A Culinary school student photographs her class's spread of Latin food at Institute of Culinary Education

Culinary Arts Associate Degree Program

Earn an associate degree in 14 months with ICE's Culinary Arts & Management program.

Diploma Program

The Institute of Culinary Education's First Culinary Degree Program

Pursue your culinary ambitions with an education that combines hands-on cooking fundamentals in the kitchen classroom with management training at our Los Angeles campus and general education courses online on your own schedule. Our new, hybrid program features ICE's reputable culinary career training, instructor expertise, convenient class schedules and established network in the industry. You'll get hands-on training in professionally equipped kitchens with quality ingredients, have access to the learning resource center on campus, and experience real-world work at a food business on an externship.

Our program consists of Culinary Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management, and applied general education courses.

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Quick Facts

Program Duration: 14 months

Class Times: morning, afternoon or evening and online

Tuition, Fees & Charges: $49,958

Open House: June 23rd, 2023

Register Here

A Culinary Arts student plates meat

Culinary Arts

Our signature career training program teaches the practice and art of cooking through theory, technique, palate training, speed and teamwork. Every class covers a specific skill, beginning with basic ingredient identification. ICE chef-instructors will help train your senses, guiding you through a range of tastes and flavors, from herbs and condiments to vegetables and meats. You'll progressively develop culinary techniques such as knife skills, dry and moist heat cooking methods, sauce making, restaurant service simulations, pastry and baking, and more. Over the course of the program, you'll experience lessons with an average of four chef-instructors, exposing you to a variety of mentors with different perspectives and areas of expertise.

A Restaurant & Culinary Management class at ICE's Los Angeles campus

Culinary Management

ICE’s Restaurant & Culinary Management program offers pragmatic training in restaurant management, operations and entrepreneurship. Our experienced instructors will teach you how to develop profitable concepts, write a business plan and market your venture to a target audience. You'll get a sense of how to troubleshoot restaurant and bar management issues concerning operations and staffing, analyze changing trends and make fiscal modifications to keep a business profitable. You'll train to make strategic business decisions with case studies, role-playing and group projects; have a chance to gain valuable professional insights from prominent guest lecturers; and study menu design, social media marketing, kitchen and interior design, and wine tasting and appreciation.

A student studies online

Applied General Education Online Classes

Students take online courses that are relevant to restaurant industry careers, such as the history and culture of food, social psychology, business communication, leadership, change management and more. You'll study subjects as they apply to the business of foodservice, including written and verbal communication strategies as they relate to recipe writing, reviewing, food blogging and culinary demonstrations; team building through developing and empowering people; and nutrition in terms of dietary preferences and the relationship between diet, health and disease.

See Curriculum Below

Gabrielle Russo at SingleThread


You'll have the opportunity to train in a restaurant, hotel, catering kitchen, food media or other culinary business that fits your personal career goals. Our Career Services team will help you find a placement among our hundreds of industry connections. Time and time again, ICE graduates tell us that their externship experience was instrumental in providing mentorship, networking opportunities and connections.

Culinary Arts Associate Degree

Program Highlights

Culinary Arts

  • Study fundamental cooking techniques including roasting, braising, grilling, sauteing and the preparation of stocks and sauces.
  • ​Explore the essential flavor profiles and classic dishes of regions in North America, France, Italy, Asia, India and Latin America.
  • Pursue modern cooking techniques including sous vide, fermentation, preserving and contemporary plating.
  • Train in the art of cooking through theory, technique, palate development, speed and teamwork.

Pastry & Baking Arts

  • Study the fundamentals of pastry and baking, which can be applied to sweet and savory cooking, restaurants and catering.

Restaurant & Culinary Management

  • Explore the interplay between concept development, menu design, pricing and profitability​.
  • Study the basics of cost control and restaurant accounting, including the development of a business plan.
  • Examine "the people side" of the business as it relates to staff supervision and service management.

General Education and Career Development

  • Develop written and verbal communication skills as they relate to recipe writing, reviewing, food blogging and culinary demonstrations. ​​
  • Explore the interconnections between cuisine, historical events and international locations, and the growth of America's culinary culture. ​​
  • Connect personal, professional and financial goals to examine how they contribute to career and personal success, as well as the ​​importance of leadership and team-building. ​
  • Study the basics of nutrition and the relationship between diet, health, nutrients and how a culinary professional can use this knowledge.

