An ICE chef instructor demonstrates a technique to a room full of culinary students at the Institute of Culinary Education

School of Culinary Arts

Our Culinary Arts program covers the theory, practice and art of cooking, which can be applied to a broad range of career paths.

Diploma Program

Welcome to the Foundation of Your Career

Consider how much there is to learn and how far you want to go. Recognized as one of the top culinary arts programs in the nation, our award-winning 642-hour comprehensive curriculum is designed to teach you the actual practice and art of cooking through theory, technique, palate training, speed and teamwork. These will be the essentials for success in your culinary career.
Explore earning an associate degree.

Quick Facts

Open House: April 23 at 6 p.m.

Program Duration: 8-12 months

Class Times: morning, afternoon, evening

Tuition, Fees & Charges: $34,792

Open House Registration

Your Priority Is Learning. Ours Is You.

Imagine a classroom where you and your progress matter. With no more than 16 students per instructor, classes cover the necessities required to thrive in the culinary industry, as well as how to forge the personal contacts that will guide you through your journey. What’s more, our students range widely in age and previous professional experience. Some are recent high school or college graduates, while others are line cooks looking to refine their skills or professionals from industries as varied as IT, medicine, publishing and more. This diversity helps make our programs unique and is at the core of our personal, student-focused approach to teaching.

A set of tools, including a whisk, tasting spoon, and various knives, that students use in culinary school

Every class covers a specific skill. Beginning with basic ingredient identification, our Culinary Arts chef-instructors will help train your senses, guiding you through an incredible range of tastes and flavors, from herbs and condiments to vegetables and meats. Your evolution will continue through the development of 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 wide range of mentors with different areas of expertise. This, combined with our global curriculum and externship program, provides you with a solid foundation for a great culinary career inside or outside the kitchen.

Students prepare dishes in culinary school at the Institute of Culinary Education

Real-World Experience

Your culinary roots will be grounded in classical French technique, however, your experience in the program will be unmistakably global. Thailand, India, Japan, Italy, Spain – the technique, ingredients and distinctive flavors of all these regions and others will be a part of your culinary school training. Our Culinary Arts program is designed to take you and your creativity anywhere in the industry and to any country in the world.

ICE Students get experience in professional kitchens with real world externships built into the curriculum.

An important part of ICE's global perspective is gaining hands-on experience in the industry. After 432 hours of intensive classwork, our externship program places you in the heart of the job market where you want to be. Imagine 210 hours of dedicated training in a restaurant, hotel, catering kitchen or other culinary business. What’s more, our full-time staff of Career Services counselors will help you find an externship placement that matches your personal career goals. Time and time again, ICE graduates tell us that their externship placement was instrumental in providing them with invaluable networking opportunities and connections to help kick-start their careers — and many ICE externships result in full-time job offers.

ICE offers students flexible schedule options to manage culinary school class schedules for any lifestyle.

Flexible Scheduling for Your Lifestyle

Our wide range of class schedules is designed to accommodate full-time students and working professionals. You decide what's most convenient for you: morning, afternoon or evening. Attending cooking school doesn’t have to be an unattainable goal. Let us help you make it a reality.

Hunger for Knowledge Arrives at All Hours. So Do Our Chef-Instructors.

Culinary School Chef Instructor teaching at the Institute of Culinary EducationThe Culinary Arts program consists of 642 instructional hours. Students are in the classroom for 432 hours and on their externships for 210 hours acquiring real-world experience in the culinary field.

To provide the utmost flexibility, we run many different schedule options for our Culinary Arts diploma, including morning, afternoon and evening schedules. Choose from schedules that meet between three to five times per week.

  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Cost: $34,792
  • Starts: May 5, July 29
  • Hours: Mon.-Fri., 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: $34,792
  • Starts: May 5, June 14, July 29
  • Hours: Tues.-Thurs., 6-10 p.m.
  • Cost: $34,792
  • Starts: June 15

Combine business and culinary expertise to accelerate success.

Learn more about ICE's Double Diploma option.

Tuition, Fees and Charges Include:

  • All food
  • Uniforms
  • Books
  • Knives
  • Culinary Tool Kit
  • Wine Essentials series
  • Electives
  • Application fee
  • All applicable taxes

Take the Next Step

The admissions process is the start of a lasting relationship with ICE. Your admissions representative will introduce you to the personal experience the school is known for. His or her mission is to understand your career goals, help you select the right program to fit your needs and ensure you find a class schedule that suits your lifestyle.

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

ICE%20Creative-74_375x375.jpgICE’s Career Culinary Arts program contains nine courses, offering students comprehensive training in the art and actual practice of cooking. The first eight courses are composed of 108 four-hour lessons taught by expert chef-instructors at ICE’s Los Angeles facility. Students explore the time-tested fundamentals of cooking, cuisines from around the globe and techniques from modern masters.

The ninth course is an off-site externship at a location chosen by the student based on his or her career goals, working with our dedicated Career Services advisors to ensure the right fit.

The program is constructed as follows:


Course 1


60 hours

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:

  • Classical and contemporary knife skills.
  • Food safety and sanitation.
  • Product identification.
  • Palate development.
  • Breakfast cuisine and egg cookery.
Course 2


48 hours

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

Course Highlights:

  • Classical roasting, grilling, sauteing and braising techniques.
  • Fabrication of poultry, pork and lamb.
  • Introduction to sauce making.
  • Modern techniques such as sous vide.
Course 3


56 hours

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 flat fish, round fish and shellfish as you prepare dishes that highlight the special skills that these foods require.

