Your introduction to OCI starts with our admissions team, who genuinely want to help you make what we believe to be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It also is important for us to discover you’re as right for us as we are for you.
Our curriculum emphasizes hands-on training – not just spectating here! You will be an active participant in your education, even in classrooms and labs. And it doesn’t get any more hands-on than training in our own student-operated fine-dining restaurant.
We teach real-world skills – the kinds of skills our graduates will actually need in their careers. Those skills are taught by knowledgeable, skilled and experienced industry professionals who are committed to student success.
Beyond skills training, we focus on a fresh farm-to-table approach to cooking, while teaching food ethics and the business of owning and operating a restaurant in today’s world of sustainable responsibility and practice. It’s a curriculum not often taught, but one we believe to be invaluable.
We have fun as we go. We take cooking seriously, but serious doesn’t have to mean stuffy or boring. After all, we get to work with food, and our goal is to foster an environment that instills a love for learning, even long after graduation. Your OCI experience also may take you out of the classroom and into the wild with trips to forage for mushrooms or for edible inner tidals.
The experience is designed to result in well-rounded graduates who possess the confidence they need to be as creative as they want to be in the kitchen.
Our founders have been part of the Portland food scene collectively for more than 50 years. Both had a dream of starting a culinary institute that puts the students first. And that’s exactly what they did.
Oregon Culinary Institute opened in 2006 with a team of like-minded restaurant industry and education professionals operating the school in a fair and ethical way, offering an education designed to enable graduates to immediately enter the workforce.
OCI, a division of Pioneer Pacific College, remains Portland’s only independent and locally owned college-level culinary school.
Portland cuisine has become the stuff of legend, and it leads the way for the rest of the nation. Farm-to-table. Seasonal. Local-focus. These are not the exceptions in Portland, but the norm. Looking for the next big culinary trend? Look to Portland.
Chefs come to Portland from all over to follow their culinary dreams, and they have high expectations of those who want to work with them.
OCI is uniquely Portland, and its curriculum matches the approach to cooking that Portland chefs so favor. We strive to teach our students the skills needed to immediately go to work in Portland kitchens. We believe that if you can make it in Portland, you can make it anywhere.
That’s why many Portland chefs say they like OCI students and graduates: chefs know our students and graduates possess the skills they’re looking for in their kitchens. Whether for externships or for post-grad jobs, OCI has an extensive network of partnering local chefs and restaurants to help find placements.