5 Best Culinary Schools in Chicago | Fees and Details

Enrolling into one of the best culinary schools in Chicago is no mean feat, for starters, you are undertaking a venture that has the potential of high returns on investment if one applies him/herself properly.

And to show my support of your desire to improve yourself, I present to you the 5 Best Culinary Schools in Chicago where special attention would be poured into the fine details of the school and the admission process, the requirements to be met to become admitted into one of the culinary schools in Chicago, and what are the tuition and fees like—this is to ensure you have a forehand knowledge of all the respective fees of the 5 best culinary schools in Chicago so that you make an informed decision.

Chicago needs no introduction, it is a world-renowned city full of great names in several fields of enterprise, take for example the Chicago bulls, while not many easily know this—but Kanye West hails from Chicago, same as Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Murray thinks out aloud on the few that comes to mind.

Also, Chicago is an extremely popular state for students—international and indigenous—as the University of Chicago is considered to be amongst the best universities in the United States where students can study, become better, and more improved persons. It is as well recognized as one of the best universities to attend for those wanting to study international relations in the United States.

I can go on and on about how great the University of Chicago is and how it has made the state of Chicago proud, but I will add to this list by saying that Chicago is blessed with one of the best universities where students can study Law with ease in the United States.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Illinois seventh in the US for chef and head cook job possibilities. In the state, over 27,000 dining and drinking establishments generate over $24.5 billion in revenue. Culinary specialists are predicted to be in high demand by 2026, with 41,300 positions expected to be available.

With this rich culture of flair and serious educational backbone, little wonder why there are a bountiful number of culinary schools in Chicago.

We must identify some of the requirements for studying in any of the culinary schools in Chicago as it is noted that they uphold a high standard;

  • To begin, you must have high school diplomas, official transcripts, GED, HISET, high school equivalency credentials, and other documentation indicating that you have completed high school and be prepared to submit them.
  • You must be able to provide reference letters as well as appropriate identification cards.
  • You must submit a handwritten essay that is filled out.
  • International students must have a study permission card or a student visa in their hands.
  • It is important to note that you must submit your scores on proficiency tests such as IELTS or TOEFL for English language users, DELE for Spanish language users, DELF or DALF for French-language users, and DSH, OSD, TELF, and TestDAF for German language users, so it is critical to improving your proficiency in these languages. It’s also worth noting that not all culinary schools in Chicago need this.

It is critical to obtain a culinary degree from a respected educational institution. A great curriculum requires hands-on experience, professional personnel, internship/externship opportunities, and student-run eateries.

Based on the criteria above, we compiled a list of the top 5 finest culinary schools in Chicago. Many of the schools on our list are recognized by the American Culinary Federation, and all of them, according to our research, have a good reputation in the field.

Culinary Schools in Chicago

5 Best Culinary Schools in Chicago | Fees & Details

1.      Richland Community College-Decatur

For individuals interested in working in the culinary arts, Richland Community College’s certified culinary program offers a range of possibilities. Culinary Arts students can achieve an AAS degree that includes a practicum and coursework in human relations and public speaking.

Certificate programs take less time to complete and contain both fundamental and specialized training relating to the topic of study. This hands-on curriculum teaches students how to use a variety of cutting-edge kitchen equipment as well as fundamental culinary skills.

The Bistro Five Thirty-Seven provides students with additional opportunities to develop their talents and get real-world experience. The Bistro Five Thirty-Seven is open for lunch and supper on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Admission Requirements

For one of the best culinary schools in Chicago, Richland Community College-Decatur has some of the easiest admission requirements you can find around, for example;

Prospective students must have completed high school or received a High School Equivalency Certificate based on the GED test, been home-schooled and met the “ability to benefit” as determined by a test recognized by the US Department of Education, or Intend to enroll in a GED course, or be a high school junior or senior with principal approval to enroll, or be a gifted student under the age of 16 with principal approval to enroll.

Tuition and Fees

Students seeking to enroll in Richland Community College-Decatur would find out that it is one of the more affordable culinary schools in Chicago as the school has established $6,180 as payments for Local tuition and Domestic tuition of $14,370. The Richland Community College-Decatur’s website provides more perspective on this and other fees and payments to be made during the study.

There is a reason why Richland Community College-Decatur is the toast of Chicago, it is affordable and has some of the teachers and facilitators around, when don’t you find out for yourself by;


2.      Southwestern Illinois College-Granite City

Students interested in culinary arts and food management can enroll in Southwestern Illinois College’s culinary arts and food management program.

This top-rated culinary school provides degree and certificate programs taught by industry professionals with extensive experience in the restaurant and hotel industries.

Students may study in a hands-on atmosphere with current cooking equipment and workspace, allowing them to perfect their skills.

Students who desire to participate in further professional development activities might join the Culinary Arts Club, which participates in local and national competitions.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students seeking information about the admission requirements would need to contact the Southwestern Illinois College by sending a mail to them requesting the requirements for admission.

Tuition and Fees

Most culinary schools in Chicago are known to help students and parents alike to have information about the payments to be made before deciding on joining them, the Southwestern Illinois College is not left out on this as prospective students, their parents, and guardians can find out the required and total amounts to be paid on tuition during the duration of their stay.


