Best Culinary Schools in Colorado

Best Culinary Schools in Colorado

A culinary education from one of the best culinary schools in colorado can open doors to many career opportunities for the aspiring student. Whether you prefer to obtain a degree or certificate, acquiring skills from culinary schools in Colorado can get you one step closer to your dreams.

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General Admission Requirements

With most culinary schools, a high school diploma is a prerequisite for being accepted into programs. If, for any reason, you could not obtain one, a GED or equivalent may gain you entry. Be sure to read admission requirements of each school carefully before applying.

Types of Qualifications

To receive extensive training, students can apply for a 4-year Bachelor or 2-year Associate degree. If you need basic skills to qualify for employment, certificate programs are best. It is advisable to choose schools that offer either internships or placement services.

List of Culinary Schools of Colorado

With breathtaking views and unforgettable attractions, Colorado is a vibrant, modern state with a love for nature. Whether you prefer Denver or Durango, there are more than enough quality culinary schools in Colorado to choose from.

Colorado State University

Located in Fort Collins, the Colorado State University is one of the largest schools in the state. It offers Bachelor as well as Associate degrees in Nutrition and Food Science. Students can also major in Food Safety and Nutrition Management to become health inspectors, nutritionists, dieticians and cooks.

University of Denver

Students accepted into the University of Denver can take business courses at the prestigious Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. The Bachelor’s degree covers all topics from sales and marketing to managing food and beverages in a variety of establishments.

The curriculum includes an introductory lecture into the hospitality industry. This is to help students decide where they would like to work after graduation. The program also requires students to go through supervised work sessions to ensure they have the necessary skills to compete in the industry.

The Art Institute of Colorado

The Art Institute campus in Colorado aims to combine culinary artistry with business know-how for a well-rounded educational experience. Students are given the opportunity to develop cooking skills in the school’s kitchen, and to hone their leadership skills by running campus restaurants and eateries.

As part of the Arts Institutes group, the school provides the same financial support and resources available at other campuses. Qualifying students can receive scholarships and art grants to help them complete their education.

Johnson & Wales University

JWU offers Bachelor degrees in Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management. Students looking for a shorter program can opt for a 2-year Associate degree or Certificate. Programs train students to prepare classic pastries as well as presentation and production techniques. The school also encourages healthy cooking by eliminating the use of trans fats.

The Associate degree not only teaches students to prepare food but also provides leadership training as well. It aims to integrate a multidisciplinary approach with courses in Accounting, Marketing and Human Resource Management. Interested students can also take junior sommelier classes as well.

Metropolitan State University of Denver

The Hospitality department at the Metropolitan State University of Denver caters to students who are interested in managing restaurants and hotels. There are also programs for students who want to learn the art of brewing and managing beverages. Management programs require students to have 1,200 hours of work experience to graduate.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

To be admitted into the Cook Street program, prospective students need to pass an interview with the Director of Admissions first. If accepted, aspiring chefs need to complete the 16-week program that focuses on regional cuisine, pastry and wines. With a 90% placement rate, this school is rated as one of the top culinary schools in Colorado.

Emily Griffith Culinary School

Students can kick start their culinary careers with over 1,000 of hands-on training from the Emily Griffith Culinary School. With programs aimed at preparing students for entry-level positions, the school provides cooking, catering and management training.

Students who prefer working in the kitchen are educated on safety and sanitation practices, menu planning, baking and plating. The program also prepares learners to assume managerial positions by offering courses in Food Service Management, Cost Controls and Supervision. The school also offers internships to work at Emily’s Café.

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Nutrition Therapy Institute

Nutritionists are in high demand in the food service industry. If you would like to become one, you can enroll in programs offered at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. The school not only trains students to be nutritionists, it also trains them to be nutritional chefs too. The curriculum blends culinary arts with nutrition to produce health-oriented chefs, bakers, managers and specialists.

Starkey International Institute

The Starkey International Institutes offers courses in bar and wine pairing. Students can learn about the history, fermentation and distillation of wine and other beverages. The program also covers wine cellar management, glassware and organoleptic courses. The institute’s extensive curriculum makes it one of the best culinary schools in Colorado for aspiring sommeliers.

Paragon Culinary School

The curriculum at Paragon Culinary School consists of nine courses students need to complete before graduation. They include Advanced Cookery, Baking and Pastry, Advanced Management, and Service and Wine. Students are taken on field trips to become familiar with the industry and receive additional training from professional guest chefs.

Pikes Peak Community College

Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs offers a long list of culinary and business courses to choose from. Students can select introductory courses in food service, management, baking and catering, or take advanced classes in Cuisine, Nutrition, Line Prep, Supervision and Cake Decorating.

Students can choose between learning basic skills through Certificate programs and getting extended training through Associate degrees. The advantage of short programs is early employment. However, AAS degrees can open up more job opportunities.

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Whether you are looking for a diploma or Associate degree in Culinary Arts, the Auguste Escoffier School offers excellent education for anyone who want to become a food service professional. Programs are designed for both cooks and pastry chefs, and offers management training as well.

