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Cooking Classes in California?

I plan on going to Culinary school because I want to be a chef BUT I am only 17 years old and I can not attend Culinary school YET! I really want to know the basics so are there any free or community colleges offering cooking classes for minors? Any cooking classes for people who want a hobby who are not old enough to go to culinary school yet in California? Thanks :)
I DID NOT GRADUATE HS YET THOUGH. I’m about to be a senior.

Who told you that you could not start culinary school if you were only 17? My son started at 16. He had already graduated early from high school at 16 and wanted to go to learn to be a pastry chef – so he did. And yes, community colleges do have culinary arts – I’m in Los Angeles BTW. And, we have 3 community colleges with culinary arts programs just in a 30 mile radius.

What you want to do is use this website for finding a school – you are better off not going to a high end school (aka non-private culinary arts school – private schools are about $24,000) – that’s very expensive if you have to pay for it yourself (or if your parents have to pay – saves a lot of money).

Follow the steps to get your location, area of study, etc. etc. etc. The site when then show you where you schools are located, cost, pre-requisits (if any), and so on.

I couldn’t afford to send him to private chef school so he went to a community college and it was just as good as private school. You will be very surprised how many public schools offer culinary arts. The only requirement for a minor going to any college or trade school is they have to get the department head’s approval – but as long as you are a serious student and not doing to be a disruption in the class, they are going to let you in….

So, you have no excuses – get out there and start your chef training! Good luck! PS – Those community colleges get some great student discounts for your chef uniforms, knives, pastry kits, etc. Because you have to have all this stuff while you are in school – not just when you graduate.