendall College 

4. San Francisco Cooking School 

3. International Culinary Center 

2. Culinary Institute of America

1. Institute of Culinary Education