What Schools Offer Cooking Classes in the SF Bay Area?

Learn about cooking classes in the San Francisco Bay area. Get information about the schools that offer these classes, the programs available, tuition costs, and student population to see which school is right for you. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are you eager to take a cooking class in the San Francisco Bay area? Here you will read about four local schools offering a variety of cooking classes, completion of which could lead to a certificate, and two other colleges that offer both certificate and associate's degree programs in this field.

What You Need to Know

Individuals interested in taking cooking classes may choose from a range of certificate programs or focus on earning an associate's degree in hospitality or as a baker/pastry chef. The amount of time required to earn an award in the field ranges by school and certificate or degree program, from two semesters to two years. All cooking certificate and degree programs in the SF Bay region are offered by two-year, public schools. Most programs include hands-on training, providing students with work experience or an internship opportunity. Specific courses focus on baking and pastry, classical/modern food preparation, restaurant training, culinary arts, and hospitality studies.

Schools Offering Cooking Certificate Programs in the SF Bay Area

City College of San Francisco

The baking and pastry certificate is a non-credit program, offered tuition-free through the Culinary and Service Skills (CSST) program. Students must provide their own uniforms, tools and books, but there is financial aid available to offset these expenses. This 2-part program offers extensive hands-on training, with the products of cooking classes being sold in the student-run restaurant, The Educated Palate, and the adjoining coffee shop. The first class teaches you not only how to bake breads, rolls, pies and croissants, but also how to decorate cakes. The second class teaches you more advanced baking, such as frozen desserts, meringues, mousses and yeast-raised products.

  • Program Name: Baking and Pastry Certificate
  • Program Length: 2 semesters, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: Tuition is free; (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 23,600 students (all undergraduate)

Contra Costa College

Contra Costa College's (CCC) classical/modern food preparation and restaurant training program is one of many culinary arts programs offered at CCC leading to a certificate of completion or an associate degree. You'll gain hands-on training working in the kitchen laboratory, as well as through an internship or work experience. In addition to teaching you to prepare classical and modern foods, this program instructs you about kitchen safety and sanitation. You'll also be prepared to obtain ServSafe certification. Add a few more credits of general education courses, and you can earn an associate degree.

  • Program Name: Classical/Modern Food Preparation and Restaurant Training Certificate of Achievement
  • Program Length: 37 semester units
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,298 in-state, $7,542 out-of-state per year (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 6,700 students (all undergraduate)

Diablo Valley College

Diablo Valley College offers various culinary arts programs that are accredited by the American Culinary Federation Educational Institute. This certificate program offers a lot of hands-on training. You'll take courses in garde manger, culinary mathematics, meat, poultry and fish fabrication, baking fundamentals and advanced cuisine. Day and evening classes are held 6 hours per day, 4 days a week. You'll be required to supply your own uniforms and equipment. You must maintain a grade of 'C' or better to earn this certificate.

  • Program Name: Culinary Arts Certificate of Achievement
  • Program Length: 2 years (46.5 semester units), full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,298 in-state, $7,542 out-of-state per year (2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Proof of negative TB test
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 20,100 students (all undergraduate)

Laney College

The baking and pastry certificate program at Laney College will prepare you to work in a retail bakery, commercial store or as a cook. The curriculum includes lectures and laboratory courses. You'll learn about a variety of food-related topics, including meat analysis, candy and chocolate making, cake decorating, food costs, sanitation and artisan breads. This program frequently uses percentages and decimals, so math proficiency is important.

  • Program Name: Baking and Pastry Certificate
  • Program Length: 4 semesters (43 units), full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,156 in-state; $6,316 out-of-state per year (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 10,500 students (all undergraduate)

Schools Offering Cooking Associate's Degree Programs in the SF Bay Area

Contra Costa College

CCC's training in baking and pastry skills program is also offered as an associate's degree program, with general education courses required for completion. Through a curriculum of lectures and lab time, you'll learn about pastry product preparation, restaurant cakes and desserts, commercial baking and kitchen safety. You may gain experience working at the on-campus restaurant, The Three Seasons; off-site catering jobs and internships may also be available. You'll also be eligible to take the ServSafe certification exam.

  • Program Name: Associate in Science - Training in Baking and Pastry Skills
  • Program Length: 4 semesters (60 units), full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,298 in-state, $7,542 out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 6,700 students (all undergraduate)

Diablo Valley College

The hospitality studies associate's degree program offers you the option of earning the 2-year degree and joining the workforce or pursuing advanced training in management. In addition to completing courses, you'll participate in cooperative education and a required internship. Baking and pastry courses include seasonal spring and fall desserts, advanced pastry and baking, and decorating confectionery pieces. This program also offers a culinary arts and a restaurant management specialization.

  • Program Name: Associate in Science in Hospitality Studies
  • Area of Study: Baking and pastry
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time (36.5-47 semester units)
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,298 in-state, $7,542 out-of-state per year (2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Proof of negative TB screening
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 20,100 students (all undergraduate)

In conclusion, in the San Francisco area, certificate programs in cooking are available at City College of San Francisco, Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College and Laney College. For further advancement, you can pursue an associate's degree in this field at both City College and, Diablo Valley College.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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