Attend online culinary classes and earn a degree or diploma from the convenience of your own kitchen while living in Chicago, Illinois.* Learn practical skills with a hands-on externship in a professional kitchen. Financial aid is available for those who apply and qualify.

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*Escoffier’s online diploma and degree culinary programs are available through Escoffier’s Boulder, CO campus.


Study the culinary arts while living in Chicago, Illinois with Escoffier’s convenient online programs

Do you want to attend culinary school in Chicago but want the flexibility of being able to study from your own home? Attending culinary school online at Escoffier might be the answer! Escoffier is the largest culinary school brand in the USA* and #3 Best College for Culinary Arts in America in 2024.

With online cooking courses that equip you with an understanding of kitchen fundamentals, management principles, and culinary entrepreneurship, and a hands-on externship that can provide you with practical experience in Chicago.

*Based on comparable student population data for Austin and Boulder as currently reported in Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

2024 Best Colleges for Culinary Arts in America (#3 nationally), Niche

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Online training in

60 weeks

Hands-on Chicago area


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Financial Aid

Escoffier is Nationally Accredited

Escoffier’s online programs are available through Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado, which is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).

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Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training

Yes! Online Culinary School at Escoffier Really Works.

Escoffier has been providing accredited online culinary education since 2015, when our first non-degree online program was established.

Next start date: August 21, 2024


Attend cooking classes online while living in Chicago and gain essential practical experience

Escoffier’s online culinary curriculum, available through its Boulder, Colorado campus, is designed to provide you with the necessary knowledge to pursue your dream career.

Online culinary classes at Escoffier offer a blend of fundamental
cooking skills, business curriculum, and mentorship under professional Chef Instructors. The programs cover a broad range of cooking techniques, from basic cooking skills to various culinary methods, all while helping you to understand the business side of the industry. This well-rounded curriculum can help prepare you to better understand kitchen management, how to prepare yourself to advance to higher positions, and even principles of starting your own business.

Studying online while living in Chicago allows you to be in the heart of an exciting and diverse food scene. With restaurants ranging from small hole-in-the-wall eateries to Michelin-starred restaurants, cooking classes while living in Chicago will immerse you in a world of exciting culinary possibilities. You’ll be able to experience the wide range of cultural dining cities that the city has to offer while working from your own kitchen and enjoying the flexibility of online learning.


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Business-Focused Curriculum

Entrepreneurship & food management business skills
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Personalized Feedback

Support from professional Chef Instructors
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Farm to Table® Coursework

Our programs include a farm-to-table course that focuses on sustainability
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Career Assistance

Culinary arts job search, interview, and career preparation assistance
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Networking Opportunities

Access to alumni mentorship and employer partner network
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Flexible Learning

Earn your online culinary arts degree or diploma from almost anywhere
Flexible learning

Our Online Culinary Programs Cover the Same Curriculum as Our In-Person Programs

Chicago residents can receive online training in the classroom while studying under professional Chef Instructors. Here’s how it works:

An online culinary student taking notes in front of a computer notebook
step 1:


Read assigned texts, watch technique videos, do additional research, and complete knowledge checks.
Escoffier online culinary student works on his laptop at his home
step 2:


Participate in discussion boards with your classmates and instructors about topics related to your coursework, the industry, and more. Join live lessons held virtually each week for a real classroom experience.
An Escoffier online student takes photos of her freshly baked Challah bread in her home kitchen
step 3:


It’s cooking time! Execute your practical assignments, documenting the process along the way through a production sheet and taking photos when instructed to.

The online programs at Escoffier allow students to develop the same skills as ground campus students, but you complete the program in your own kitchen.”

Cost & Time

Online Culinary School Tuition & Financial Aid Opportunities

Most Escoffier students received financial assistance in 2022-2023.* Financial Aid is available to students who apply and qualify.
Federal Financial Aid
Financial aid is available to students who apply and qualify. Get our student aid guide, or speak with a financial aid representative to learn more.
Scholarships and Grants
Learn about scholarships and federal financial grants for those who apply and qualify.
Military Benefits
Eligible active duty, veterans, and their family members have specific grants available to help them reach their educational goals.

Escoffier’s online programs are available through the Boulder, Colorado, campus. The average net price was $11,554 for grant or scholarship aid for students in the largest
program for the time in academic year 2022-23.*

*College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

Online Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Culinary Arts

Program Cost: $35,170
Program Length: 60 weeks

Online Diploma in Culinary Arts and Operations

Program Cost: $23,297
Program Length: 60 weeks

The total program cost listed above encompasses tuition, tool kit, uniform, a non-refundable application fee, and an optional non-refundable technology fee if you do not already have a computer. As textbooks are delivered electronically, the cost of books used in the program and available online to the students are included in the tuition cost. For more cost details, refer to our catalog.

