Food Preparation Classes and Schools

Learn how you can refine your food preparation skills through a program in culinary arts. See how to choose a school, explore common food prep classes and get details about what areas of specialization are available. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Food preparation is a hands-on course of study. Choose a school that offers plenty of practical skills training in order to fully prepare for a career in the culinary field. Online options and supplementary programs, such as study abroad, are available at several schools.

Schools Many simulate professional kitchens, some offer on-campus restaurants and product development labs
Classes Cooking Methods, Meat Preparation, Nutrition, Fine Dining Experience
Online Fully online bachelor's program if you have previously earned a culinary associate's degree

What Should I Look for in a School?

The study of culinary arts is offered through certificate, associate and bachelor's degree programs. When deciding between schools, consider the online degree options. If you already have an associate degree in culinary arts, you may be eligible to pursue an online bachelor's degree program in food service management; some schools offer seamless transitions between 2- and 4-year programs. You can expect to study operations management and business leadership to complement your culinary education.

Look for schools that simulate professional kitchens through laboratories. Expect to hone your skills by working in a variety of environments, including hot kitchens and product development labs. In addition to proper equipment, access to gourmet food items can be crucially important when studying food preparation.

Similarly, consider schools that have a student-run, on-campus restaurant, where you can gain professional experience by working as a chef and interacting with customers. Additionally, you can find opportunities to show off your talent and network through internships, study abroad programs and culinary competitions.

What Food Preparation Classes Will I Take?

Course difficulty varies by program type; however, core courses typically cover sanitation, nutrition and world cuisines. You can expect to spend time both in the classroom and in a kitchen laboratory, where you prepare and critique dishes. You also develop your palate through food identification. Courses might cover:

  • Cooking methods
  • Cost control
  • Nutrition
  • Fine dining experience
  • Meat preparation
  • Food history

What Specializations Are Available?

If you aren't seeking a broad education in food preparation, ranging from main courses to desserts, you may want to specialize in pastry arts or beverage management. In pastry arts courses, you study decorative techniques and special-occasion desserts. Beverage management studies introduce you to wine production and how to match drinks to culinary dishes.

Alternatively, if you want to enter leadership or management positions, consider programs that focus on sustainability or restaurant management. In sustainability courses, you learn about your environmental impact and local food sources, which may be ideal for aspiring small-business owners. Similarly, some culinary arts programs are combined with restaurant management programs, preparing you for a career in a supervisory position.

What Else Should I Know?

You will likely be required to purchase additional supplies for class, like a uniform and a knife set. To prepare you for your professional career, expect to adhere by sanitation standards for personal appearance. For instance, you may be required to wear a hairnet and limited jewelry. Some health requirements may also be in place for students.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Virginia College

    Virginia College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Virginia College:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Alabama: Birmingham, Mobile
    • Florida: Birmingham, Mobile, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville
    • Louisiana: Birmingham, Mobile, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville, Baton Rouge
    • Virginia: Birmingham, Mobile, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville, Baton Rouge, Richmond
  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster Career School

    Penn Foster Career School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster Career School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Fishersville
  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Mississauga, North York, Scarborough, Toronto