Course Highlights:

  • Selecting and fabricating fish and shellfish.
  • Fabrication of large subprimals of beef.
  • Introduction to professional plating.
  • Roasting, grilling, sauteing poaching and braising techniques.
Course 4


52 hours

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:

  • Simulated restaurant environment.
  • Menu and plate development.
  • Advanced sauce technique.
  • Fabricating and cooking game.
Course 5


52 hours

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:

  • Making fruit-based desserts.
  • Baking quiches, pies and tarts.
  • Introduction to bread baking.
  • Creating plated desserts.
Course 6


56 hours

France: 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.

Italy: 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 come to appreciate the diversity and simplicity that characterize this important European cuisine.

Asia: 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 7


48 hours

Cuisine from the Mediterranean, from Greece to North Africa, exerts an important influence on the way many chefs cook nowadays. 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.

Course 8


60 hours

Whether it’s hydrocolloids, fermentation or zero-waste cooking, today’s kitchens rely on innovative ideas and modern techniques to produce their 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:

  • Fermenting, preserving and pickling.
  • Modern culinary techniques.
  • Advanced plating and presentation.
  • Cooking of the contemporary masters.
Course 9


210 hours

At the end of their in-class training, all students complete an externship course. While ICE strongly recommends that students extern in restaurant kitchens, they may request venues such as hotels, catering companies, corporate dining rooms, test kitchens or food magazines in order to meet their professional goals.

Culinary school students working in the kitchen classroom.jpgFinancing Your Culinary Education

At this point, you’ve already decided that you’re interested in a professional future in food and hospitality. But should you attend culinary school, and can you can really afford it?

The ICE Office of Student Financial Services puts an award-winning culinary education within your reach. Our Financial Aid advisors are available six days a week to help make your dream of attending culinary school at ICE a reality. 

Learn more about ICE's Student Financial Services.


ICE provides various scholarship opportunities to assist students on their journey towards a career in food and hospitality. Whether offered by ICE itself, our food industry partners or a vetted list of outside organizations, these scholarships provide students with additional resources to realize their dreams of attending our career training programs. Please be aware of the varying deadlines and application requirements for each individual scholarship. For additional information about any of the available scholarships, feel free to contact our Office of Student Financial Services directly at (888) 826-CHEF or

View all ICE Scholarship Opportunities.

Pasta-024-72dpi_375x375.jpgFinancial Aid Options

ICE offers financial assistance from both Federal and Private sources. The following is a list of aid available to those students who qualify:

• Federal Pell Grant
• FSEOG Program
• Federal Stafford Loan
• Federal Direct PLUS Loan
• State-Funded Grants and Loans
• Private Student Loans
• Payment Plan
• Tuition Flex

To learn more about financial aid options, feel free to contact our Office of Student Financial Services directly at (888) 826-CHEF or

View all financial aid options. 

Applying for Financial Aid

Please contact us with any Financial Aid or financing questions, problems or suggestions. We will work closely with you in preparing the necessary forms and documents on student grants, loans or scholarships and employment programs.

Learn how to apply for financial aid at ICE.

In Europe, aspiring chefs learn their trade through culinary apprenticeships. ICE's global teaching perspective takes inspiration from this centuries-old tradition, with our hands-on externship program.

What exactly is an “externship”? Similar in concept to a culinary internship, these paid or unpaid placements are chosen at a student's discretion with the assistance of Career Services Advisors. Each externship is is designed to fit the interests and career goals of the individual student, and externships consistently prove to be an exceptional opportunity for hands-on training and networking at the heart of the industry. What’s more, many externships lead to job offers and full-time employment.

How does the externship program work? The final course of our Culinary Arts program being a 210-hour externship at a restaurant, bakery or other culinary business.

Matthew Leung is a commis at The French Laundry

Matthew Leung

  • Current position: Commis, The French Laundry
  • Externship site: The French Laundry

Matthew Leung won ICE’s #CulinaryVoice scholarship contest, which was featured on ABC’s “The Chew,” in 2018 and enrolled in Culinary Arts at our Los Angeles campus that September. Upon completing his classroom hours, Matt earned an externship as a commis at The French Laundry, where he was hired full time.

"I am learning to define words I thought I already understood — words like inexperienced, perseverance, dedication, commitment, grace, patience and excellence," Matthew says of his job. "This season in my career has been dedicated to a single pursuit: lay the best foundation for myself as I can and understand what doing things the 'right' way looks like."

Read Matt's advice to fellow graduates when he spoke at ICE LA's 2019 commencement.

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

The Most Critical Connections of Your Career Are Often Right Next to You.

Tour the classrooms at ICE and you'll see diversity of age, experience, background and goals. Your classmates will come from all over the United States and around the world.

Some are at the start of their careers, studying at ICE to become executive chefs and managers in the nation's top restaurants. Still others have long sought out ICE to train them for the next chapter in their lives, be they carpenters, lawyers, medical technicians, firefighters, bankers, advertising executives, journalists or actors. Others have already worked in the food industry and want to sharpen their skills in pursuit of better opportunities.

Learn more about Student Life at ICE

Culinary Arts Student Kelly Newsome shares why she decided to enroll in culinary school at ICE.

"I just realized I’m never going to be happy unless I follow this passion inside me, which is to work in food."

Kelly Newsome
Culinary Arts, '17

Professional Demonstrations and Extracurriculars

ICE offers enrichment classes focused on cooking and beverage-related aspects of the food industry, free for alumni and students. Experts from all over the world come to ICE to teach, lecture and cook for our students, providing the exclusive opportunity to watch, interact with and ask questions of these successful epicureans. What's more, ICE hosts great culinary entrepreneurs, from California winemakers and New Orleans chefs, to food website founders and specialty food company presidents, as part of our Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs series.