I dream of…Denver’s best accelerated culinary training
Simply said, other schools talk about cooking. We cook. During your accelerated, 15-week program, you’ll taste, touch, and prepare more food than other culinary students get to do in two years...and you’ll do it in an environment that’s committed to the rich culinary traditions of France and Italy. Cook Street focuses on the whole chef, which means that your culinary education will be both broad and deep. And all Cook Street students receive pastry and wine instruction to ensure their ability to prepare unforgettable meals from start to finish. Learn more about the Cook Street difference - click here to explore our LoDo facility.
How will I know that Cook Street is right for me?
Knowledge is power...and your success is our success. That’s why we invite all students who are considering launching their culinary career with us to take time to talk to our dedicated, knowledgeable staff and visit our kitchen to cook with our chefs and get a taste of life at Cook Street.
Our students represent a diverse array of demographics, backgrounds and career goals, but all share a common passion to develop and elevate their culinary knowledge and skill. Many students are career-changers and, as they often do not have the luxury of spending the time or money it takes to complete a two or four year program, find the accelerated program at Cook Street to be ideal. The median age of students is 30 years old; however, students have ranged in age between 18 and 63 years old. Most students have no professional culinary experience prior to attending the program...but all emerge from the program prepared for a variety of culinary careers. Click here to learn more about culinary careers after Cook Street.
What will I learn at Cook Street?
Our hands-on, European-focused, menu-based program means you’ll eat what you create...from soups, stocks and sauces to pastry, bread, wine, and the fine art of meal planning and presentation. Expect to learn the foundations of cooking...a bedrock on which you can build your culinary career. And expect to do it with demanding, seasoned Chef Instructors who offer plenty of personal attention (our maximum student-to-chef ratio is eight students per chef instructor).
In addition to our exemplary instruction in our LoDo kitchen, Cook Street offers a unique European Tour program with hands-on training in France and Italy and plenty of time to explore wineries, chocolatiers, specialty shops, and much more. This program feeds into European Apprenticeship opportunities in Italy. Click here to discover the Cook Street curriculum.
How intense is the program?
We won’t lie...we demand a high level of commitment, dedication, and contribution. Our students are brave, engaged, and intense...and they’re supported by our professional staff every step of the way. From baking bread in the morning to scrubbing floors and straightening up the kitchen in the afternoon, our intensive program brings out the best in our students -- and gives an entire culinary world in return. Learn about our approach here.
Most culinary programs are 2-4 years long. Why is Cook Street’s shorter?
Our 15-week, highly accelerated program focuses solely on food and wine. In most other cooking schools, students attend classes for a few hours a week and take lengthy, frequent breaks in addition to fulfilling coursework requirements in non-culinary subjects such as math, business, and English composition. In contrast, our accelerated program is intensely focused and offers great bang for your buck so you can get in, get out, and get on with your culinary dreams. Click here to learn more about the value of Cook Street.
I want to be a pastry chef. Do you offer a program in just Pastry Arts?
No. However, your training in pastry at Cook Street is thorough and comprehensive. Keep in mind that pastry is one component of a meal. In order to excel in this area, you must know how to incorporate desserts into the meal. A well-versed chef has more value and is able to effectively marry sweet with savory components in innovative ways. The menu-based curriculum at Cook Street keeps the dessert course in context and includes a four-week rotation in the pastry kitchen where you will learn: tart dough, laminated dough, cake components, decorating techniques, custards, creams, meringues, bread (utilizing a wood-fired oven), molded chocolates, mousses, soufflés and ice cream. Click here to learn more about our approach.
I have strict dietary restrictions. Do you offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, or allergy-sensitive versions of your program?
No. Cook Street focuses on the traditional foundations that are at the core of European cooking. Though we encourage you to put your skills to great use with alternative ingredients and substitutions, our program is not focused toward special dietary restrictions. Learn more about our curriculum - click here.
Top How long has Cook Street been open?
Cook Street opened in April 1999. Click here to learn more about our history.
What certifications, licenses, approvals, and awards does Cook Street possess?
Cook Street is a privately-owned teaching facility licensed by the State of Colorado Department of Higher Education, Division of Private and Occupational Schools. It is approved by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and veterans may apply their GI Bill benefits at Cook Street. Cook Street is also an approved continuing education facility by the American Culinary Federation Foundation. Students earn 20 continuing education credits towards ACF certification upon completion of the 180° Culinary Arts Program. We are proud recipients of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation’s (ACFEF) Quality Program Approval, meeting ACFEF’s standards for quality education. Learn more about our awards and approvals here.
What kinds of career options will I have once I graduate from Cook Street?
Whether they go on to own their own culinary business or work for the best in the industry, Cook Street students emerge ready to face the culinary world head-on. Our career offerings include:
Though Cook Street does not offer a formal degree, students receive a certificate in Fine Culinary Arts and Wine and the opportunity to test for a Level 1 certificate from the International Sommelier Guild upon graduation from the Cook Street 180° Culinary Arts Program. Students interested in pursuing a degree often train first at Cook Street and then begin working in the industry, gaining valuable work experience, while they attend a degree-granting college or university. Learn more about our career offerings here.
I want to become a personal chef. How can your program prepare me for this field?
Cook Street is the only authorized training center in Colorado for the United States Personal Chef Association. The USPCA Personal Chef Course is offered as an elective to the 180° Culinary Arts Program. Cook Street trains you to be an excellent cook; the Personal Chef Course prepares you to start a successful personal chef business. Learn more about our extension programs here.
How do Cook Street graduates compete with graduates from longer programs?
Your personal level of drive and motivation is what will set you apart; no culinary school can guarantee success if you are not dedicated to achieving your goals. Training at Cook Street will give you the tools to begin or advance your culinary career. Cook Street graduates have been hired directly out of school by such properties as Chez Panisse, Daniel Boulud, Ritz Carlton and the Arizona Biltmore Spa and Resort. Read alumni success stories here.
Top Is culinary school really worth it?
While culinary school is certainly what you make of it, we see it as an investment in yourself and your future. By attending Cook Street, you join an outstanding community of foodies dedicated to excellence in their craft. We’ll give you the techniques and knowledge you need to accelerate and succeed in your culinary career, turning you into a true competitor in the field. After all, there’s nothing quite like diving feet-first into something you love! Learn more about our accomplished alumni - click here.
Do you offer federal financial aid?
While Cook Street does not offer federal financial aid, we will work with you every step of the way to secure financing that works for you. Our financial aid counselors have helped find thousands of dollars of private financing and scholarship for Cook Street students. Learn more about financial aid here.
I’m ready to apply. How do I get started?
Click here for a complete admissions overview.