13 Top Culinary Schools in Washington|Tuition & Details

culinary schools in washington
culinary schools in washington

At its core, attending the culinary schools in Washington allows you to learn the skills and knowledge that are required of a chef in the kitchen.

This includes not only knowing how to cook but also how to create new dishes. Other things you will learn in the culinary schools in Washington include how to keep the kitchen safe, and above all, how to run the kitchen effectively.

Celebrity Chefs, Iron Chefs, Food Network shows—everywhere you look today, the public is excited about culinary arts.

As this excitement grows, so does the food industry. Trained, qualified chefs are in demand

According to the information captured from O*Net on June 2021, the national Median Salary is $51,530 and the national Potential Annual Job Openings is 18,500 for professions under culinary arts.

Before we talk about the culinary schools in Washington, let us highlight some of the reasons why you should study culinary Arts.

Reasons to study the Culinary Arts

Studying Culinary Arts can help improve your life in many ways and not just that, it can help you improve the lives of other people. The following are just some of the reasons why you should study culinary Arts.

  • Learn to appreciate cooking as an art form
  • Learn to appreciate different cultures
  • Learn how you can encourage a healthy lifestyle
  • Learn from many professionals in your field

Learn to appreciate cooking as an art form

Preparing food is not just about sustenance, it is also about sharing art with people. The way you plate your food in an art form is something customers take much pleasure in looking at.

There is a way to also combine aroma and tastes to create different emotions and feelings. In the process, you will learn how to appreciate food as an art form.


Learn to appreciate different cultures

Food is closely intertwined with culture. There are different kinds of food available all over the world. By attending a culinary school, you will be exposed to the different ways that different cultures prepare their food and in turn, you can share your knowledge of different cultures with your customers.


Learn how you can encourage a healthy lifestyle

When you enrol for the good culinary art programs, they will teach you about nutrition. Many chefs have always emphasized the need to promote nutrition to their customers.

This is the reason many restaurants offer vegan options these days. Some restaurants, such as farm-to-table restaurants, also practice sustainability and environmental responsibility.

By the act of being farm-to-table, they spread awareness for those important subjects to their customers.


Learn from many professionals in your field

Instead of just learning from a single chef in a restaurant, in the culinary school, you will be taught by many culinary professionals, all with their own unique experiences and skillsets, which they will share with you.

This undoubtedly will give you a well-rounded view of culinary arts and in turn have a great influence on your career.

What are your career options as a chef?

  • Baker
  • Chef
  • Commercial Cooking
  • Diner Cook
  • Dining Room Service
  • Fry Cook
  • Kitchen Manager
  • Restaurant Manager

The list of top 10 culinary schools in Washington dc

There is a nationwide projection that by 2029, jobs in the culinary arts industry will increase by 6%. That simply means that culinary professions will be in high demand.

A degree in culinary arts will give you the much-needed experience and give you the professional edge that is needed to advance in this fast-paced industry.

According to bestchoiceschools, the following culinary schools in Washington were selected based on the schools that are offering hands-on training, professional faculty & staff members, and a variety of degrees, diplomas, and certifications. Below are the top culinary schools in Washington.

  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • Renton Technical College
  • Olympic College
  • Bellingham Technical College
  • Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College
  • Bates Technical College
  • Skagit Valley College
  • South Seattle College
  • Northwest Culinary Institute

South Puget Sound Community College

South Puget Sound Community College is one of the culinary schools in Washington because it offers the Culinary Arts – Associate in Applied Science.

They teach you how to run a kitchen, manage a resort, prepare high quality meals for a diverse set of patrons, or creative microbrews in the pacific Northwest’s booming craft brew and distilling industry.

Once the course is completed, students will be able to do the following:

(1) Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to identify, think critically, formulate, and present creative solutions in food preparation and production.

(2) You will learn how to communicate professionally in oral and written forms.

(3) You will be able to demonstrate an understanding of mathematical concepts in scaling, measuring, purchasing, pricing, food costing, and adjust recipe quantities while using mathematical ideas to solve problems.

The Certificate program can be completed in just one year and includes courses in Food Theory, Purchasing and Receiving, and Supervision in the Hospitality Industry. SPSC also features several campus dining options that are run by the Culinary Arts program. 

Estimated Costs of attending South Puget Sound Community College

  • Tuition & Fees:  $4,592
  • Books & Supplies:  $900
  • Other Expenses:  $3,120
  • Total:  $8,612

Renton Technical College

The Culinary Arts certificate program of Renton Technical College is accredited with the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC).

