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Thinking about starting a culinary career as a professional chef? Culinary school can help to get you there! The International Culinary Center is a global leader in culinary education, with unique Total ImmersionSM  professional programs. Learn more about the requirements for becoming a professional chef and the world-class culinary education that ICC offers aspiring chefs.

Chef Education Requirements

Professional chefs usually start out in the kitchen as line cooks, but with experience progress to more advanced positions, including sous chefs, chefs de cuisine and executive chefs. Education is not strictly required to become a chef, though many successful chefs combine education with experience to advance their careers.

Formal Chef Training Programs

Aspiring chefs who pursue formal education and culinary training through programs offered by culinary schools gain a sense of focus and confidence with hands-on training in the kitchen covering safety, sanitation, baking, cooking techniques, food preparation and plating. Some students earn a 2-year associates degree or a 4-year bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, while others receive a diploma from an intensely focused program that lasts 6 months. The International Culinary Center offers a unique diploma-granting program in Professional Culinary Arts, which can be completed in 6 to 9 months and covers more than 200 techniques fundamental to cooking as a profession.

Culinary School Requirements

The Professional Culinary Arts program at the International Culinary Center teaches skills essential to becoming a professional chef such as knife skills, classic techniques, cooking with diverse ingredients and high-volume cooking. You must be at least 17 years of age to enroll in our professional culinary courses and at least 21 years of age to enroll in Intensive Sommelier Training. Proof of high school graduation or GED, as well as English language proficiency is required for our culinary school students.

Start Your Culinary Career Today

Students at ICC’s Culinary Arts program are in the kitchen starting day one under the watchful eyes of accomplished chef-instructors, learning from a curriculum established by world-renowned deans such as Jacques Pepin, André Soltner and José Andrés. The result: aspiring chefs leave with the credentials and connections (with help from ICC’s Career Services) to pursue their culinary desires. For more information about requirements for becoming a chef and enrolling at the International Culinary Center, simply complete the form on this page.

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