Michigan employs over 421,500 food service and restaurant workers around the state, accounting for almost 11% of all workers in the state. The demand for culinary professionals is on the rise, with another 43,600 jobs expected by 2026 according to the National Restaurant Association. To prepare for this influx, now is the time to earn your certificate or degree in the culinary arts. Employers are looking for culinary professionals with the skills and abilities needed to be successful in this competitive industry.
We developed a list of the top 10 best culinary schools in Michigan to showcase the top culinary schools in the state. Schools in our list provide students with the opportunity for hand-on skill development, individualized attention, use of professional equipment, and certificate or degree opportunities that are recognized in the field. Many of the schools listed have earned accreditation by the American Culinary Federation, an indicator of a quality culinary program.
#10. Dorsey Schools Culinary Academy-Roseville, Michigan
Certificate Program: Culinary Arts Diploma
Dorsey Schools Culinary Academy is a top accredited culinary school offering a Culinary Arts Diploma. Students have access to the latest in kitchen equipment and “learn by doing” throughout the program. An externship opportunity is provided for students to gain professional experience before earning their diploma. Courses cover areas such as food preparation, sanitation, menu planning, and kitchen management. Culinary techniques and skills related to baking, butchering, healthy cooking, and nutrition are also included as part of the program.
#9. Macomb Community College-Clinton Township, Michigan
Degree Programs: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts; Certificate in Culinary Management; Skill Specific Certificate-Prep Cook
The culinary arts program at Macomb Community College is accredited by both the National Restaurant Association and the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission. Students in the AAS in Culinary Arts program have the opportunity to complete a variety of courses including Nutritional Cooking; Vegetarian Cuisine, Pastry Arts; Catering, and Menu Planning. Culinary students operate the student-run restaurant, Center Stage, to prepare and serve meals to the public. Graduates of the certificate program are prepared to work in first line supervision of food preparation. Prep cook program graduates can be successful in positions such as food prep worker or food service worker.
#8. The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Michigan-Novi, Michigan
Degree Programs: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts; Diploma in Baking and Pastry; Diploma in Culinary Arts
The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Michigan offers a professional culinary arts program with associate degree and diploma programs to meet the needs of up and coming culinary professionals. Students are engaged in a variety of professional development opportunities such as participating in the “Mac N’ Brews & Comfort Food” competition (the team won!), working with Rachel Ray to provide cooking lessons, and competing in the SkillsUSA State Championship. Students in the program work with state-of-the-art culinary equipment throughout the program. Diploma program students are prepared for entry level positions in the field and have the knowledge and skills needed to become productive team members.
#7. Washtenaw Community College-Ann Arbor, Michigan
Degree Programs: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management; AAS in Bakery and Pastry Arts; Culinary Arts Certificate; Baking and Pastry Certificate
Washtenaw Community College is a top culinary school offering a variety of degree and diploma programs for culinary professionals. Bakery and Pastry students have the opportunity to take courses such as Wedding Cake Design and Bakery Management and Merchandising. An exciting feature of this program is an entrepreneurship course which prepares students to open their own successful baking business. Culinary and Hospitality Management Students learn both classical and modern kitchen operations as well as kitchen operations in both American Regional and Global Cuisine. This program articulates to a four-year degree at either the Art Institute of Michigan or Eastern Michigan University.
#6. Culinary Studies Institute at Oakland Community College-Farmington Hills, Michigan
Degree Programs: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts (exemplary); Certificate in Baking and Pastry
The Culinary Studies Institute at Oakland Community College is a top culinary school with several academic programs to meet the needs of those just starting out in the industry as well as those ready to move up. Accredited by the American Culinary Federation the Culinary Arts AAS degree program features a working internship and the opportunity to participate in culinary competitions. Coursework in retail baking, restaurant meat cutting, buffets and banquets, and plated desserts are part of the program. Electives such as theme cakes, ice carving, chocolate artistry, and wedding cake design are offered. Baking and Pastry students earn their certificate by completing 32 credit hours of coursework specifically related to their specialty.
