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Why CCAI?

Learn the Art and Craft of Fine Commercial Cooking and Baking at California Culinary Arts Institute 

Our immersive, personalized approach to chef training and certification  provides the tools, careful instruction and in-the-kitchen inspiration to confidently launch your culinary career.  We keep our curriculum fresh and classes small—never more than 10 students—taught by an experienced chef assisted by never less than two other  cooking and baking professionals, at the ready to assist students in our modern kitchen classrooms . 
You will be empowered with essential techniques to transform ingredients responsibly and creatively in real-world commercial kitchens.

In our school we celebrate that professional cooking is a world of infinite language and interpretations. We continually reimagine our curriculum, aware of industry trends and evolving food sensibilities and values.  Students are encouraged to share personal food experiences and ideas that can be explored in their lessons. 

You will never be bored at California Culinary Arts Institute. Many of our days are multi-themed, with hands-on lessons that transform multi-tasking chaos into multi-tasking mastery of the kitchen.

Every skill, technique, dish, and theme in our curriculum matches a demanding but practical set of requirements. You will be taught the how and the why behind the techniques and dishes you master.  We stress the importance—the extra value and practicality—of understanding the science, history and artistry of the food we present. 

Importantly, our curriculum prepares the cooking professional to tastefully and realistically tailor menus to the kitchen business models for which they are intended. 

Typical day of multi-faceted learning at the Institute

To maximize student learning, instructors always arrive early to prepare the classrooms and kitchens so teaching can begin “on the dot” at the time scheduled. 

Each day instructors present an inspiring culinary theme, providing students clear learning objectives and step-by-step demonstrations of the techniques needed to meet the day’s goals.

With foundational material fresh in their minds,  students begin work in the kitchen, supplied with that day’s ingredients and all  necessary pots, pans and other tools. Under close guidance, students prepare meals and hone their craft, making newly-learned professional skills their own. 

After students finish cooking or baking that day’s food,  they plate it  and present it to instructors for evaluation and one-on-one feedback.

Students serve the community by cooking for the homeless

Appreciating the value of selfless service, California Culinary Arts Institute provides food for the homeless in San Diego.

Each day, on a rotating basis, in addition to their daily projects, two students will prepare meals for the homeless with help from the head chef and assistants. 

Those meals will be delivered to a local homeless shelter. 

Non-certificate day classes make cooking fun for individuals and groups

As an alternative to our professional certification program, we offer non-professional culinary fans a joyful opportunity to advance their cooking skills. These short, fun, immersive  classes taught by experts can be custom tailored, to help students master their personal choice of dishes, desserts and baked goods.

 
These practical classes can accommodate groups, adding deliciousness to special events such as birthdays and employer-sponsored team-building and mid-week recreation get-aways. Let us provide what you need to hone your cooking and recipe skills and make time in the kitchen brim with accomplishments to be celebrated with family, friends or colleagues.