Lamb medallions and asparagus garnished with rosemary on a white plate

The cost for Escoffier is substantially less compared to the other schools I researched. As far as the cost, Escoffier was definitely worth it. You can’t put a price tag on knowledge and education.”*

Brent UnruhEscoffier Culinary Arts Graduate & Executive Chef, Target Hospitality

*This information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.

Hands-on learning while living in CHICAGO

Benefit from hands-on experience with Escoffier’s online culinary arts programs while living in Chicago

At Escoffier, studying online while living in Chicago, IL immerses you in a thriving, multicultural food scene, and can provide you with the hands-on experience you need to help you succeed as a professional. This externship can help you to apply the skills you learned in the classroom to a real-world kitchen alongside culinary professionals.

  • Networking opportunities with culinary professionals
  • Real-world kitchen experience
  • Professional skill development
A collage of photos of an online culinary arts student in front of his computer at home and a student basting butter on dough in her kitchen

“[Career Services department] sent over my application and my resume, and assisted me with setting up the [externship] interview. Within a week, I had an externship placement, and I was figuring out the logistics. That wouldn’t have even been a possibility for me if it had not been for the Chef Instructors and the support staff at Escoffier.”*

Escoffier student Chris Marhevka headshot

“The externship class allows students-even those with no prior experience-to get their foot in the door. Once they gain that valuable experience, it is easier for them to determine which path they want to take with their careers.”*

Escoffier Chef Instructor Vicki Berger
VICKI BERGERESCOFFIER Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management Instructor

“All the puzzle pieces are starting to come together because of the real world experience that I now have, which I didn’t have before. It was hard to see these issues in place since I’ve never worked in a restaurant. Now [after my externship], I can see it.”*

Michael Harden headshot thumbnail
MICHAEL HARDENESCOFFIER graduate & food enthusiast

*This information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.

Chicago: A Thriving Blend of Local and Global Cuisines

Pursuing a culinary degree or diploma online while living in Chicago could provide you with essential hands-on training in the city.

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22 Michelin Star-Awarded Restaurants*

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50 James-Beard Award Winners*

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4 Forbes Travel Guide Ranked Restaurants*

Career Outlook

Earning an online culinary degree or diploma while living in Chicago can unlock exciting professional opportunities

Attending culinary school while living in Chicago can help equip you with the necessary skillset to pursue a wide variety of culinary careers. By gaining networking opportunities and experience in dining establishments, you could be one step closer to pursuing the career of your dreams.

With a combination of real-world education and industry-specific career training, graduates can be well-prepared to pursue careers in various culinary establishments. The diverse Chicago job market may offer opportunities in global cuisines, as well as restaurants that range from small, local eateries to award winning dining establishments.

An elaborate outdoor table setting for a wedding reception

Over 90% of Chicago restaurants surveyed said they had plans to expand, with 73% planning to add one or more locations.*


Frequently Asked Questions About Online Culinary School in Chicago

How do I enroll in online culinary school at Escoffier from Chicago?

Enrolling in online culinary school from Chicago takes about 10 minutes on Escoffier’s convenient online platform. For a detailed overview of the enrollment steps, check out our guide, “How to Get into Culinary School,” or contact the Admissions Department for personalized help.

We accept applications year-round. To apply, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your location and demographic details
  • Emergency contact information
  • The program you’re interested in
  • Proof of graduation
  • A valid driver’s license, passport, or photo ID

After filling out your application, you’ll need to submit it along with a $25 application fee. Following this, you will receive an enrollment agreement packet via DocuSign.

After your application is reviewed, an Admissions Team member will contact you to discuss the next steps. This is also a good time to speak with the Student Finance Department about financing options. Financial aid is available to those who apply and qualify, which can make education accessible to many students.

Do I need a GED or high school diploma to enroll in Escoffier’s online culinary school while living in Chicago?

Yes, to enroll in online culinary school at Escoffier while living in Chicago, you must provide proof of high school completion or an equivalent qualification before your planned start date.

Chicago students can fulfill this requirement through one of the following options:

  • A high school diploma or transcript
  • Passing a high school equivalency exam such as the GED, HSED, HiSet, or TASC
  • Documentation showing you have passed a state-authorized examination recognized as equivalent to a high school diploma
  • An official college transcript from an accredited institution showing completion of an Associate degree or higher
  • Completion of 60 college semester credits or 90 college quarter credits from an accredited institution
  • A state-recognized homeschool certificate of completion
  • Homeschool documentation required by local or state agencies, including notification to the required agency, academic transcripts, and proof of graduation
  • A DD-214 form for U.S. veterans, indicating high school equivalency

Are SAT scores required to attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts from Chicago?