The Culinary Arts program includes a Farm to Table externship where students work at local farms and restaurants for 10 weeks. Pastry Arts training provides mentorship from pro chefs who work at local bakeries and hotels. Although online programs do not provide on-site training, they are designed to help students learn from their own home kitchens.

Cooking School of Aspen

The Cooking School of Aspen welcomes students looking for lessons in basic cooking techniques. They offer three types of classes that focus exclusively on food preparation. Lessons take place in the school’s 3000 square foot kitchen and promise to sharpen the skills of both beginning and experienced chefs.

Mawa’s Kitchen

Mawa’s Kitchen is one of the popular culinary schools in Colorado and provide private cooking lessons for interested candidates. You can take classes in seasonal cooking, baking, pasta making, wine tasting and Thai cuisine. Although the school does not offer any formal certification, it can help students with basic kitchen skills perfect their culinary techniques.

Foodies Culinary Academy

If you want to pursue a culinary education but do not have the grades to qualify for submission, taking lessons at the Foodies Culinary Academy can help. The school has a program for adult students that helps you gain the skills to get into a culinary institute. It is ideal for candidates with aspirations of becoming professional cooks and prep workers.

best culinary schools in colorado

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

Although Colorado does not have a campus, students can still take courses online at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. The curriculum is focused on the fundamentals of managing restaurants, hotel kitchens, hospital cafeterias and other eateries. For practical training, students can attend workshops and events held across the state.

Although online education is sufficient, on-campus programs are recommended. You get access to the college’s resources and receive one-on-one training from instructors.

Pueblo Community College

Successful applicants can obtain an Associate in Arts degree from Pueblo Community College. The Culinary Arts program focuses on both kitchen and dining room service. Students receive training in hot and cold food production, nutrition, safety and sanitation, baking, bartending and dining room management. There are also certificate programs for waiting staff and cashiers.

Mesa State College

Aspiring sauciers can take introductory courses on soups, stocks and sauces at the Mesa State College. The curriculum also caters to those who want to be conventional chefs. Students are trained how to cook different types of foods as well as baking principles. The program also includes courses for those who wish to run their own catering businesses and restaurants.

Western Colorado Community College

A branch of Mesa State College, the Western Colorado Community College has been running a successful culinary program for the last 15 years. The school keeps cooking classes small to give students personal attention and train in fully-equipped kitchens and restaurant located on campus. With award-winning chefs in the faculty, this college has earned a spot on the list of top culinary schools in Colorado.

Colorado Mountain College

Associate degrees in Culinary Arts are available at the Vail Valley campus of the Colorado Mountain College. After graduating, students have the option of applying for an apprenticeship program offered at the Breckenridge and Dillon campuses.

Those interested in management courses can find programs at the same college in Steamboat Springs. The campus offers both Associate in Arts degrees and Certificates. Classes are held in the afternoons to allow students to work and learn at the same time.

Arapahoe Community College

The Apahaoe Community College in Littleton has plenty to offer culinary students. The college provides an introductory course in Food Production Principles and Practices. Students learn how to operate the equipment used in commercial kitchens and practice safety and sanitation.

The program also includes cooking methods, recipe conversion and how to stay organized in a high-pressure work environment. Students are also required to complete a course in caring for the elderly and general home care.

Almost Vegan Cooking School

The Almost Vegan Cooking School offers a unique, friendly learning environment for chefs in training. The 2-hour classes teach students how to prepare different cuisines using plant-based foods. Although the school specializes in vegan cooking, students do not need to be vegans to apply. Graduates can find employment at health centers, restaurants, hotels and as personal chefs.

Redrocks Community College

If you would like to “earn while you earn”, the culinary apprenticeship at the Redrocks Community College is a good choice. The Applied Science program merges classroom education with over 6000 hours of practical training. Students receive three years of culinary training in specialized labs while reaping the benefits of earning a living at the same time.

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Front Range Community College

Students can earn an A.A.S degree in Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management at the Front Range Community College. The program offers four areas of specialty: restaurant management, culinary arts, hotel management and event planning. The school also offers ServSafe certification and an internship for industry experience.

Institute of Technology in Arvada

The Institute of Technology in Arvada offers accelerated, accredited programs for students who can’t wait to start work in the industry. Training includes in-kitchen work under the supervision of a professional instructor, additional tutoring and internship programs. Graduates are qualified to work as culinary professionals and baking specialists.

The Institute of Technology is one of the biggest culinary schools in Colorado, with campuses in Clovis, Modesto, Redding and Salem. Qualifications offered are recognized by the American Culinary Federation and hold a lot of weight in the food service industry.

Back to the Table Cooking School

Back to the Table is known for catering and hosting culinary. However, the school offers classes and workshops too. It is a great choice for students who want to fine-tune their culinary skills to supplement other forms of training. Events hosted by the school can also give graduates an opportunity to network with industry professionals.


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