That’s our mantra around here. No matter the program, no matter the assignment: Work small, work clean.

We know what it takes to work in restaurant kitchens. We know what chefs and restaurant owners expect out of the people prepping and cooking their food.

And we have designed all three of our programs – Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry and Restaurant Management – based on those skills. Real-world skills that our students learn through hands-on training. It’s a refreshing and proven approach, and one designed to instill our graduates with a high level of confidence.

We also know there’s more to being a good chef than having skills and confidence. That’s why we ensure our students learn food ethics and what goes into making the business of a restaurant work.

Students have the opportunity to work in our own student-operated fine-dining restaurant before embarking on professional externships. And we have a network of chefs and restaurants, here in Portland and across the country, who we work with to place our students. We partner with each of our students to help them find an externship that fits their skills and long-term career goals.

All the while, we teach our students to work small, work clean. We demand it. But more importantly, so do employers.

“They're the only school I take interns from.”

~ Chef Gabriel Rucker, chef/owner at Le Pigeon and Little Bird, and James Beard Foundation Award winner

“I've been very impressed by the interns that we've had from OCI. Their facilities are top notch. Their philosophy is very, very well focused, and the interns we've had here from the OCI have been top notch. They've had great attitude. They have a real willingness to learn and understand what's happening around them.”

~ Chef Jack Czarnecki, Joel Palmer House, James Beard Foundation Award winner

"Thomas Keller, arguably one of America's best chefs, espouses working clean as one of the most important things a young chef can learn. We teach this every day at OCI."

~ Program Director, Chef Josh Blythe