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 Programs Are Available?

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.

What Should I Look for in a School?

If you're interested in attending a school with a physical campus, look for those 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.

These schools offer food preparation classes:

  • Boston University (MA)
  • Johnson & Wales University (Multiple locations)
  • Kendall College (Chicago, IL)
  • New England Culinary Institute (Montpelier, VT)
  • Community College of Philadelphia (PA)

What Food Preparation Classes Will I Take?

Course difficulty varies by program type. You can expect to spend time both in the classroom and in a kitchen laboratory, where you prepare and critique dishes. Courses might cover:

  • Cooking methods
  • Cost control
  • Nutrition
  • Fine dining experience
  • Meat preparation
  • Food history
  • Nutrition
  • Food identification
  • Sanitation
  • World cuisines

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 to 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

  • 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
  • West Virginia Northern Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Wheeling
  • West Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Waco
  • Waukesha County Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Pewaukee
  • Washburn Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Kansas: Topeka
  • Vincennes University

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Vincennes
  • Spartanburg Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • South Carolina: Spartanburg
  • Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Fishersville
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • New Mexico: Albuquerque