USA Culinary Arts Programs

Besides their curricula for students seeking careers in the field, several U.S. cooking schools have programs specially designed for locals as well as tourists wanting to sharpen their culinary skills. One such is Johnson & Wales University (, with its Chefs Choice classes at its Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Charlotte, North Carolina, campuses.

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In Greenwood, Mississippi, and at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, The Viking Cooking School ( guides students with preparing gourmet dishes during 90 minute or three hour sessions.

The Creative Cooking School ( in Las Vegas offers four-day classes that teach the techniques of sauteing, stir-frying, roasting, grilling, and pan-frying. Participants learn how to prepare romantic dinners, spruce-up recipe staples, and create dessert treats like chocolate decadence souffle.

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The Culinary Institute of America ( offers two- to five-day sessions at its upstate New York campus. The basic program covers stocks, sauces, and sauteing; the pastry course tackles delicacies from buttercreams to creme anglaise; and baking courses focus on recipes from sourdough starters to scones. At the school’s campus in St. Helena, California, novices can take a variety of food and wine courses.

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The following are other prominent cooking schools, all of which offer both chef demonstrations and hands-on classes:

• New Orleans Cooking Experience (New Orleans, LA;

• Relish Culinary Adventure (Healdsburg, CA;

• The French Pastry School (Chicago, IL;

• The Institute of Culinary Education (New York, NY; (

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Select cruise lines also offer culinary activities. Crystal Cruises, for example, started its guest chef program on world cruises in the early 1990s and has since expanded to more than a dozen itineraries. In addition to the sure-fire appeal of the cooking demonstrations and tastings by celebrated chefs, the line sees it as an educational tool for its own chefs. Adding a winemaker or sommelier boosts wine sales.

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