Working small means to pay attention to the little things, the details, when it comes to techniques, flavors, and plating. Working clean guarantees incredible results that are repeatable every time, creating an efficient and organized way of approaching meal preparation. These principles are essential for professional chefs, which is why at Oregon Culinary Institute they’re part of our core values.

Learning to pay attention to detail, picking up optimal food preparation, and mastering cooking techniques set professional chefs apart, making attending a culinary college incredibly valuable for up-and-coming chefs looking to make a name in the restaurant business.

So, what do you learn in culinary school at the Oregon Culinary Institute?

At OCI, we have designed our programs – Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry – 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.

Real-World Culinary Skills

While classroom training assists you in understanding the best practices to follow, there’s far more to becoming a professional chef than food theory. Our courses focus on real situations that you will encounter in your professional career, providing the skills, techniques, and tools that guarantee success.

Whether you choose to work in a charming French bistro or a high-profile fine dining restaurant, we make sure that you’re equipped for everything. All of our chef instructors boast significant careers in the restaurant industry, and they understand the challenges that both chefs and restaurant managers face. This real-world experience helps you make a huge impression on restaurant clientele, fellow chefs, food critics, and restaurant owners alike.

High-Demand Areas of Study

At Oregon Culinary Institute, we channel your natural talent in a direction that gets you excited and helps you to secure the job of your dreams. The following culinary career paths are constantly in demand throughout Portland’s culinary scene and in other big-city food havens around the country:

·       Culinary Arts: Gain an in-depth understanding of every aspect of food preparation and recipe creation, from flavor theory and cuisine exposure to advanced culinary techniques and professional plating skills.

·       Baking & Pastry: Become a master baker or pastry chef with this comprehensive 32- or 64-week course covering everything from the fundamentals of baking and pastry making to advanced techniques in the pastry arts.

·       Hospitality Management: Geared toward students who want the capacity to handle both front-of-house tasks and executive chef responsibilities, this extended course can be combined with a Culinary Arts or Baking & Pastry program— providing you with an A.O.S. degree in hospitality management, allowing you to take on every aspect of successful restaurant administration.


Hands-On Training

The best culinary courses rely heavily on practical, hands-on instruction to teach you the advanced skills required.

Our courses place significant emphasis on mastering complex techniques on a personal level, and class instructors continually monitor your progress and offer helpful suggestions where needed. This expert-backed approach offers several benefits over traditional training courses for culinary arts in Portland:

·       Lessons are remembered better

·       Students develop muscle memory and increased prep speed

·       Courses are more entertaining and engaging

·       Instructors are more approachable and available for one-on-one guidance

·       Students gain increased confidence and courage

Personalized Assistance

Part of becoming an amazing chef is developing your own personal style. At Oregon Culinary Institute, we encourage you to express your unique culinary personality, guiding you on the road to becoming a professional chef while helping you discover the aspects of cooking that you’re passionate about.

From the very beginning, our chef instructors offer personalized assistance designed to help you reach your full potential. As your career goals start to come into focus, we work carefully with you to provide the skills you need to make them a reality.

When it’s time to select the right externship, our advisors sit down with you in a one-on-one setting to help you secure the restaurant placement that fits your personality, short-term career goals, and long-term culinary aspirations.

Entrepreneurial Experience

Every chef has different long term goals. If you dream of opening your own restaurant one day, then thorough instruction means understanding the entire restaurant business from the ground up. Our courses cover every detail of the culinary industry, from techniques that empower you as a chef and let you create distinctive recipes to more practical business aspects such as financial considerations and food ethics.

Natural Industry Introductions

Before launching you into the exciting world of restaurant kitchens, we want you to feel comfortable in your new career. Once you’ve learned the techniques you need, we allow you to see firsthand what it’s like to work in a fine dining restaurant acclaimed by the community and staffed by our students.

Students have the opportunity to work in our own student-operated restaurant before embarking on professional externships. Not only does working in a real restaurant — but in a low-pressure environment — benefit your skills immensely, it teaches you the intricate details of day-to-day client and staff interactions, equipping you to hit the ground running.


Professional Placement Through An Externship

Carrying out your professional restaurant externship is both an exciting step and an amazing experience. Externships look great on your future resume, and can easily make the difference in securing your preferred culinary position.

Our institute works with some of the top restaurants throughout the United States, including several right here in Portland, to secure placements that provide lasting career benefits. Working next to amazing chefs in exclusive restaurants can have a huge impact on your goals and professional outlook as you develop valuable industry contacts and find inspiration from chefs you respect.

Study Culinary Arts in Portland, Oregon

Nothing stands in the way of you becoming the chef you were always meant to be. With the right skills and hands-on culinary college training, it won’t be long before you’re turning heads, captivating taste buds and maybe even earning a James Beard award or two. It all starts with your decision to enroll in our state-of-the-art training courses. Reach out to us right away to submit your application or call 888.OCI.CHEF to request additional information.

“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