The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Columbus State Community College and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) are some of America’s top culinary schools, said FSR magazine in 2014. FSR’s Top 20 list focuses on schools that combine hands-on kitchen classes and practical field experience with comprehensive classroom theory.
The CIA made the FSR America’s Top 20 Culinary Schools list in part due to it’s worldwide externship program, which involves 16 to 18 weeks of practical experience at locations around the globe. The top-ranked Auguste Escoffier School, located in Boulder, CO and Austin, TX, offers students the opportunity to work directly with local farmers during an off-site “Farm-to-Table Experience.” El Centro College in Dallas, another top pick, is praised for its demanding field experience requirements, which ensure that students complete at least 640 hours before graduation.
The quality of the schools’ kitchen facilities was taken into account as well. Highly ranked Indian Hills Community College received a $2 million remodel of their culinary arts education facility in 2008, which included new equipment and setups similar to those in modern restaurants.
Schools were also ranked based on their post-graduate job placement, class size and instructor availability. Other schools high on the Top 20 list were El Centro College, Faulkner State Community College, Florida State College at Jacksonville and the Institute of Culinary Education.