Culinary Arts

  • Culinary, Hospitality & Tourism

The Culinary Arts Management program at JJC offers students a first-class education at one of the most highly respected culinary programs in the nation, and in one of the most state-of-the-art facilities in the world.

What Will I Learn?

Through a combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience, students are trained in all aspects of the industry, including cooking methods, pastry and baking techniques, sanitation, management, product ID, purchasing, nutrition and cost controls.

What is Unique About Our Culinary Arts Management Program?

The Culinary Arts Management Program is an accredited program of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, Inc. Accrediting Commission.

Our faculty is composed of full-time, multi-certified instructors who have won some of the most prestigious local, national and international awards and accolades, including a World Culinary Olympics gold medal. They take learning beyond the classroom, leading student competition teams and supervising student culinary clubs. Students can also participate in special gourmet events and activities.

JJC students continually come out on top in culinary competitions against some of the best programs in America.

JJC’s Culinary Arts program hosted the Illinois State Board of Education’s Nutrition Department in April 2023 for a recipe creation and tasting event. The recipes that were created at this event have been distributed to all K-12 schools in the country for use in their school lunch menus.

Important Information and Resources

Note: The required lab uniform includes the following items that are a part of the uniform specifications through the approved vendor: JJC white embroidered chef coat, checked pants, white skull cap and white bib apron. Additional requirements include protective non-slip leather shoes, restrained hair and no jewelry except plain band. Quantities of each item and pricing can be found at the link above.

JJC Culinary Student Resource Guide

What are my Career Opportunities? 

Joliet Junior College graduates are exceptionally well-prepared for careers in the food industry. Employment opportunities are plentiful for them, locally, nationally and globally. In fact, Disney World and the Marriott Corporation actively recruit JJC students even before graduation.

JJC graduates may eventually go on to careers as bakers, pastry chefs, chefs, caterers, banquet chefs, culinary teachers, bakery owners, wedding cake designers, restaurant or hotel managers or food critics, to name a few.

Job Outlook

Employment of chefs and head cooks is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 24,300 openings for chefs and head cooks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Income growth is expected to result in greater demand for high-quality dishes at a variety of dining venues. As a result, more restaurants and other dining places are expected to open to satisfy consumer desire for dining out.

Consumers are continuing to demand healthier meals made from scratch in restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, and other places that sell food. To ensure high-quality dishes, these establishments hire experienced chefs to oversee food preparation.


The median annual wage for chefs and head cooks was $50,149 in May 2023. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount, and half earned less. 

The level of pay for chefs and head cooks varies by region and employer. Pay is usually highest in upscale restaurants and hotels, where many executive chefs work, as well as in major metropolitan and resort areas.

Most chefs and head cooks work full time and often work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays. Some work more than 40 hours per week. Compensation in the district for Chefs and Head Cooks is 18% lower than the national average median salary, $50,149 nationally vs. $40,995 in the JJC district.  For bakers, the national median income is slightly higher than the JJC district, $29,765 nationally vs. $27,616 in JJC district.

What Degree/Certificate will I receive?

Degree Certificate

Additional Information