Top 10 Culinary Schools in Colorado | Fees & Details

Looking for a school where you can gain expert cooking skills? See the list of best culinary schools in Colorado curated in this post and find a program that matches your academic interest.

Colorado is a state in the US and has its share of top universities and colleges, community colleges, as well as, technical and vocational institutes. These institutions offer a wide range of quality innovative academic programs in the areas of teaching and research with academic qualifications that are globally recognized.

Just like most US states, Colorado also has its share of culinary schools and normal colleges that offer culinary programs which is the main purpose of this post. And, if by chance, you aren’t in Colorado but want to enroll in a culinary school in one of the US states, we have other posts that could guide you.

The state of Pennsylvania has the highest number of culinary schools and you might find some that are tailored to meet your needs. Aspiring chefs living in Miami can check out the culinary schools and programs there and we also have a list of top culinary schools for Californian residents.

Following these recommendations can set you up for a successful career in the food service industry.

A culinary school is designed to equip you with a hands-on skill that includes preparing, cooking, presenting, and serving food often in a business setting like a restaurant and prepare you for a career in the food service and hospitality industry.

How Long are Culinary Schools in Colorado?

The program duration of culinary schools in Colorado is between 5 months to 4 years depending on the qualification you want to pursue. While a certificate and diploma will take 5 to 15 months to complete, an associate’s and bachelor’s will take 2 and 4 years respectively to complete. For those who have earned a bachelor’s degree and want to pursue a master’s degree, this takes 2 years to complete.

Average Cost of Culinary Schools in Colorado

The average cost of culinary schools in Colorado is $9,894. Could be higher or lower depending on the school and program you chose to study.

culinary schools in Colorado

Best Culinary Schools in Colorado

Before you gain admission into any of the culinary schools in Colorado, you have to meet the program requirements and get the necessary tools. For each of the culinary schools discussed here, I have provided their specific entry requirements were available, as well as their tuition fees, and other important info that will facilitate your admission.

Carefully read through each of the schools and apply for the one that best suits your academic interest. Without further ado, the following are the best culinary schools in Colorado:

1.     Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

One of my first list of best culinary schools in Colorado is the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, established in 1999 as a contemporary culinary center. I had to put this culinary school on my first list due to its years to experience and fast-track program offerings. If you don’t want to commit months or years to pursue a qualification in the culinary arts, the Cook Street School is where you should be.

The school offers an accelerated Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management program that takes just 8 weeks to complete. And the program is offered during the day and evening to fit your busy schedule. So, if you are a chef looking to become a professional, this is the program for you. You can be able to work and attend classes.

Admission Requirements for Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

  • Submit a complete application
  • High school transcripts or transcripts from previously attended institutions
  • Two recommendation letters
  • Interview
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident

Tuition Fee

You’re going to have to contact the admissions office to learn about the tuition fee. The tuition covers pastry and wine training, real-world business application, ServSafe Certification, field trips, textbooks, knife kit, uniform, and class materials.

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2.     Paragon Culinary School

Paragon Culinary School is one of the best culinary schools in Colorado and the only culinary school in the world that accepts crypto payments. The school has three locations in Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Green Mountain Falls.

Paragon teaches you everything that concerns culinary, from baking and pastry to advanced management/restaurateur and advanced cookery all in three years but you can complete it in 1.5 to 2 years.

Students are engaged in a lot of hands-on work, field trips, and varieties of homework and projects throughout each trimester.

Admission Requirements for Paragon Culinary School

  • Fill out an application
  • Must have completed high school or its equivalent
  • Provide transcripts from previously attended institutions including high school
  • Get the uniform which is black pants and black shoes and a white jacket
  • Minimum age of 18 years or older

Tuition Fee

The total tuition fee at Paragon culinary school is $29,999 and covers uniforms and knives.

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3.     Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is one of the best culinary schools in Colorado that you should consider applying for and here are the reasons:

  • It is ranked the No. 1 best culinary school in the world by Chef’s Pencil, an internationally recognized platform that ranks culinary institutes.
  • More than 70% of its students get financial aid such as scholarships, bursaries, grants, etc. to finance their education
  • There is a wide range of innovative culinary programs that you can take completely online or on-campus

The programs offered at this school are an associate of occupational studies degree in culinary arts, a diploma in culinary arts, an associate of occupational studies degree in baking and pastry, a diploma in pastry arts, a plant-based cuisine diploma, and holistic nutrition, and approaches to wellness diploma. Application is done online and international students are accepted.

Application Requirements for Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

  • A complete application
  • High school transcripts, GED, diploma, or an equivalent
  • An official I.D like a driver’s license, passport, or photo I.D


The total program cost is $20,439

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4.     Colorado Mountain College

Colorado Mountain College is a community college in Glenwood Springs, Colorado that provides academic offerings to the area. The college offers a wide range of academic degree programs leading to a certificate, associate, and bachelor’s.

Amongst its wide program offerings are also other culinary programs in Basic Culinary Skills, Bakery Arts, Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and Culinary Art Production Cook I & II.

These culinary programs are one of the most affordable in the state and offer a quality hands-on education that will equip you with real-world experience and help you build a successful career in the foodservice industry.

Each of the culinary programs has different requirements and tuition fees, be sure to check them out before applying or contact the admissions office for more details.

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5.     Denver Cooking Classes

Denver Cooking Classes offer a range of online and in-person classes to improve your cooking skills and teach you more cooking techniques that you can apply either in your business or personal life. There is no certification, diploma, degree, or qualification provided. It’s simple, come and learn how to make great meals.

Class prices are between $110 to $260.

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6.     The School of Natural Cookery

The School of Natural Cookery is not your typical culinary school. This cooking training school has been in the foodservice industry since 1983 and uses a non-traditional culinary training designed to integrate a healing, creative, process with the art of cooking whole, plant-based ingredients. Students here are trained to create recipes and not how to depend on them.

The two study options here are Independent Study and Natural Chef Diploma which students can decide to take online or in-person.

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7.     Emily Griffith Technical College

This college offers culinary arts programs which makes it ranks among the best culinary schools in Colorado. The culinary program here will equip you with hands-on experience cooking a wide variety of cuisines and dishes and also offer you the skills how to effectively manage a restaurant or a hospitality business.

The program length takes 7 months to complete and costs $7,136. Financial aid and scholarships are also available.

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8.     Western Colorado Community College (WCCC)

WCCC offers one of the best culinary arts programs in Colorado, blending arts, science, craft, entertainment, hospitality, and health. The school offers an associate of applied science in culinary arts and a technical certificate in food preparation.

Class sizes are kept small to boost learning engagement and the courses are taught in a modern commercial kitchen with full equipment.

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9.     Pickens Technical College

Pickens Technical College is one of the best culinary schools in Colorado, and the program takes only two semesters to complete. Students are equipped with fundamental skills in cooking and baking techniques, food properties, nutrition, basic kitchen management, as well, as safety. Students are also trained not to rely on recipes, but rather to create theirs.

The entry requirements are provided to students who contact the admissions office. The total program cost is $5,468.

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10.  Pueblo Community College

Pueblo Community College is one of the best culinary schools in Colorado due to its high-quality culinary arts program. The culinary program here leads to two qualifications, an associate of applied science and a certificate and the program duration is 4 semesters. Courses are offered during the day and evening, you can choose any of the study options that are flexible for you.

The admission requirements will be available to you when you contact the admission office. The total program cost is $1,260.

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This wraps up the best culinary schools in Colorado and I hope they have been helpful. For any of the schools that pique your interest, start sending in your applications early to increase your chances of getting admitted.