Top Culinary Schools in Illinois (Major tips and Info)

Imagine being a footballer living in a locality where there are many football clubs in desperate need of football players; you tend to stand a better chance of starting your career or pushing it forward.

The culinary world of Illinois poses a similar situation. The knowledge of culinary art and the varieties of food or food cultures makes Illinois one of the best, if not the best, cities in the country to study culinary or further your culinary career. (Culinary Schools in Illinois)

But you might be wondering, why should I study culinary arts in Illinois? Or where can I study culinary arts in Illinois? Or how do I know this school is good for me? Or on the other hand, how do I manage to succeed in the culinary environment of Illinois?

If you have any of these questions, then take a walk with me as I give you all the answers you need.

Culinary Schools in Illinois

Why Should I Study Culinary Arts In Illinois?

Being one of the biggest cities in the country, Illinois makes it more liable to have a diverse cooking culture (culinary diversity).

This acclaimed diversity of the city is a result of its rich immigrant and cultural history.

It advances its claims as one of the hot spots for culinary arts and trade in the United States.

However, with its diversity ranging from the lowest form of culinary (street vendor of Polish wurst) to the fine-dining scenery in the city, the quality of culinary food services is unparalleled and unquestionable.

Students in the world of the culinary need to have robust knowledge about the local food in a city where they intend to apply their culinary knowledge. This is only possible if they wade into the local food scenes.

Fortunately for students who decide to acquire their culinary degree in a culinary school in Illinois, there is no shortage of opportunities to soak up the regional flavors of Illinois.

In addition, there are Professional Food Service Industry Associations in Illinois, and these associations provide solid bases for student chefs to succeed.

They provide discounted membership to students, give scholarships and priceless opportunities to form alliances with experienced professionals and allow students to meet potential employers.

Some of these associations include:

  • Chicago Chefs of Cuisine
  • Illinois Restaurant Association
  • Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association

The culinary world of Illinois also offers jobs to graduates of culinary arts in fields such as:

  • Line chef
  • Hospitality manager
  • Sous chef
  • Pastry chef
  • Food-related items specialist

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Culinary Schools in Illinois

Where Can I Study Culinary Arts In Illinois

 Some institutions where you can acquire a degree in culinary in Illinois are:

  • Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago
  • International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes of Chicago
  • Chicago’s Community Kitchens 
  • French Pastry School

The following colleges offer degrees in culinary arts;

  • Belleville Area College, Belleville
  • Benedictine University, Lisle
  • Black Hawk College, Moline
  • Chicago State University, Chicago
  • City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College, Chicago
  • City Colleges of Chicago-Kennedy-King College, Chicago
  • College of Du Page, Glen Ellyn
  • College of Lake County, Grayslake
  • Dominican University, River Forest
  • Elgin Community College, Elgin
  • Illinois Central College, East Peoria
  • Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby
  • Joliet Junior College, Joliet
  • Kaskaskia College, Centralia
  • Lake Land College, Mattoon
  • Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey

More of the Culinary Schools in Illinois:

  • Lexington College, Chicago
  • Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield
  • Loyola University, Chicago
  • Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills
  • Northern Illinois University, Dekalb
  • Northwestern Business College, Chicago
  • Northwestern Business College, Hickory Hills
  • Oakton Community College, Des Plaines
  • Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais
  • Parkland College, Champaign
  • Robert Morris College, Chicago
  • Roosevelt University, Chicago
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign

Things  To Consider When Choosing a  CULINARY   SCHOOL   IN   ILLINOIS

This is one of the most important parts of your journey to acquire a culinary arts degree; a wrong choice of school often leads to a wrong path.

Below are some of the things to consider:

  • It is vital to consider how equipped the school you intend to attend is, as it is important that you attend schools that have all the modern facilities that are necessary in the culinary world.
  • The history of the performance and expertise of the school you wish you attend, ensuring they have a culture of bringing out the best in the culinary arts, thus increasing your chances of succeeding.
  • Ensure that the school refers its students to prospective employers, as this will help you secure a job opportunity faster.
  • Ensure that the school has a good reputation and also a good postgraduate program.
  • It is always preferable to attend a school that has a catering venture which is run by the students, so as to have a feel of how it works in that locality.

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Culinary Schools in Illinois

How To Succeed In The Culinary World  Of Illinois

To succeed in the culinary world of Illinois, one has to develop a habit and desire to learn.

Given the endless food diversity in Illinois, it will be suicidal to go into the culinary world of Illinois without knowledge of the majority of the foods found in the city.

Take advantage of the various Professional Food Service Industry Associations to align yourself with the people who can help boost your culinary career.

Try to attend their national and regional conferences and educational events and avail yourself of the various scholarship programs for student chefs.

Paying visits to the various restaurants in Illinois will also give you a feel of how the culinary trade environment in Illinois works. Furthermore, attending the right schools, having the right teachers, and internship programs can lead to permanent employment.

Finally, attending parties and festivals will go a long way in preparing you for the culinary trade environment and thus link you to prospective employers and employees.

Some of the festivals you can attend include:

  • Taste of Chicago
  • Windy City Wine Festivals
  • Tour de Champagne Chicago
  • International Beer Tasting and Chili Cookoff
  • Chicago Gourmet

Culinary Schools in Illinois


Illinois being a big city, is a dream of any person in the culinary world, not only for its size but also for its food diversity. Following this article will eventually brace you for whatever challenges the culinary world of Chicago will pose.

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Franklin Izuekwe
Franklin Izuekwe

Hello, I am Franklin! For two years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, Asia and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am a content writer at

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