About SFCS

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San Francisco Cooking School is the anchored institution for culinary and pastry arts education in San Francisco.

At the core, SFCS offers career-training Certificate Programs, in Culinary or Pastry & Baking Arts, designed to prepare aspiring food professionals to jump-start their new careers after six intense months (or twelve if enrolled part-time). Our programs are contemporary, relevant and driven by an eclectic and evolving lens relevant to what’s happening in restaurants and bakeries right now across the globe.

In addition, SFCS also offers home cooks the largest program of recreational cooking classes on the West Coast for cooks at all levels.

“The best thing a culinary school can do is to train their students to be smart cooks.”

Daniel Patterson Chef/Owner, Daniel Patterson Group
Dean, San Francisco Cooking School

San Francisco Cooking School was founded in 2012 by Jodi Liano in response to chefs who were underwhelmed with the graduates being churned out of culinary schools. Most chefs complained that students were “recipe robots” who “were not prepared to work in a commercial kitchen”. Many chefs even went on record saying that young cooks should skip culinary school altogether.

With the help of notable working chefs who signed on as Deans and Advisors, SFCS developed an updated contemporary curriculum designed to restore integrity of professional food training.

The resulting Certificate Programs are distinguished by offering an attentive private school experience with no more than 14 students enrolled in a class, and a contemporary and relevant curriculum that is entirely hands-on. Classes are taught in a state-of-the-art kitchen where students learn and cook in a fast-paced commercial environment, just like a restaurant.

“San Francisco Cooking School fulfills a critical need for a modern-day curriculum that reflects how the best chefs cook, in America and San Francisco.

No more stodgy aspic classes, no more salmon en croute, no more ice sculptures. We are living in a global age of cooking.”

Sara Deseran Editor at Large, San Francisco Magazine

In addition to career-training, SFCS offers the largest program of hands-on recreational cooking classes in the Bay Area. Classes are offered to home cooks of all levels year-round in our 5,200 sq ft. facility centrally located in the Civic Center neighborhood of San Francisco.

The building which houses our campus at 690 Van Ness Avenue was erected in 1910 and stands as one of the earliest auto showrooms on the historic “auto row”. In 1988, chef Jeremiah Tower transformed the building into a restaurant as his follow up to the legendary Stars, and named it Speedo 690 in homage to the building’s previous tenant, Speedo Carburetor Shop. Along with Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower is widely recognized as a founding partner of “California Cuisine”, so the building’s food history makes it a natural home base for today’s next generation of chefs to train in San Francisco.

What type of student attends San Francisco Cooking School?

Passionate, talented, curious individuals who pursue a variety of different food careers. Here’s a small sampling of who they are and what they did after graduation.

San Francisco Cooking School is centrally located in the Civic Center neighborhood of San Francisco.

San Francisco Cooking School
690 Van Ness Avenue (@ Turk Street)
San Francisco, CA 94102

  • Six Blocks from BART (Civic Center Station)
  • Multiple Bus Lines (2,3,5,19,21, 47,49)
  • Easy Street Parking & Two Garages Available.

Now Accepting Applications

Enrollment is Open for Full-Time and Part-Time Certificate Programs.
Fill out the form to request admissions information.