Oregon is a paradise for aspiring and budding chefs. From exotic produce to versatile menus, it provides a diverse and interesting learning environment for students. With many competent Oregon cooking schools to choose from, you can earn a quality education and enjoy great work opportunities. Find an accredited school and enroll in a program that caters to your career needs.
Finding a School in Oregon
When it comes to education, you should search for a program that best equips you for the job you want. You can invest 2-4 years into a bachelor’s or associate degree in order to increase your chances of landing a good paying, entry level job. On the other hand, you can also take short courses that are usually offered by technical and community colleges.
Short courses mean that you get to work much earlier. The drawback is that skills are often basic in nature, making it harder to earn higher positions. Students studying for degrees at Oregon cooking schools are likely to be favored by employers. However, some students might not be able to afford these programs.
Whichever level of training you need, you should make sure that the school you attend has the resources to provide a holistic learning environment. In other words, the Oregon cooking schools of your choice should cover fundamentals, provide kitchen training and give you career guidance and support.
Oregon Local Scene and Cuisine
Your culinary education does not end with training at top Oregon cooking schools. There is so much more you can learn by simply participating in local culture, cuisine and events. Becoming a member of the community gives you a chance to connect with professionals, find rare opportunities and extend your skills beyond the classroom. You can start by attending some of these local annual events.
- The Bite of Oregon in Portland
- Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene
- Northwest Food and Wine Festival
- Northwest Food Service Show
The Job Market in Oregon
Oregon has good work opportunities for both novice and experienced chefs. With the average sous chef earning around $40 000 a year, salaries in this state are quite competitive. Enrolling in the best Oregon cooking schools is just the first step. To land a job with a great starting salary, you need to the effort to join local food organizations and apply for volunteer jobs or apprenticeships to improve your credentials.
One association aspiring chefs should join is the American Culinary Federation. There are branches in Portland, Coos Bay and Medford. Becoming a member allows you to stay close to resources related to job opportunities in the area. You can also use your membership to find local events, seminars, contests and networking conferences.
Best Oregon Cooking Schools
- Oregon Culinary Institute: a world-class institution that offers associate degrees, certificates and diplomas in major culinary subjects
- Western Culinary Institute: exceptional cooking school in Portland that offers training in French, traditional and western cuisine. It also provides student-run facilities for extended training
- Oregon Coast Culinary Institute
- Cascade Culinary Institute
- Institute for Culinary Awakening
- Oregon State University
- Lane Community College
- Portland Community College