Program in Culinary Arts


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description



If you have a great passion for cooking and dedication to reach your goal as a chef, food entrepreneur, and more, there is no better time to start a career in this thriving landscape. This program provides strong culinary foundations training with a hands-on externship.

Students acquire intensive professional and practical experience with the daily culinary preparations and operation of a professional kitchen. Leveraging technology with world-class culinary expertise, this program delivers top-notch training in a far more affordable format than traditional cooking schools. By learning basic cooking theory and techniques through engaging online curriculum, students can put their skills into practice in each and every class meeting, which takes place in a professional kitchen alongside top chefs.

Who Should Attend

  • First-time cooks seeking to start a career as a chef/assistant
  • Entrepreneurs launching a culinary business
  • Experienced cooks brushing up on their techniques
  • Home chefs looking to learn these advanced skills and knowledge

Career Insight

Occupational summary for chefs and head cooks in the United States.

  • Jobs: 142,094 (2018)
  • Projected Growth: 12% (2018-2028)
  • Annual Salary: $32k-$59k (25th-75th Percentile)

Program Benefits

  • 510 hours blend of online, in-person training, and externship
  • Professional kitchen facilities
  • The complete program quickly – 3 months full-time or 6 months part-time
  • Offered in partnership with Rouxbe Online Culinary School, a designated ACF quality program

Course Schedule

With a state of the art online learning platform, and under the tutelage of professional working chefs, you will engage in lectures and demonstrations, acquire hands-on experience in our training kitchen and, through discipline and practice, develop cooking skills that encompass everything from simple techniques to more difficult and complex preparations.

  • 3 months full-time: Monday through Thursday afternoons (4 hours) – approximate
  • 6 months part-time: Tuesday and Thursday evenings (4 hours) – approximate

Over the course, you will attain expertise in:

- Core knife skills and care

- Proper food handling and sanitation standards

- Essential culinary techniques including:

  • Foundations of cookery: stocks, soups, sauces
  • Production cookery: sautéing, roasting, frying, stewing, braising, simmering, poaching, grilling
  • Bread and pastry/desserts
  • Plant-based cooking
  • Culinary nutrition
  • Artistic plating techniques
  • Advanced cooking techniques

- The foundations of food and flavor

- Introduction to kitchen culture and competency

- Food cost controls

- Cooking techniques of global cuisines

- Current restaurant and food trends

Certificate of Completion

Upon the successful completion of all course requirements, students will receive a Certificate of Completion from UCI's Division of Continuing Education.

Where do trained chefs work?

Trained chefs are in demand in both the hospitality and tourism industries. Employment in the food service area is growing and will continue to grow. Some career possibilities include positions in restaurants, clubs, bakeries, hotels, and institutions. There are many different kinds of foodservice organizations and, as a result, position titles vary.

Examples of position titles:

  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Chef de Partie
  • Sous Chef
  • Executive Chef
  • Line or Prep Cook
  • Caterer
  • Food Buyer
  • Food Stylist
  • Food & Beverage Director
  • Expediter
  • Assistant Cook/Chef
  • Research & Development Chef
  • Food Journalist
  • Food Critic or Blogger

Professional Kitchen

Our program highlights a state-of-the-art training kitchen with professional culinary equipment. The facility enables students to gain familiarity with the fast-paced environment and diverse tools of a working kitchen.

English Proficiency Requirement

All certificate programs at UCI Division of Continuing Education (classroom and online formats) require professional-level English language proficiency in listening and note-taking, reading comprehension and vocabulary, written expression, and oral presentation.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

In the U.S. News & World Report annual college survey, UC Irvine is ranked among the top 50 universities nationally, and ranks tenth among all public universities.

In the U.S. News & World Report annual college survey, UC Irvine is ranked among the top 50 universities nationally, and ranks tenth among all public universities. Read less
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