Puerto Rico is an island located off the coast of Florida, a U.S. state famous for its food and culinary traditions.
Given Puerto Rico's proximity to Florida, it's no surprise that many of the island's best culinary schools focus on preparing students for careers in Florida.
The schools on this list are all part of the Florida College Consortium, a group of schools in the state that offer associate's and bachelor's degrees in culinary arts.
These schools give students the education and training they need to succeed as professional chefs and food service workers.
Many of the schools in the consortium are part of larger universities, giving students access to a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The schools in the consortium are all part of the Baptist Higher Education Foundation of Puerto Rico, a network of Baptist-affiliated schools. The foundation's mission is to prepare students for professional success.
The foundation's schools have a reputation for excellence, with many of them ranking highly on college ranking lists.
Florida is an excellent place for culinary workers, with many of the country's top restaurants and hotels located in the state.
As a result, culinary jobs are some of the best-paying jobs on the island, with an average annual salary of more than $50,000.
Florida is also home to many theme parks, restaurants, and hotels that need experienced chefs and food service workers.
If you're interested in a career in the culinary arts, Florida is the perfect place to start.
Universidad Del Turabo
Established in 1963 by the Baptist Educational Foundation of Puerto Rico, the Universidad Del Turabo is a mid-sized college with two main campuses.
A part of the Baptist Higher Education Association, the Universidad Del Turabo is dedicated to preparing students for professional success.
To that end, the school offers a wide variety of majors, from culinary arts to business to engineering.
Students in the culinary arts program learn how to prepare delicious meals with limited resources.
In addition to a rigorous focus on food science and nutrition, students gain hands-on experience in the school's restaurant and bakery.
Universidad Del Turabo's emphasis on applied learning gives students the skills they need to succeed in the real world.
The school also emphasizes global awareness and cultural sensitivity, encouraging students to view the world through a multicultural lens.
Universidad Del Turabo has two main campuses, one located in Santurce and the other in Rio Grande.
Universidad Del Este
The Universidad Del Este, established in 1968, is a unique institution of higher learning. The school does not follow the traditional semester system; instead, it has three academic terms per year.
In addition to a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas like business, education, and engineering, the school also has a fantastic culinary program.
The culinary program gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience, with courses focused on global cuisine and food production.
Students learn how to apply the skills they've learned in the classroom, with courses such as Introduction to Professional Cooking and Advanced Culinary Arts.
Universidad Del Este's campus features a fully operational commercial kitchen with all the tools a professional chef would use every day.
The facility is fully stocked with top-of-the-line appliances and every tool a professional chef would need, such as a food processor and mixer.
National University College - Bayamon
The National University College (NUC) is a branch of the National University of Puerto Rico, a respected public university. NUC is home to around 3,000 students pursuing degrees in culinary arts and other subjects.
NUC offers several associate's degrees in the culinary arts, including associate of arts, associate of applied science, and associate of technical studies. These degrees take around two years to complete and include around 60 credits of cooking and food preparation classes.
Students can also earn a bachelor's of science in the culinary arts from NUC, typically after one to two years of study. This degree requires around 60 credits in the subject, including a capstone experience.
Throughout their studies, students take classes in the culinary arts and related subjects, such as business administration and Spanish. Through these classes, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the industry. Courses cover areas such as foodservice management and Italian cuisine.
In addition to their courses, NUC students have plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on experience. The school operates a restaurant on campus called Café NUC, which is open for lunch and dinner. Students work in the restaurant as part of their coursework, giving them a chance to apply their classroom learning.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico
Established in 1963, the Inter American University of Puerto Rico has grown into a network of 10 campuses and multiple outreach offices across the island.
With a mission to provide quality education to the people of Puerto Rico, the school now has over 13,000 students pursuing degrees in more than 70 programs.
Among those programs is the culinary arts degree, which prepares students for careers in the food service industry.
Through the program, students gain hands-on experience in professional kitchens and prepare them for jobs in hotels, cruise lines, and restaurants.
Culinary students learn the basics of food preparation, including how to operate commercial equipment and how to present food in an attractive manner. They also gain knowledge of menu planning, customer service, and food management.
Along with a solid knowledge of food and hospitality, students leave the program with a professional network of alumni who have gone on to work in some of the best restaurants in the world.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Bayamon
The School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at Inter American University of Puerto Rico in Bayamon focuses on preparing students for careers in the hospitality industry.
The school has two bachelor's and two master's degree programs. The bachelor's of science in hotel and restaurant management takes four years to complete and includes core classes in hospitality management, as well as specializations in restaurant management or hotel and tourism management.
The two-year culinary arts associate's degree trains students in the fundamentals of hospitality and also gives them the opportunity to take advanced courses in baking and pastry, European cuisine, multicultural cuisine, and food presentation and service.
The school also offers noncredit classes for working professionals looking to expand their culinary skills and hospitalityknowledge. These classes include food and wine pairing, wine appreciation, and the Latin cuisine revolution.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Ponce
In order to pursue a bachelor's degree in culinary arts, students must first complete a two-year associate degree in culinary arts at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico in Ponce.