This program shows you the tricks of the trade, preparing students to work in the hospitality industry.

They teach students how to use a professionally equipped kitchen, students learn knife skills, advanced cooking methodologies, grarde manger techniques, and more.

Degree graduates have the opportunity to become a certified Culinarians through the American Culinary Federation.

At Renton Technical College, tuition is affordable and competitive. Also, there is the Student Tuition Easy Payment Plan (STEPP) program that allows you to pay your tuition on an installment plan. 

Federal aid is available for most students to help pay for school. Fill out your FAFSA now to get started.

The RTC Foundation offers scholarships to help pay the costs of attending school.

Enrollment Point: Fall, Winter, Spring 

See the Renton Technical College tuition details.

Olympic College


Olympic College‘s program provides in-depth culinary training designed to build careers in restaurants, hotels, caterers, fine bakeries, resorts and institutions offering food services.

As the program unfolds, the students will focus on areas of cooking specialty and gain hands-on experience working in the Olympic Café, The Fireside Bistro and at various banquets and catered events.

The program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation  (ACFEF).

The goals of this program include: to be a vehicle of culinary knowledge to their students and community, to promote and elevate the skills of professional cookery and cuisine in the communities they serve, to provide a good foundation of culinary study and to prepare students for employment through team instructions in food preparation and management.

Olympic college has students loans, Olympic College grants, scholarships, Washington State Need grants, Tuition waivers, Work-study programs, and College bound scholarships to make your studies affordable.

See the tuition details of Olympic College here.

Bellingham Technical College


Bellingham Technical College‘s Culinary & Arts program is a good fit for students who are excited about cooking and food preparation.

Usually, once students graduate, they can be able to join the workforce or can decide to transfer to a four-year school. Bellingham features a state-of-the-art culinary facility where students will get hands-on instruction from some of the best chefs in the state. 

This institution prepares students to work as:

  • as sous chefs;
  • line cooks;
  • bakers;
  • food managers;
  • and caterers.

There are internship opportunities offered midway through the program , or students can elect to take a course in Culinary Competition Fundamentals.

Bellingham has won numerous competition awards in Hot Foods, and recently hosted the American Culinary Federation and Washington State Chefs Association Culinary Competition.

An Associate of Applied Science degree is offered in Culinary Arts, as are certificates in Pastry Arts and Culinary Arts.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology


Lake Washington Institute of Technology‘s Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science degree prepares students to work in a commercial kitchen including restaurants, bakeries, cafeterias, delis, hospitals and other specialty shops.

In this program, students will gain skills in every facet of working in a  commercial food service operation as they learn basic cooking principles, terminology and food handling practices.

Practical experience is usually provided with all stations of line cooking, inventory, daily specials production, sauce preparation and commercial equipment maintenance.

Students will be prepared to work in a commercial kitchen, restaurant, catering company, cafeteria, deli or other specialty shop.

This is one of the culinary schools in Washington that offers open enrollment for most programs.

LWTech programs are certified by the American Culinary Federation, an indicator of a quality culinary program.

Students can elect to complete their AAS degree in either Baking and Pastry or in Culinary Arts, both programs feature job training, production experience and business management skill training.

The LWTech Foundation offers a variety of merit and need-based scholarships to students in the fall and spring of each academic year.

Total Estimated Program Cost

Culinary Arts AAS: $13,700

Culinary Arts CERT: $4,583

Culinary Arts CERT: $5,296

Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College


Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College prepares you with both the cooking and business skills needed to be successful in the culinary arts industry. 

Their program teaches you budgeting, purchasing, marketing, personnel management and menu planning.

 Your training includes on-the-job experience at our student-run gourmet restaurant.

This is one of the culinary schools in Washington whose culinary program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Education Foundation.

Their program meets the the same high standards as top programs across the country. Upon graduation, students are encouraged to seek out ACF certification as a Certified Culinarian (CC).

Since 1998, the Culinary Arts program at Spokane Community College has been awarding the Hector Boiardi scholarship.

The scholarship is available only to Culinary Arts students enrolled in classes full-time. The application deadline is in late winter quarter for a fall award.

Do you want to know how much the institution costs? Use the table SCC Cost of Attendance to calculate your costs.

Bates Technical College


Bates Technical College is listed as one of the top culinary schools in Washington because they offer South Sound’s only American Culinary Federation Accredited Culinary Arts degree and certificate program.