This 62-credit hybrid program leads to an associate’s degree in occupational studies (AOS). It is composed of:

  • 25 credits in culinary arts, offered on campus (except externship which is at a foodservice site).
  • 21 credits in culinary management, offered on campus.
  • 16 credits in applied general education, offered online.

Program duration varies according to the schedule option selected. The length of time normally required for completion of each schedule option is determined by calculating the average number of weeks including student-free days and holidays. International students should note that this associates degree program qualifies for F-1 visa applications.  

  • Cost:  $49,958
  • Start: June 8th, 2023
  • Morning or afternoon (24 weeks)
  • Five days (20 hours/week)
  • Morning or afternoon (24 weeks)
  • Three days (12 hours/week)
  • 9 weeks (40 hours/week)
  • Off-site at a foodservice establishment
  • Six online courses
  • 17 weeks
  • Chef
  • Restaurant Management
  • Food media
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Food and Beverage Operations
  • Hospitality
  • Hotel Operations

Tuition, Fees and Charges Include:

  • Chef jackets
  • Chef pants
  • Aprons
  • Hats
  • Shoes
  • Towels
  • Kitchen tools and knives
  • Books
  • Application fee
  • All applicable taxes

Take the Next Step

Why Choose ICE

You know it's in you — the ambition to pursue a rewarding career in food. Attending culinary school is one of the best ways to begin the journey. ICE is ready to help you find your culinary voice.

12 Reasons Why You Should Choose ICE.


Ready to take your interest in ICE further? Speak to an admissions representative about your personal goals, start your application, or download our career brochure so you can access our program information anytime.

Admissions Services

Applying to ICE

ICE Career Brochure

Culinary Fundamentals 1 - Kitchen Essentials

2.5 Credits

Most culinarians begin their culinary journey by learning how to pare and prepare greens and vegetables. After a comprehensive introduction to knife skills and food safety, you’ll use a range of methods for preparing vegetables, progressing from salads to complex vegetarian cuisine, as you begin to explore the techniques that underlie fine cooking.

Course Highlights:

  • Grilled Eggplant and Portobello Sandwich with Fresh Mozzarella and Romesco
  • Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili with Ancho and Sweet Chili Peppers
  • Grain Bowl with Quinoa/Lentil Pilaf and Roasted Vegetables

Culinary Fundamentals 2 - Poultry, Pork & Lamb

2.0 Credits

The first in a series of three courses on protein-based cuisine, this course will stress key techniques like sautéing, roasting, braising and grilling. With an emphasis on sustainability, you will fabricate the essential cuts and prepare stocks and sauces that completely utilize each ingredient. Then you’ll prepare dishes to practice each technique and build your confidence and competence.

Course Highlights:

  • Sous Vide Chicken Breast with Jus Lie
  • Sautéed Duck Breast with Orange Gastrique
  • Pan Roasted Rack of Lamb with Red Wine pan sauce
  • Grilled Brined Pork Chop with Caramelized Onion and Bourbon Sauce

Culinary Fundamentals 3 - Veal, Beef & Seafood

2.0 Credits

Structured in the same way as Course 2, you’ll fabricate steaks, paillards, cutlets and chops, and prepare soups, brown sauces and pan sauces as you continue to deepen your understanding of fundamental techniques. You’ll also apply these methods to seafood, including flatfish, round fish and shellfish as you prepare dishes that highlight the special skills that these foods require.

Course Highlights:

  • Braised Osso Bucco with Risotto
  • Sautéed Filet Mignon with Bearnaise
  • Lobster Bisque
  • Grilled Tuna with Beurre Rouge

Plating & Restaurant Simulation

2.0 Credits

In this final course of the series, you’ll further refine your abilities as you focus on preparing game specialties like rabbit, quail and venison. You will also plate entrées as you simulate the experience of cooking in a restaurant.

Course Highlights:

  • Roast Squab with Dirty Rice and Pan Gravy
  • Braised Rabbit with Prosciutto and Red Onions
  • Pan-Roasted Cod with Manilla Clams and Chorizo
  • Grilled Hangar Steak with Caramelized Shallots and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Pastry & Baking

2.0 Credits

The skills taught in this course are not just for desserts – they can be used in savory cooking as well. From custards and pizza to biscuits and frozen desserts, you will prepare specialties that can be part of exciting entrees or memorable finales to the dining experience.

