4 Top Culinary Schools in Jamaica-Programs & Skills

There are culinary schools in Jamaica; the third largest island in the Caribbean. Jamaica is known to be one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

Jamaicans are very friendly and their conducive learning environment makes the country a home for many students.

Just as you know, food is a basic need and for centuries, the human race has seen the evolution of food practices among other things.

It might interest you to know that food helps cultural exchange and cooks are silent transmitters.

To cook perfectly, food practice is needed. The kitchen is a complex laboratory and the culinary industry is one that is growing at a rapid pace.

The culinary industry also has good job prospects for budding chefs. This gives chefs the opportunity to work in different settings such as cafeterias, airlines, cruise ships and work camps, corporate, hotels, and of course restaurants. Read on to see the culinary schools in Jamaica.

Role of Chefs and Head Cooks 

  • Check the freshness of food and ingredients.
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers.
  • Develop recipes and determine how to present the food.
  • They plan menus and ensure uniform serving sizes and quality of meals.
  • They inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and funtionality.
  • They order and maintain inventory of food and supplies needed to ensure efficient operations.
  • They monitor sanitation practices and ensure that kitchen safety standards are followed.
  • They hire, train, and supervise cooks and other workers.

Personal Skills of Chefs and Head Cooks

  • Communication Skills
  • Business skills
  • Creativity
  • Leadership skills
  • Sense of taste and smell
  • Time-management skills
  • Team player

Communication Skills

Chefs or Head cooks should have to communicate with other restaurant staff, vendors, and restaurant’s clientele and to communicate their orders clearly and effectively.

Business skills

Executive chefs must understand the business of restaurant work and having administrative skills is therefore very important.


Chefs need creativity to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes.

Leadership skills

Chefs and head cooks must have that ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them.

Sense of taste and smell

All chefs and head cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell in order to inspect food and design meals that will be to customer’s liking.

Time-management skills

Managing time is also essential. Chefs and head cooks need to be able to efficiently manage their time and that of the kitchen staff in order to keep the kitchen running efficiently.

Team player

Chefs and head cooks should be able to work independently as well as being able to work as part of a team.

The List of Culinary Schools in Jamaica

Different culinary schools in Jamaica have different training programs, and while some of them are specifically designed for beginners, there are others that are suitable for advanced chefs while other schools offer several different levels of training in the field.

In recent times, most culinary schools in Jamaica Iowa offer their students three options in terms of training: they can opt for a certificate training program, they can opt for an Associate’s Degree training program or for a Bachelor’s Degree program. By culinary schools, we mean schools you will learn culinary art and obtain a certification at the end.

  • Culinary Institute of Jamaica
  • Zimbali’s Mountain Cooking School
  • Institute of International Recognised Qualifications (IIRQ)
  • Heart College Of Hospitality Services Runaway Bay
  • Western Hospitality Institute
  • Culinary Plus International School & Catering

Culinary Institute of Jamaica

If you have that dream of becoming a professional chef, then the Culinary Institute of Jamaica is the place you need to be!

As your training partner, they will give you the tools you need to advance your career and drive your success in the kitchen and beyond.

Their courses are delivered by industry-experienced Chef Instructors, who are able to bring a wealth of knowledge and real life experiences to your learning.

They offer the following:

Baking & Pastry:

This course takes students into the exciting world of baking and decorating cakes, pastries, yeast goods and desserts to prepare them for work in a bakery, pastry shop or start their own pastry businesses.

Duration: Five (5) months. Classes are held two evenings per week, between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $16,500 monthly. Exam fees are additional.

Culinary Arts:

Their culinary arts program offers the following:

  • NVQ-J Award in Commercial Food Preparation (Commis Chef) Level 2 from NCTVET/HEART Trust.
  • Training at the industry standard from experienced Chef Instructors.
  • Workshops with Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs from the industry.
  • Industry externship for further learning and networking.

Duration: Nine (9) months. Classes are held two evenings per week, between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 pm.

Cost: $16,500 monthly. Exam fees are additional.

Culinary Management:

This course trains students up a Level 3 Diploma in Commercial Food Preparation. It includes all content from their Culinary Arts course, plus training in the knowledge and skills required to become Chefs de Partie or Station Supervisors in the industry.

Duration: Twelve (12) months. Classes are held two evenings per week, between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 pm.

Cost: $16,500 monthly. Exam fees are additional.

Visit Their Website

Institute of International Recognised Qualifications (IIRQ)

At IIRQ they want to empower their students and take them through a journey where they can garner their skills, transform themselves and create the future they desire.

They offer a myriad of accredited programs and short courses. All of their courses are certified and accredited by recognized industrial/educational accredited bodies, thus giving credibility, recognition and portability of your earned certification. They offer short term programs in food preparation. Visit their website.

Western Hospitality Institute

If you desire to be an Executive Chef, Sous Chef, Garde Manger or any other culinary related career, Western Hospitality Institute has programs for you.

It is a school that prepares you to provide a professional level of service as a private chef or working in an establishment.

Their courses includes instructions in menu planning and management as well as cooking and preparing local and international dishes.

You will also learn kitchen and staff supervision/management skills and the aesthetics of food presentation, just to mention a few. They also offer the following programs and more:

  • A.Sc. in Hotel & Restaurant Management
  • A.Sc. in Food & Beverage Management
  • A.A.S. in Hotel Operations (with minor choices)
  • A.A.S. in Tourism Management
  • A.A.S. in Culinary Arts (with minor)
  • O.A.D. in Restaurant Operations
  • O.A.D. in Culinary Operations
  • O.A.D. in Baking and Pastry Arts

Western Hospitality Institute is registered to the UCJ please visit the UCJ website to view accredited programs.

The Western Hospitality Institute is accredited by Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC).

The University has earned Premier status with ASIC for its commendable areas of operation. Visit their website.

The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean

This institution offers Executive Certificate Course. This course is open-entry. There are no prerequisites for entry. Find out more.

Culinary Plus International School & Catering

This school provides hands on training in culinary arts from exceptional experienced chef instructors.

They have Professional Cake Decorating programs for those who have passion for cakes.

  • Address: 12 Dome St, Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Phone: +1 876-835-5625

Your journey towards becoming a chef doesn’t stop there, you must practice. If you have no experience at all, you could volunteer in a community kitchen before applying for a job.

You could start work as a kitchen assistant or trainee ‘commis’ chef and work your way up while learning on the job.

Finally, you could apply for work with restaurants or catering companies.

Other Culinary Schools

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