After completing the associate degree, students can then choose to continue their education in several different bachelor's degree programs.
In the culinary arts bachelor's degree programs, students can choose to study hotel and restaurant management, culinary arts, or baking and pastry arts.
The hotel and restaurant management bachelor's degree program takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of hospitality, with an emphasis on the economics, management, and marketing of the travel and tourism industry.
Culinary arts bachelor's degree students learn the theory and practice of food preparation in a professional setting, with an emphasis on the Latin culinary tradition.
Baking and pastry arts bachelor's degree students learn how to create beautiful and delicious cakes, pastries, breads, and candies with an emphasis on artistry.
All of the culinary programs at Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Ponce require students to complete a series of hands-on, practicum, and clinical experiences that allow them to apply the skills they learn in the classroom.
During these experiences, students work with professional chefs and mentors, giving them a chance to develop their technical skills and gain a deeper understanding of the industry.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Aguadilla
As the only school on this list affiliated with the prestigious Association of Jesuit Universities, the Inter American University of Puerto Rico certainly does not lack in prestige. But ISI College Compass gives special attention to the school's restaurant management program, ranking it #1 in Puerto Rico and #12 in the world.
In the school's culinary arts bachelor's degree program, students learn the fundamentals of food preparation and management. Students gain hands-on experience in the school's state-of-the-art kitchen and gain expertise in the technical, physical, and management aspects of the culinary arts.
Through courses in business management and marketing, students learn how to prepare them for a successful career in the food industry. The program's courses teach students how to look at the bigger picture, giving them a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in any industry.
Inter American University is home to the first and only International Baccalaureate (IB) school in Puerto Rico, the Inter American School of Aguadilla. As such, the school provides a unique culinary experience for its IB students through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
Through the IBDP's Foods course, students learn about the history, science, and technology of food. In addition, students gain a deeper understanding of the ethical, environmental, and social issues surrounding food production and consumption.
Through these courses, students gain a deeper appreciation for the world of food and the many issues surrounding it. With the knowledge and experience gained through the Inter American University's culinary program, students are well-prepared for a successful career in the food industry.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Fajardo
The School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Inter American University of Puerto Rico-Fajardo has a mission to prepare students for successful careers in the hospitality industry by providing quality education and practical experience. It does so by partnering with industry leaders who seek to provide quality education for their employees.
AIUPR-Fajardo has established partnerships with some of the most prestigious companies in Puerto Rico, including the Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, Marriott, Westin, and Sheraton hotels. Students gain experience working in these hotels and also get to participate in the AIUPR-hosted events, such as banquets, weddings, and conferences.
Students are assigned to a particular hotel as part of their degree program and work within the hotel's catering and banquet departments. They gain experience in the front of house and back of house operations, including but not limited to kitchen operations, food production, and guest service.
The AIUPR-Fajardo culinary program also partners with the local agriculture and food industry sectors. Students learn about the production, processing, and distribution of food as part of their coursework. They also gain hands-on experience by working with local food producers, such as the Cooperative of Southern Puerto Rico, to learn about the local food sector.
The AIUPR-Fajardo School of Hotel and Restaurant Management is proud of its accomplishments, including being the first institution in Puerto Rico to offer a bachelor's degree in culinary arts. The school continues to provide high-quality education and opportunities for students to gain real-world experience.
AIUPR-Fajardo is one of the best culinary schools in Puerto Rico because it gives its students unique opportunities to learn and to be part of the local hospitality industry.
Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Barranquitas
With its main campus in Hormigueros and additional campuses in Bayamón and Mayagüez, the Inter American University of Puerto Rico has over 10,000 students in its system and is one of the largest schools in the island.
But its culinary school stands out from the rest of the university's programs, thanks to its focus on the practical side of the discipline.
The school's associate degree in culinary arts program puts emphasis on the basics, giving students a solid foundation upon which they can build their cooking careers.
Students in the program learn about the basics of food and their relationship with culture, along with the basics of cooking and food preparation.
They also gain experience in basic kitchen operation, along with fundamental food preparation and presentation skills.
Those who earn a certificate in culinary arts, rather than an associate degree, receive more advanced training, with an emphasis on Italian and Mediterranean cuisines.
Students in this program learn about the history of these cooking styles, as well as basic food preparation techniques.
Liceo de Arte y Tecnologia
Located in the city of Bayamon, a populous area in Puerto Rico, the Liceo de Arte y Tecnologia is a school dedicated to teaching students about the culinary arts.
The school was founded in 1999 by chef Pedro Luis Lleon-Ortiz, and it boasts a faculty of professional chefs and instructors.
Students in the culinary program learn fundamental skills in the areas of cooking, baking, and food presentation.
In their second year, students participate in an internship in a professional kitchen to gain real-world experience.
The Liceo's facilities are as impressive as its faculty. The school features a professional kitchen, a commercial bakery, a classroom, and a garden.
These facilities give students the chance to learn how to use professional equipment and tools, as well as grow their own produce in the school's garden.
The Liceo has a student body of over 200 people, and it has produced several well-known figures in the world of cooking, including chef Oliverio Dosal.