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Top 5 rated culinary programs in Los Angeles in 2021

Are you an aspiring chef, a budding baker, or want to learn a cooking technique to replicate the dishes you love? If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to up your culinary game, there are a handful of culinary programs in the city that are perfect for you. 

In this blog, we feature the top 6 culinary programs in LA ranging from casual cooking classes to year-long apprenticeships and courses. The level of training you pursue will reflect on the type of establishments you will go into i.e. cafes, hotels, restaurants, and bars. We also include course reviews, tuition fees, and length of training to give you the best comparison and decide which program is the best bang for your buck.

1. Casual cooking learning and experience 

Institution: EATZ 5/5

Program/s: Virtual Cooking classes with professional chefs. EATZ is providing a casual environment to cook with family and friends around the world, thanks to the virtual surge brought by the pandemic. Due to the casual environment, they do not provide certification. Their popular offerings include a 12-hour culinary school special condensed into 5 virtual classes. They teach you the basics of the culinary world in a short amount of time. This is good for aspiring chefs, or casual home cooks. They also host region-specific cooking lessons and parties.

What’s included: Varied online cooking events

Cost andDuration: $35-250. Depending on the class, it can range from an hour to 12 hours.

Review: What a wonderful and welcoming place! I felt like I walked out of the experience confident and more comfortable in the kitchen. This is huge considering that I am a liability in the kitchen most of the time. Our chef and instructor Niki was so pleasant and provided many useful pointers for cooking!-Gabriel A.

Where to apply:

2. Inclusive Bartending School 

Institution: National Bartenders School and Staffing 4.5/5

Program/s: The school prides themselves for being hands-on. They commit to making their students feel comfortable behind the bar, working with a wide variety of people, in a crowded workspace. Students receive a bartending license after attending a 40 hour bartending curriculum. A mock bar is used by several students to practice and they also offer flexible hours for those with 9-5 jobs or busy activities.

What’s included: 

-10 topics in the curriculum, 1 topic covered in a 2 hour class

-Every class is divided into two parts; one hour of lecture and one hour of lab time behind the bar. 

-Hands-on mentorship 

-Right equipment and uniform 

Cost and Duration: Cost not implied, 40 hours 

Review: I woke up one day and decided I wanted to learn how to be a bartender. I came across NBS and haven’t looked back. It’s a great place to learn how to be a legitimate bartender,  they have great lessons, and I am doing my TiPS certification as well. Super fun, super awesome!Francisco M 

Where to apply: 

3. Master Chef / Baking Certificate 

Institution: Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom 4.5/5

Program/s: Master Chef Certificate and Master Baking Certificate and many more short programs. They are proud to have graduates working in Wolfgang Puck at Spago, as Pastry Chef’s in France, for the finest restaurants across the U.S. – and the mom and pop bakery down the street – many times as owners! 

What’s included: 

-Live classes to build up culinary confidence. As an example, the Master Chef program offers an all-inclusive syllabus. Students get to learn about sauces, meat preparation, stock management, temperatures, and many more. 

-Culinary Institute of America’s textbook

-Embroidered chef jacket and apron

-Chef Eric’s personally packaged information pack from his learnings at the CIA. 

-Safety gears

Cost and Duration: The Masterchef Certificate- 18-week program for $2,400 The Master Baking Certificate- 10-week program for $1,600 

Review: As someone who longs to have the culinary prowess to create great dishes I have finally found the way! Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom is exactly what I needed. With zero background in the kitchen I needed to start from scratch. I needed a class where I could learn the basics about everything necessary to become a competent Chef. 

If you have ever dreamed about learning, I mean truly learning the essence of great cooking, I would highly recommend Chef Eric and the Master Chef Program. 

If you’re not ready to commit to 18 weeks, try one of his 4-week classes where you will learn how to prepare some great dishes and get a tiny sample of what the Master Chef program consists of.Andrew N. 

Where to apply: 



4. Flexible Culinary Classes with Apprenticeship Scheme 

Institution: Culinary Lab 5/5

Program/s: Culinary Lab promises that they will “teach you how to cook, not follow a recipe”. The course curriculum changes often, depending on in-demand skills so that students have a competitive advantage. They will be trained to become a seasoned culinary professional as quickly and efficiently as possible. After graduation, students will receive recommendations from chef instructors and chef mentors for the next stages of their careers.

For short courses, they also offer Beginner home cook classes ranging from 1 day to 12 weeks. 

What’s included: 

-Full training resources

-12 students per class

-1-to-1 access to a dedicated chef instructor

-Professional training from guest chefs

-Fundamental skills, modern techniques, plating, and field trips to find the right apprenticeship opportunities. 

Cost and Duration: $23,000 for 12 months 

Review: I was so impressed with the Chef Instructors, the facility, the method of teaching and the over all course itself. I learned a lot, baked a lot and ate a lot! I am even thinking what I learned could be a good side gig during my retirement! The office/kitchen crew were so helpful, Warm and friendly and they made me feel so welcome. I can’t wait for my next course!-Marian K

Where to apply:

5. Sushi Chef 

Institution: Sushi Chef Institute 5/5

Program/s: Headed by Chef Andy Matsuda, the Sushi Chef Course aims to pass down Japanese traditional cooking methods, business management know-how, and job placement support

They also offer casual and small classes on themed Japanese cuisines, Private Lessons, Catering, and Consulting. 

What’s included: 

-In-depth training of techniques on making and presenting nigiri, traditional style sushi (chirashi and box sushi, etc.) and sashimi. Fish and shellfish preparing is also covered in this course.

-Maintaining and sharpening Japanese knives 

-Skill tests, midterms, and a final test on the 8th week. 

-Job placement support after graduation 

Cost and Duration: $2950 for 8 weeks

Review: The school is easily accessible by freeways and within reach from mainland Los Angeles, this school has many merits to it -affordable tuition fee with flexible payment terms, a spacious workspace with all the accouterments and gadgetry of a modern kitchen and a serving room to practice your culinary skills. Not to mention, a very professional and caring and also knowledgeable staff. This place is super clean and has professionalism written all over it- Marcel Licera

Where to apply:

Experience and understanding of culinary systems are important when you go into a hospitality or kitchen job. If you feel like you have the right training under your belt, check our current job openings here!

I am a recent UK 2020 graduate of BA Media and Communications. During my third year, I became the media manager for a community-based society, and my passion for copywriting and creating online content grew since then. I've gotten valuable internships, certifications, and even started my own small business/passion project which made me confident in my craft.