3.      Moraine Valley Community College-Palos Hills

As one of the best culinary schools in Chicago, the Moraine Valley Community College is a top-rated culinary school that offers an AAS degree in Culinary Arts to students who want to work in entry-level to mid-level roles in the industry.

Students will gain skills and practices that will enable them to succeed in a variety of environments, including cruise ships and health care. Sanitation, food preparation, administration, and menu planning are just a few of the topics covered in class. In two years of full-time study, this 64-credit-hour degree may be completed.

Admission Requirement

Residents must live in the Moraine Valley Community College District for at least 30 days before the start of the semester and must fulfill at least one of the following requirements:

  • Those under the age of 18 who live in the college district with their parents or legal guardians;
  • Under the age of 18 who is married and has a permanent family residence in the district;
  • Under the age of 18 who lives in the district in a home he or she has acquired; and/or 18 or older who lives in the district but does not live there to attend college.

International Students — See the International Student Affairs section for information on international student entrance procedures.

Regularly accepted students are those who have completed the college’s admissions procedure. The application procedure is not complete until the following documents are received:

  • A completed registration form with all essential information (available at morainevalley.edu).
  • A final high school transcript with the student’s graduation date, a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or an official report of qualifying GED scores Although it is not essential for admission, submitting a high school transcript or GED certificate is strongly recommended. Financial aid, special admission programs, and athletes all require these documents.
  • if applicable, copies of all college transcripts
  • The sending of a new student welcome letter with information on academic placement tests and Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) programs will be the final admission procedure.
  • The completion of standardized academic placement examinations will let students enroll in a Student Orientation and Registration program.
  • The American College Testing (ACT) is not compulsory, although it can be utilized to help with academic advising and counseling, as well as admittance to certain programs.

Tuition and Fees

The student’s legal domicile determines the tuition rate. Residents of the Moraine Valley Community College district pay cheaper rates than those who attend Moraine Valley from outside the district. A student who temporarily relocates to the district to attend college at a lower tuition cost is not regarded to have established a bona genuine domicile within the district.

Being one of the best culinary schools in Chicago, Moraine Valley Community College provides students with Local tuition of $8,095 and Domestic Tuition of $9,319. Further information can be found by visiting the Moraine Valley Community College’s Site.

Students know that Moraine Valley Community College is one of the culinary schools in Chicago that is touted to be amongst the finest in the state, why don’t you seize this opportunity and;


4.      Joliet Junior College-Joliet

The American Culinary Federation has accredited Joliet Junior College as a premier award-winning culinary school. Potential students can participate in “Chef for a Day,” which allows them to get a taste of what it’s like to study culinary arts.

Saveur, the on-campus restaurant, is operated by advanced culinary students. Students cook and serve meals from scratch, allowing them the opportunity to learn and exhibit their talents in a professional work environment.

Students can engage in special events, trips, and contests through JJC’s Competitive Cooking Club and Epicurean Club. Students receive hands-on training from industry experts with over 140 years of expertise.

Admission Requirement

To enroll as a new student, you must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • I am 18 years old.
  • a graduate of high school (or soon-to-be graduate)
  • You obtained your GED.

Tuition and Fees

The estimated annual cost of tuition for Joliet Junior College is $14,720 per year. The college also offers more information on fees and tuition as it also provides a tuition calculator for those interested in seeking admission.


5.      College of DuPage-Glen Ellyn

Culinary students at the College of DuPage have the opportunity to participate in internships and get professional training. The program is housed in a 60,000 square-foot complex with a boutique hotel, two student-run restaurants, a retail shop, and a cutting-edge cooking lab.

After completing their skills training, students work in the Wheat Café, a casual dining kitchen. Students then moved on to the Waterleaf restaurant, where they worked in a fine dining setting. The Culinary Market is a retail shop where students stock homemade things such as soups, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods. Students in the Baking & Pastry Arts program work in a professional bakeshop and learn both fundamental and advanced techniques.

Admission Requirements

  • Be 16 years old or older at the commencement of the course and not have a high school diploma or GED.
  • A total GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale or 3.75 on a 5.0 scale in high school.
  • Fill out the Early Admissions Application.
  • All requirements for the selected course must be met. More information regarding class prerequisites, including compulsory placement examinations, may be found in the Course Catalog.
  • An interview with a representative from Admissions is necessary. To the interview, students should bring an unofficial high school transcript, evidence of requirements (if applicable), and the signed Early Admissions Entrance Form.

Tuition and Fees

  • $140 per credit hour in Fall 2022 ($110 tuition plus $30 fees)
  • $138 per credit hour in Spring and Summer 2022 ($108 tuition + $30 expenses)

As one of the best culinary schools in Chicago, the tuition and fees indexes have a lot more information that covers the various types of students interested in applying to the College of Du-page.


The best Culinary Schools in Chicago not only offer the best in terms of teaching abilities and student performance, but also are people-centered, and pocket friendly. Therefore, it is wise to choose a path with any of the culinary schools in Chicago to pursue your dreams at pocket-friendly rates.

Culinary Schools in Chicago — FAQs

What is the most popular culinary school in Chicago?

Joliet Junior College-Joliet is considered by many to be the most popular culinary school in Chicago.