No, SAT scores are not needed to attend online culinary school at Escoffier while living in Chicago.

What GPA do I need to attend Escoffier’s online culinary school while living in Chicago?

Your past GPA is not a factor in the admissions decision for enrolling in online culinary school at Escoffier while living in Chicago.

How much does it cost to go to culinary school in Chicago?

For students in Chicago, see the costs for all programs. Financial aid is available for eligible students who apply and qualify.

To learn more about the financial aid process and to speak with a financial advisor, please contact us.

Is financial aid or scholarships available to attend culinary school in Chicago?

Yes, financial aid is available for students who apply and qualify for culinary school from Chicago.

In the 2022-2023 academic year, most first-time postsecondary students at Escoffier who met the eligibility criteria received some form of financial assistance. We encourage prospective students to contact our Financial Aid Department to determine their eligibility for grants or federally-backed loans.

Escoffier also offers scholarships for qualifying online students, such as the Work & Learn Scholarships, the Student Veteran Scholarship, and various merit-based scholarships.

Explore the available scholarships and see if you qualify.

How long is online culinary school for students living in Chicago, Illinois?

For students living in Chicago, Illinois and elsewhere, the online Diploma Program in Culinary Arts and Operations available to students requires 59 quarter credits and typically takes 890 clock hours to complete over 60 weeks. In contrast, the Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Culinary Arts requires 90 quarter credits and usually takes 1,340 clock hours, also over 60 weeks.* The actual duration may vary depending on any prior diploma program you have completed.

For more details on program lengths, check out our guide: “How Long Does It Take to Finish Culinary School?”

*Time to complete may be extended due to Distance Education course sequencing.

Please note: The clock hours provided are estimates based on the average time needed to complete various activities. Individual completion times may differ.

Is Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts accredited in Chicago?

Escoffier is accredited in Chicago! Escoffier is unique in being one of the few U.S.-accredited institutions offering fully online degrees that include culinary classes and hands-on industry externships.

Our online programs are managed through the Boulder campus. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado, is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).

Furthermore, the school is approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), Division of Private Occupational Schools. The Boulder campus is also authorized by the CDHE to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

This accreditation was achieved through meticulous curriculum development and the recruitment of faculty specialized in online education. This is essential for Escoffier’s culinary arts programs, which are offered entirely online and include in-person industry externships.

Is a culinary school considered a trade school in Chicago?

Yes, at Escoffier, we consider ourselves to be a “culinary trade school,” because we are an accredited institution that offers skills-oriented programs designed for a specific trade.

If you’re living in Chicago, Illinois, it’s important to note that not all educational institutions, including colleges, universities, or trade and technical schools, have accreditation. However, Escoffier’s Boulder campus, which administers our online programs, is an accredited institution authorized to grant degrees and diplomas.

Many students prefer the trade school model because it often allows for quicker program completion compared to traditional colleges, enabling graduates to enter the workforce sooner with specialized industry skills.

Learn more about the differences between culinary schools and traditional colleges.

Note: Escoffier’s online programs are managed through the Boulder campus. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado, is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). It is also approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), Division of Private Occupational Schools. The Boulder campus is authorized by CDHE to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

Do I need to be an Illinois resident to attend online culinary school at Escoffier?

No, you don’t need to be an Illinois resident to enroll in online culinary school at Escoffier. Escoffier’s culinary arts programs are conducted entirely online, apart from hands-on industry externships. This allows students to complete their coursework and earn their degrees or diplomas from almost anywhere in the world.

What culinary job opportunities are available in Chicago?

Ranked one of the best food cities in the United States, Chicago’s food scene is renowned for its diversity, featuring world-class restaurants, vibrant food festivals, and innovative dining experiences.

For graduates with a culinary arts degree or diploma in Chicago, the city’s dynamic culinary landscape can offer numerous job opportunities. Here are some possible career paths in Chicago:

Chefs and Kitchen Staff: Chicago’s dining scene, particularly in neighborhoods like River North, West Loop, and Pilsen, is teeming with innovative and established restaurants. This culinary diversity may offer numerous job opportunities for graduates, spanning a wide range of cuisines from classic deep-dish pizza and hot dogs to contemporary fusion and upscale dining.

Pastry Chefs: Specialty bakeries and patisseries in Chicago, especially those focusing on unique and high-quality baked goods, often seek inventive pastry chefs. The city’s thriving bakery scene can provide an excellent platform for pastry chefs to showcase their talents.

Catering and Event Chefs: Chicago’s vibrant social, corporate, and cultural event scene can offer numerous opportunities for chefs specializing in catering. Roles in this sector typically require skills in menu planning, large-scale food production, and client service, with events frequently held in renowned venues such as Navy Pier and Millennium Park.