#5. Great Lakes Culinary Institute at Northwestern Michigan College-Traverse City, Michigan
Degree Programs: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts (exemplary); Level #3 Certificate in Culinary Arts
Great Lakes Culinary Institute at Northwestern Michigan College features both an AAS degree and a certificate program for students seeking a hands-on learning environment in a top accredited culinary school. Great Lakes Culinary Institute is accredited by the American Culinary Federation and the AAS degree program has been awarded exemplary status. GLCI features five culinary laboratories, a 90-seat training restaurant, Lobdell’s, that is run by culinary students. The certificate program articulates to the AAS degree program, allowing students to continue their education if they choose to do so.
#4. Schoolcraft College-Livonia, Michigan
Degree Program: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts
The culinary arts program at Schoolcraft College is one of the best in Michigan. A small student/faculty ratio (16:1) ensures that students get individual attention from experienced faculty. Students have the opportunity to gain hands on work experience at the American Harvest Restaurant during the program. American Harvest Restaurant is open to the public, allowing students to prepare and serve meals to customers. The Main Street Café is another student operated dining facility on campus which provides additional training opportunity. Coursework covers the preparation of food for a variety of cultures and the importance of design in the food industry. Graduates of the associate degree program are prepared to work in an advanced level culinary position as a chef or manager.
#3. Henry Ford College-Dearborn, Michigan
Degree Programs: BS Degree in Culinary Arts; AAS Degree in Culinary Arts (Exemplary); Specialized skill certificates in Baking and Pastry, Professional Ice Carving, and Restaurant Service
Henry Ford College offers both a BS and AAS degree in Culinary Arts that feature hands-on instruction from experienced professionals in the field. Henry Ford College has six culinary labs, a culinary video production studio, and its own computer lab. Students develop business and management skills as well as a variety of culinary skills, making graduates suited to work in a variety of employment settings. Bachelor’s degree students complete multiple internships to gain different perspectives and work experience during the program. The Associate Degree program has received exemplary status by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission.
#2. The Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College of Muskegon-Muskegon, Michigan
Degree Programs: AAS Baking and Pastry; AAS Degree in Culinary Arts (exemplary); Certificate in Baking and Pastry
The Culinary Institute of Michigan at Baker College has the lowest student/faculty ratio in the state among culinary programs. Students learn from award winning faculty in well equipped, state-of-the-art kitchen labs. Culinary Arts students have access to equipment such as convection ovens and blast chillers. Baking and Pastry students have the opportunity to utilize a climate controlled chocolate and sugar lab. Baking and Pastry students can pursue either a certificate or an associate degree in their area of specialization. This top culinary school is accredited by the American Culinary Federation, with the Culinary Arts program receiving exemplary status.
#1. Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College-Grand Rapids, Michigan
Degree Programs: AAS Degree in Culinary Arts; AAS Degree in Culinary Management; Certificate in Baking and Pastry (all exemplary); Certificate in Culinary Arts; Personal Chef Certificate; Personal Chef AAS Degree; Baking and Pastry Arts AAS Degree; Craft Brewing, Packaging and Service Operations Certificate; Advanced Certificates in Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts, Personal Chef, and Hospitality Management
Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College offers programs accredited by the American Culinary Federation, several with exemplary status. SICE culinary programs graduates are prepared to set into a variety of culinary positions in just about any type of venue. Associate degree students in their final year of study can gain professional experience in the workforce or can take additional coursework to prepare to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Certificate students take specialized courses to focus on their individual area of interest. Student operated facilities such as Heritage Restaurant and Fountain Hill Brewery give advanced students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and gain experience. Art and Bev’s Bistro features a variety of baked goods prepared by baking and pastry students. Secchia has received many awards and honors including the National Award of Excellence in Post-Secondary Food Service Education from the National Restaurant Association.