You can earn either an associate of applied science degree or certificate and will receive training from award-winning instructors and obtain the skills and experience to get leading jobs in the fast-paced culinary field.

During your time in the school, you will be taught food planning and preparation, serving and clean up.

At the end of your program, you are certain to receive a broad base of skills and will be well prepared for a variety of entry-level culinary jobs. 

Degrees and Certificates offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science: Culinary Arts
  • Certificate of Training: Hospitality-Line Cook

Program Lengths:

  • AAS degree program length: 6 Quarters
  • Certificate of Training: 2 Quarters

At Bates, our tuition is affordable and there are options to help make it even easier to gain an education. 

Federal aid is available for many of our students. Scholarships are also available through the Bates Foundation.

Check out the tuition details.

Skagit Valley College


Skagit Valley College is listed as one of the top culinary schools in Washington because their program is among the few culinary programs accepted by the prestigious American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF). 

Their courses emphasize on  ‘hands-on’ lab work and above all all, their teaching techniques are flexible.

They teach students food trends and international flavor principles in environments that’s are sensitive to cultural and general differences.

While these degrees are not intended to transfer to a university, students will be eligible to apply for admissions to Skagit Valley College’s Bachelor of Applied Science – Applied Management (BASAM) degree and in some cases, could transfer to other schools. 

Their  Financial Aid Office is ready to provide you with financial assistance so you have the opportunity to achieve your educational goals.

See the tuition fee details.

South Seattle College


South Seattle College is listed as one of the top culinary schools in Washington state because of their Culinary Arts program.

At South, you’ll not only learn to cook from savory to sweet for the modern palate, you’ll also receive hands-on training in one of our several student-operated restaurants on campus, including the upscale Alhadeff Grill. Students have the opportunity to learn all aspects of the industry, from back to front of house.

You will learn food production skills, food management, the fundamentals in classical and contemporary cooking techniques, catering and banquet management techniques, and also learn how to apply proper sanitation and safety techniques while demonstrating proper knife handling and care for equipment.

Students who plan to go on and earn their bachelor’s degree can complete the AAT program and transfer to the BAS program in Hospitality Management.

Certificates in Restaurant Production and Banquets and Catering are also available, as is an Associate of Applied Science.

Check out the details of their tuition fee.

Northwest Culinary Institute


Northwest Culinary Institute is one of the culinary schools in Washington state whose program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. 

They have the strategic method to ensure that their students are getting the most of their program.

With small class sizes, their school features hands-on learning while in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Their instructors are award-winning chefs with years of experience in many different areas of the field. 

These instructors offer students the opportunity to learn and experiment giving students the opportunity to become professionals at culinary arts.

They offer financial aid to students who qualify and also students housing is available.

The program offers accelerated training-only nine-months and most importantly, they are among the cheap culinary schools in Washington.

Northwest Culinary Institute offers each high school in the United States three, $2,000 scholarships to their Culinary Arts Program to be awarded to graduating high school seniors by a teacher or school counselor.

Program Length: 15 Week(s)
Cost per year: National- $6,950

Cost is $7950 for international students. Tuition includes curriculum binder, morning coffee and daily Chef’s Table meal.

Other culinary schools in washington that you might like to try:

  • Young Chefs Academy-Covington WA
  • Renton Technical College
  • Cozymeal Cooking Classes

Culinary schools in Spokane Washington

Spkane Community College can said to be one of the culinary schools in spokane Washington.

Their Inland Northwest Culinary Academy prepares you with both the cooking and business skills needed to be successful in the culinary arts industry.

In addition to developing professional cooking and baking skills, you’ll learn budgeting, purchasing, marketing, personnel management and menu planning.

As we stated earlier, they are one of the culinary schools in Washington that is fully accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Education Foundation.

What are the requirements for licensure and employment in Washington State?

Currently no license is required for culinary careers in Washington State. However, all food workers are required to have a valid food worker card per WAC 246-217

Local health departments offer the food worker training, test, and card. The Food Handler’s Permit is valid throughout the state.

Students are encouraged to research career goals as more employers are seeking employees with degrees and may also require specific ACF chef certifications and levels of proficiency.

Information regarding employment and training can be researched at the American Culinary Foundation (ACF) and the Washington State Chefs Association (WSCA) websites.

What do you think about these culinary arts schools in washington state? Please leave a comment below.

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