Cooking Classes on Long Island with School Information

Research cooking classes on Long Island, which currently has five schools offering programs. Read an overview of courses, tuition info and program options for these schools and decide which program is right for you.

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Cooking Courses on Long Island

As a geographical area, Long Island's four counties include suburban Nassau and Suffolk, NY. If you're interested in taking cooking courses in the area in order to become a professional cook, it's important to know what the local food service certification requirements are. In Suffolk County, an individual who has been certified in food safety must be on duty while a food service business is in operation, and certification requirements include an exam preparation course. According to New York State law, ready-to-eat foods cannot be prepared or served with bare hands, and food workers in Nassau County must follow the local health department guidelines for glove use and hand washing. Such guidelines don't apply to you if you're only looking to take cooking courses for recreation or personal enrichment, though. Below you'll find the five schools in Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties that offer cooking classes, followed by a comparison table with course and tuition information.

Eastern Suffolk BOCES

Eastern Suffolk BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) is one of 37 secondary education programs in New York State, and the center offers a 2-year culinary arts program at its Bellport, Oakdale and Riverhead locations. The program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and in addition to earning college credits, students acquire the training they need to take the Suffolk County Food Managers Certification exam and become a Certified Junior Culinarian through the ACF. This comprehensive program includes topics in safety and sanitation, baking and pastry arts, food preparation and catering. Students also receive training in ethnic and regional cooking, ice carving and food styling.

Nassau Community College (SUNY)

This Garden City school is one of more than 60 community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, and the school offers programs in approximately 70 fields of study. The culinary arts options include two certificate and three degree programs from the hospitality and business department.

Students in the food service technology certificate program and the food service administration/restaurant management associate's degree program take two hands-on courses in food preparation that provide training in culinary techniques and skills, baking, quantity food production and sanitation. Associate's degree students also take a course in event planning, which offers additional experience in catering, cooking and recipe development.

The programs in food and nutrition, dietary management and hotel technology all include a food production course that covers basic cooking skills, such as preparation methods, along with sanitation requirements. Future professionals in the food service and hospitality programs have the chance to participate in internships.

New York Institute of Technology

In addition to the Old Westbury location, the New York Institute of Technology has international campuses and sites in New York City and Canada. The school offers academic and professional degrees in over 50 areas, including an undergraduate program in hospitality management. The 120-credit curriculum provides students with a background in beverage management, menu planning and nutrition, among other topics. To fulfill the 21 credits of electives, undergraduates can also take two courses in culinary theory and techniques. Both courses allow students to become acquainted with a wide variety of herbs and spices, international cuisines and fusion cuisines. Through the study of culinary theory, chefs-in-training can also learn how to make desserts, sauces, soups and stocks. There are also electives in distilled spirits and beers, and wine.

Suffolk County Community College (SUNY)

Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) is a multi-site institution with three campuses in Brentwood, Riverhead and Selden. SCCC is the largest 2-year school in the state and offers in excess of 100 academic transfer and professional programs to over 25,000 students on Long Island. Prospective cooks can complete certificate and degree programs in the culinary arts with specializations in baking and restaurant management.

The culinary arts certificate program in restaurant management requires two semesters or 31 credits to complete and includes topics in beverage, wine and hospitality management. In addition to an introductory course in cooking, students can take courses in American, Asian, French and Mediterranean cuisine. The associate's program in culinary arts/restaurant management requires many of the same culinary courses as the certificate program, but it also includes a 4-credit internship.

At the Riverhead location, students can enroll in standalone cooking classes through the school's professional development and continuing education division. They can learn how to prepare baked goods, brick-oven pizza, homemade pasta, hors d'oeuvres and Thai food. Most of the courses are one session, but there's a 2-session class on bakery cookies. Program fees vary by course.

Wilson Technological Center (Western Suffolk BOCES)

Western Suffolk BOCES offers career and technology programs for both adults and high school students at its Wilson Technological Center (WTC) in Dix Hills, which is the site for the cooking classes. WTC also has four other locations. As examples of courses offered in the spring of 2013, the culinary basics course teaches students how to braise, grill, roast, sauté and poach. Through additional courses, home chefs can also learn how to prepare simple appetizers, barbecue and get a meal on the table in 30 minutes. Unique to the center is a 3-hour class in gluten- and wheat-free cooking. Course offerings may vary by semester.

School Comparison Table

School Name School Type & Setting Cooking Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition or BOCES Costs (2012-2013)
Eastern Suffolk BOCES Shared education program, public school district; small suburbCulinary Arts/Restaurant Operations Management (2-year program) $130 for uniforms and footwear; $75 for an optional knife kit**
Nassau Community College (SUNY) 2-year, public; large suburb Certificate in Dietary Management,
Certificate in Food Service Technology,
Associate in Science in Food and Nutrition,
Associate in Applied Science in Food Service Administration and Restaurant Management,
Associate in Applied Science in Hotel Technology Administration
$4,495 (in-state)*
$8,485 (out-of-state)*
New York Institute of Technology 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Professional Studies in Hospitality Management $28,940*
Suffolk County Community College (SUNY) 2-year, public; large suburb Professional Development & Continuing Education Cooking Courses,
Certificate in Culinary Arts (Restaurant Management),
Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts (Restaurant Management)
Professional development courses: $59-$95 each***
Certificate/degree programs: $4,830 (in-state), $8,820 (out-of-state)*
Wilson Technological Center (Western Suffolk BOCES) Shared education program, public school district; small suburb Recreational Cooking Courses$55-$65 for a single-session class; $79-$299 for 2- to 5-session courses****

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Eastern Suffolk BOCES, ***Suffolk County Community College, ****Wilson Technological Center (Western Suffolk BOCES).

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