Food and Beverage Managers in Hotels: As a major tourist destination, Chicago boasts numerous luxury hotels that may need experienced food and beverage directors to manage their dining establishments. These roles often involve overseeing hotel restaurants, bars, and room service operations.

To discover more culinary job opportunities that could be available to you, check out our article, 13 Great Culinary Careers in the Food Industry.

How do I become a chef in Chicago?

While pursuing a career as a chef in Chicago, gaining a culinary education along with practical experience in the field can be helpful for establishing yourself. Here are some important steps that you can take to pursue this career.

Culinary Education: The online culinary arts program at Escoffier offers a comprehensive education in culinary techniques and kitchen management, enabling you to learn essential skills and advance your education remotely. This program also includes an in-person industry externship, providing invaluable practical experience for an aspiring chef.

Gain Local Experience: Complement your online studies with hands-on experience in Chicago’s dynamic culinary scene, which features a wide range of restaurants, from contemporary eateries to fine dining establishments. Externships in these settings can reinforce the skills learned in your courses.

Start with Entry-Level Positions: Beginning as a line cook or prep cook in Chicago’s restaurants can help solidify your basic skills and expose you to the real-world pressures of a professional kitchen. This experience is crucial for building a career in the culinary arts.

Network in Chicago: Leveraging Chicago’s culinary scene for networking can significantly enhance your career prospects. Participate in local food festivals, culinary competitions, and industry conferences. Joining professional associations, such as the American Culinary Federation’s Chicago chapter, can provide valuable connections with local chefs and restaurateurs.

Combining online education with local experience can help prepare you for a successful culinary career in Chicago. For an in-depth guide to pursuing this career, check out our Essential Guide to Becoming a Chef.

What is the median salary for chefs and head cooks in Chicago?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in the United States, the median salary for chefs and head cooks in Chicago is approximately $62,080 as of May 2023.

Which culinary degree is best for high-paying chef jobs in Chicago?

When choosing between the Diploma in Culinary Arts and Operations and the Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Culinary Arts at Escoffier, it’s important to understand that neither program is automatically better for securing a high-paying job in the culinary industry in Chicago. The best choice depends on your career goals, the level of education you want, and the specific culinary skills you wish to acquire.

Diploma in Culinary Arts and Operations: This program focuses on the essential skills needed to work in a professional kitchen, covering fundamental cooking techniques and basic management skills. It usually takes less time to complete than an associate degree, making it an ideal choice if you want to quickly enter the workforce and start gaining practical experience.

Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Culinary Arts: This degree provides a more in-depth education, including both culinary skills and a broader understanding of culinary arts management. It covers not only culinary techniques but also restaurant operations, foodservice accounting, and business communications. This program can be particularly beneficial if you are considering management roles or planning to run your own culinary business.

Both programs offer valuable education and training for pursuing high-paying jobs. Key factors for achieving a high-paying chef position include taking advantage of networking opportunities in Chicago’s culinary scene, your personal motivation, and applying your skills in real-world settings. Additionally, gaining experience through externships and ongoing professional development is essential, regardless of which degree you choose.

Does Escoffier’s culinary school provide job search assistance after graduation for students in Chicago, Illinois?

Yes, attending online culinary school at Escoffier can offer job search assistance to students in Chicago upon graduation. The Career Services team offers counseling and resources to help students achieve their career aspirations and connect with employers who match their professional goals.

At Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, students can benefit from Career Services support throughout their studies and can continue to receive this assistance even after they have graduated.

Is Escoffier the best culinary school in Chicago?

Niche has ranked Escoffier among the leading culinary arts colleges in the United States and by conclusion one of the best culinary schools you can attend if you are living in Chicago, Illinois. Our school is renowned for its Chef Instructors, comprehensive curriculum, and commitment to sustainable and farm-to-table practices. The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, from fundamental cooking techniques and foodservice management to business skills and diverse culinary concepts.

Moreover, our programs include practical industry externships, providing essential hands-on experience in a professional kitchen setting.

In addition to our online culinary programs, Escoffier offers online courses in Baking and Pastry Arts, Food Entrepreneurship, Plant-Based Culinary Arts, Holistic Nutrition & Wellness, and Hospitality & Restaurant Operations Management.

For those considering a culinary arts career in Chicago, enrolling in Escoffier’s online culinary school can be an excellent choice.

To discover more about what makes our school unique, read our article on what you need to know about culinary school at Escoffier.

An online culinary arts student plating pork chops and sauteed zucchini on a square white plate in his home kitchen

Ready to Attend Online Culinary School while Living in Chicago?