A person's hand cutting into a dessert

Culinary Arts Program

If you have a passion for food, the Culinary Arts program is both exciting and challenging. Curriculum incorporates industry trends to provide students education and experience they need to be successful. The program averages 16 students per class, enabling one-on-one support and guidance. 

Culinary arts classes are taught in state-of-the-art facilities. Equipment in the College’s Culinary and Hospitality Center features sophisticated skills kitchens, a chocolate room and a culinary amphitheater for guest lectures and demonstrations.

Degree programs require students to serve internships which help them gain professional experience, enhance skills and test the waters in different areas of the industry. The program is accredited by the Education Foundation of the American Culinary Federation. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) program outcomes report outlines graduation rate and job placement.

Determine Your Path

The hospitality industry is the nation's largest private sector employer. Culinary Arts graduates become chefs in major restaurants or start their own businesses.

You want to attend a college that stands out from the rest. At COD, you'll discover:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of practical industry and teaching experience.
  • State-of-the-art instructional kitchens with individual stations including a a chocolate room and a culinary amphitheater.
  • Flexible course schedules with day, evening and weekend classes.
  • Small class sizes that ensure students receive personalized attention. 
  • Affordable programs to help students achieve success without creating overwhelming debt or draining a savings account.
  • An articulated transfer program with several prestigious institutions.
  • Accreditation from the Education Foundation of the American Culinary Federation, making COD one of the few schools in the nation to have accreditation for both food service administration and culinary arts. 

Culinary Arts, Associate in Applied Science

The Culinary Arts, Associate in Applied Science degree program in Culinary Arts offers a full range of courses consisting of a minimum of 64 credits in program requirements and general education.

The curriculum covers sanitation, measurements and basic kitchen skills moving to restaurant preparation in advanced level courses such as International and Contemporary Cuisine, Garde Manger, Supervision and Management, and Fast Casual Service.

Start your culinary journey in state-of-the-art kitchens that hold a maximum of 16 students at 16 separate cooking stations. Learn to make stock in bulk, use your senses to distinguish favors, and practice different cooking methods, as well as using your skills in the Wheat Café and the fine dining Waterleaf restaurant. In addition, you will be provided with a culinary passport to give you global knowledge of various cuisines.

Culinary Arts

The Culinary Arts certificate program provides training that allow students to enter into the job force quickly. Without compromising the Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry, Culinology curriculum, students may forego general education electives and consider completing those courses at a later date. The Culinary Arts certificate requires 25 credits and allows students to enter into the job force quickly.

 

COD Stories

Raquel Black

"The Culinary Arts program grew my knowledge of cooking and the industry exponentially. I wouldn’t be here today without the faculty support I was given.” - Raquel Black

Raquel's COD Story

COD Stories

Juan Gallegos

"My advice to anyone who joins the Culinary Arts program at COD is to not be afraid to ask questions, as the instructors and your peers have great knowledge to share. COD helped me gain firsthand experience on how restaurants work and what to expect in real-world situations.” - Juan Gallegos

Juan's COD Story

COD Stories

Ashley Sabo

"COD has given me real-world experience in the field, such as working in the two restaurants that are in the Culinary and Hospitality Center (CHC) and through internships." - Ashley Sabo

Ashley's COD Story

COD Stories

Kelly Sears

"I was able to attend classes, continue working, and balance my life at home by choosing College of DuPage. That opportunity wouldn’t necessarily have been available to me had I made a different culinary school choice." - Kelly Sears

Kelly's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in culinary arts is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways

Determine the pathway you need to take to graduate on time.

Culinary Arts program graduates will:

  • Understand the techniques and skills necessary for the preparation and service of quality foods in a professional setting.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prepare and serve foods typical of all types of food service facilities.
  • Become aware of the many career possibilities in the Culinary, Baking & Hospitality field and develop the skills necessary for employment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply basic accounting skills to Culinary and/or Baking industry applications.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze legal consequences that may arise from a management standpoint.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use, purchase, and inventory information by planning menus for various types of dining while taking into consideration all aspects of basic menu planning including current nutritional trends.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work well with personnel from both the front and back of the house.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various types of table service by preparing foods appropriate to each type of service.
  • Demonstrate professionalism and leading by example when working with others.
  • Demonstrate the abilities to convert recipe quantities, use standard weights and measures correctly and to write and follow standard recipe procedures.
  • Utilize all large and small equipment in commercial kitchens and bakeshops correctly and safely.
  • Practice safe food handling and storage techniques while maintaining good personal hygiene and facilities.

College of DuPage has several culinary arts transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.

 

Explore the Skills Kitchen

A male student wearing a white jacket and chef's hat works in the Skills Kitchen at COD

Students will learn all of the basic building blocks of cooking in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center's state-of-the-art Skills Kitchen.

Career Information

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your frequently asked questions regarding the Culinary Arts program.

Students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program pay the current tuition rate. Textbooks for classes cost approximately $75. If you are in a laboratory class, you will need to purchase tools and a uniform and pay a laboratory fee. Scholarships are available throughout the school year.

Students who are enrolled in any culinary, pastry or management laboratory classes will need to purchase uniforms as part of the class requirements.

  • Culinary Students: knife kit, checked pants, embroidered chef coat, skull cap, bib apron, and two side towels
  • Pastry Students: checked pants, embroidered chef coat, skull cap, bib apron, and two side towels
  • Hospitality Students: black pants, white shirt with embroidered Waterleaf logo, black bistro apron

Uniforms and hand tools must be purchased through COD to ensure a consistent experience for students.

A few things to note:

  • Uniforms and supplies are included in the lab fees for their respective class and will be ordered in class on the first day. Incoming students will receive an email outlining the procedure.
  • While not included in the packages, appropriate shoes are required. Shoes should be sturdy, black, closed toed, and have a non-slip sole.  Brands such as Sketchers work shoes and Shoes for Crews are acceptable options.  No gym shoes are allowed.

If you have questions on uniforms, contact Associate Professor David Kramer at kramerd@cod.edu or (630) 942-2868 or Culinary Market and Lab Coordinator Laura Lerdal at lerdal@cod.edu or (630) 942-2359.

Culinary Classes

  • Appropriate shoes are required. Shoes should be sturdy, black, closed toed, and have a non-slip sole. Brands such as Sketchers work shoes, Shoes for Crews, and Dansko clogs are all acceptable options. No gym shoes.
  • College-issued black and white checked pants, hemmed, cleaned and pressed.
  • College-issued white apron.
  • College-issued white skull cap
  • Two side towels.
  • College-issued long sleeve chef coat with name and program insignia.

Restaurant Service and Sales Classes

  • Appropriate shoes are required. Shoes should be sturdy, black, closed toed, and have a non-slip sole. Brands such as Sketchers work shoes, Shoes for Crews, and Dansko clogs are all acceptable options. No gym shoes. 
  • Cleaned, pressed, college-issued white dress shirts with embroidered Waterleaf logo.
  • Cleaned, pressed black dress pants.

Culinary and hospitality classes are held in the Culinary and Hospitality Center located on the College of DuPage campus in Glen Ellyn. The College is located about 25 miles west of downtown Chicago.

There is no on-campus housing at COD. Contact Student Life at (630) 942-2243 for further information on housing.