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California Culinary Academy


California Culinary Academy is a San Francisco-based cooking school that was started in the late 1970's and moved to its current location near the Civic Center in 1981. The school's library was added in 1988 and now is a formidable culinary reference facility.

In the early nineties, California Culinary Academy created a multipart, critically-acclaimed television series on cooking instruction that was carried nationally by public television. The series is still available today on tape.

In 2002, the school entered into an association with Le Cordon Bleu to bring another enhancement to school's already noteworthy reputation. Also, the school has added an additional 100,000 square foot facility (called the South Campus) about three miles south of its Polk Street location (now called the North Campus).

A number of celebrity chefs have graduated from the California Culinary Academy. In 2006, two alumni were named among the best new chefs in the U.S. by a prominent culinary magazine.

Points of Distinction

  • Extensive industry current facilities including an Asian wok kitchen
  • Fine dining restaurant run by students
  • Noted graduates and Le Cordon Bleu programs enhance the school's prestige

Areas of Study

Attendees of the California Culinary Academy can choose to pursue an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in either Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts or Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality & Restaurant Management. Alternatively, students may opt for a Certificate in Baking & Pastry Arts which can be complete in as little as 30 weeks.

Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts program provides a balance of hands-on instruction and culinary theory. Students also learn business-related concepts such as sanitation, nutrition and kitchen management.

California Culinary Academy Admissions and Financial Aid

Students must present proof of high school graduation. A GED is also acceptable. An interview and on-campus visit is encouraged. The school is interested in enrolling students who have a passion for cooking. Other requirements may also apply.

The school's financial aid department is charged with assisting students in planning the financial piece of their education puzzle. The school participates in Federal programs so that qualified applicants may receive aid in the form of grants, loans, and work/study programs. Other forms of aid may also be available.


The school seeks out chef instructors with significant and varied professional experience. Instructors are also trained themselves by the school on effective teaching methods. The school also promotes co-teaching where international chefs provide hands-on instruction for two-week periods to give additional breadth to the culinary education provided.

Student Life

The school's success has led to an enrollment of over 3000 students (as of 2005).

Extracurricular activities are organized that take advantage of the San Francisco area's multitude of resources. Many of these activities are food-related and can add yet another dimension to the student's learning experience.

A variety of school-sponsored housing options are available from the school.

Choose a campus :
Some campuses offers specific programs
Baking And Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef
Culinary Arts/Chef Training
General information
Financial aid
Acceptance & Retention Rates
Graduation Rate

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

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