Course Highlights:

  • Chocolate Soufflé
  • Sweet and Savory Quick Breads and Biscuits
  • Pizza and Flatbreads
  • Crème Brulee

International Cuisine 1 - Mediterranean, the Americas, & Asia

2.0 Credits

Mediterranean cuisine, from Greece to North Africa, exerts an important influence on the way many chefs cook today. You will explore the staple ingredients, various flavor profiles and key dishes of the region and use them as a portal to studying the foods of the Americas.

The panoply of Asian flavors and techniques exert a growing influence on culinary arts around the world. Understanding how to use the herbs, spices, ingredients and methods that characterize these cuisines is a necessity in today’s global food scene. Centering on flavor profiles and specific techniques, this course acquaints students with the essential dishes of India, China, Japan and Thailand.

Course Highlights:

  • Falafel
  • Roast Turkey with Mole Negro
  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken
  • Pad Thai
  • Northern Indian Lamb Curry
  • Sushi

International Cuisine 2 - France, Italy & Garde Manger

2.0 Credits

France is considered the touchstone for all Western cuisines – and for good reason. In this course, students become familiar with characteristic ingredients, methods and dishes from some of the most important culinary regions in the country: Provence, Burgundy, Normandy and Alsace.

Regionality is the essence of all things Italian and this concept is central to our presentation of Italian cuisine. We’ll focus on Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo and other regions that comprise what we think of as modern-day Italian cuisine. Using authentic recipes and ingredients, students can come to appreciate the diversity and simplicity that characterize this important European cuisine.

Course Highlights:

  • Bouillabaisse with Rouille
  • Cassoulet
  • Fresh Egg Pasta with Pesto

Advanced Cuisine

2.5 Credits

Whether it’s hydrocolloids, fermentation or zero-waste cooking, today’s kitchens rely on innovative ideas and modern techniques to produce signature dishes. In this course, you’ll study the methods and flavors that the best restaurants are using to take food to the next level and create enjoyable dining experiences. Finally, with a basket of seasonal ingredients, students will work alone to create unique menus that demonstrate their skill and creativity.

Course Highlights:

  • Fermentation, Preserving and Pickling
  • Introduction to Hydrocolloids
  • Zero-Waste Cooking
  • Cooking of the Contemporary Masters

Concept Development & Menu Design

3.0 Credits

This course is designed to acquaint students with the realities of a culinary business concept — from creativity to profitability. By surveying the industry, students explore all types of operations and analyze concepts, as well as research feasibility and location selection. Students gain the knowledge required to develop and refine their ideas. This course also gives a comprehensive view of key aspects of the menu, including planning, pricing, layout, and design. Students prepare sample menus as a project, which will become part of their final business plans.


2.0 Credits

Culinary businesses are marketing businesses from the moment an idea is developed through opening and operation. This course provides an in-depth examination of how a marketing plan is developed, including market research, positioning, product mix, and life cycle. This includes development of potential strategies for advertising, merchandising, public relations, social media, and promotion.

Food Safety

1.0 Credit

Proper food handling and safety procedures are important elements of a successful culinary business. In this course, students earn the nationally recognized ServSafe certification while learning the essential principles of food safety.

Purchasing & Cost Control

3.0 Credits

Strategies for purchasing and control are vital for the success of any culinary operation. This course examines labor, beverage and food costs, and revenue control. Purchasing guidelines, inventory and control, employee-performance standards, productivity and scheduling, use of point-of-sale systems, computers, and new technology are also reviewed.

Supervisory Management & Food Service Law

3.0 Credits

People are the most important resource in any culinary business. In this course, students focus on the major functions of management, including leadership, motivation, communication, hiring practices, recruitment, training, discipline and staff organization. In addition, this course focuses on the legal rights and responsibilities of owners and operators. Topics include labor relations, employment law, real estate and contracts. Various business structures are also surveyed.

Service Management

2.0 Credits

Managing the front of the house requires particular knowledge and skill. Students are introduced to the tools and techniques of service and service management in restaurants and other foodservice operations. This course also covers how to build customer satisfaction.

Finance & Accounting

3 Credits

A working understanding of numbers is critically important to culinary success. The curriculum for this course focuses on the use of financial statements as a tool for control and decision-making. Topics include balance sheets, statements of net income, break-even analysis, cash flow and financing. Budgets, industry standards and variation analyses are emphasized. Actual case studies are used to provide real experience.

Beverage & Wine

2.0 Credits

Beverage sales is a challenging business. This course explores all areas of beverage service, including wine, spirits, beer, mixology, nonalcoholic drinks and bar design. Wine tasting and appreciation are included. Students will study proper alcohol service and receive safe beverage service certification.

Facilities & Design

2.0 Credits

This course examines how to bring a concept to life, from design through construction and final inspection. Whether planning to renovate or build a restaurant from scratch, students gain insight into capital costs and budgeting, as well as how to work with architects, designers and contractors. Topics include equipment and systems basics, space analysis, product and people flows, and kitchen and interior design.

Social Psychology and Interpersonal Relations

3.0 Credits

This course will examine social context and the way it influences our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the application of social psychology concepts to real-world problems and to incorporate concepts explored in class to relevance in their own lives.

Business Communications

3.0 Credits

This course introduces students to the foundations of communication in a culinary business setting. This course will examine and apply the types and purposes of various business documents; create messages using appropriate channels for delivery based on context, audience and purpose; and explore the effect of technology, such as social media, on business communication. Students will also study written and verbal communication strategies as they relate to recipe writing, reviewing, food blogging and culinary demonstrations.

Food and Applied Nutrition

3.0 Credits

An introductory course in the study of the principles of human nutritional needs. Students examine current dietary guidelines, the function of nutrients and dietary preferences. Students will study menus and recipes for modifications to optimize nutritional content and balance the current trends in nutritional study with culinary and baking techniques. The course highlights the relationship between diet, health, disease and how applied nutrition can benefit not only immune-challenged populations but average healthy populations as well.

Leadership, Team Building and Change Management

3.0 Credits

Great leadership goes beyond good management and permeates a culture. This course will explore leadership variables and principles, the power of vision, the importance of ethics, the empowerment of people, understanding people, multiplying effectiveness, developing others, and performance management. Additionally, in this course, students will identify their own leadership styles and how best to utilize them to maximize leadership through organizational change and team building.

Career and Self-Management

2.0 Credits

This course is designed to enhance student success in transitioning to, and succeeding in, the hospitality industry by providing career planning tools, expected behaviors, and soft skills essential for career success. The course emphasizes three key areas for professional success: life planning, workplace skills and career planning. Students study how to connect personal, professional and financial goals and how these goals ultimately contribute to career and personal success.

The History and Culture of Food

2.0 Credits

This course explores the importance of food and foodservice throughout history, from prehistoric times to the present. The historical influence on modern foodservice is analyzed, and culinary trends in history are identified and investigated. Topics will include the relation of food to personal and cultural identity and the interconnections between cuisine, historical events and international locations.


8.0 Credits

This is the last course in the program in which students work at a foodservice-related site. While ICE strongly recommends that students extern in restaurant kitchens, they may request venues such as hotels, catering companies, corporate dining rooms or test kitchens in accordance with their professional goals.

Proven Results

Read stories about graduates from our Los Angeles campus on the blog.

Mashama Bailey is a graduate of Institute of Culinary Education

Mashama Bailey

Mashama learned to cook from the women in her family and attended the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) to formalize that education, then studied in France and explored food through travel. She spent a dozen years cooking at New York City restaurants, including at Prune for her friend and mentor, Gabrielle Hamilton, for four years. Now executive chef of The Grey in Savannah, Mashama was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Southeast award in 2018, among other accolades. She is a vice chairman on the board of the Edna Lewis Foundation, honoring the legacy of the chef who greatly influenced Mashama’s menu at The Grey.

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Maxime Bilet is an ICE graduate

Maxime Bilet

Maxime Bilet first earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature and creative writing from Skidmore College. He then came to ICE and, after graduating, quickly climbed the ranks to become the executive chef of Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar — a position he earned a year after graduation. Next, he moved to London where he worked for famed chef Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck, first as a prep cook then as a lab cook in the chef’s development kitchen.

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Esther Choi is a graduate of Institute of Culinary Education

Esther Choi

mŏkbar chef and owner Esther Choi grew up cooking traditional Korean food with her Korean-native grandmother. So while Esther was born in New Jersey and spent her early childhood in the oceanside town of Egg Harbor, she was always keenly aware of her Korean heritage. That awareness morphed into immersion when her family moved to Korea for three years, because her parents wanted to ensure that their children would cherish Korean culture. Esther enthusiastically embraced her parents’ goal – her mission today is to broaden New Yorkers’ understanding and appreciation of Korean culture through her food. Esther's formal training as a chef began at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), continuing in the kitchens of ilili and La Esquina, as well as that of the Food Network.

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