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In our intensive, three-year Chef Apprentice program at JCCC, you’ll learn the skills you need to become a leader in a professional kitchen and earn your Associate of Applied Science Degree.

What will I learn in JCCC's Chef Apprenticeship program?

After acceptance into the Chef Apprenticeship program at Johnson County Community College, you will register with the Department of Labor and work as a paid chef apprentice under the supervision of an experienced American Culinary Federation-qualified chef.

Graduating apprentices can qualify to sit for the American Culinary Federation’s practical (actual cooking) and written exams to become a Certified Sous Chef. This achievement tells future employers that you have reached a high degree of culinary skill and knowledge.

On campus, you’ll complete classes and hands-on laboratory work using industry-standard equipment and supplies in our seven world-class professional kitchens. Your classes will cover:

  • All aspects of baking, cooking, and food preparation, from making simple salad dressings to artisanal bread, to butchering an entire hog and producing smoked hams and complex sausages, including garde-manger (cold-food preparation).
  • Supervisory and human resources management.
  • Kitchen facilities design and management, including safety and sanitation.
  • Basics of nutrition and healthy meal planning.
  • Hospitality accounting and operational cost control for profit.
  • Seminars in purchasing and menu design planning.

Eligible students must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent for consideration in this selective admission program. Accepted students must be capable of working long, hard hours walking and standing in a fast-paced, physically demanding environment.

Students are also responsible for gaining employment in an approved apprenticeship kitchen (our apprentices are in very high demand, and finding a job is never a problem).

Partnership with John Knox Village prepares future chefs

Students in the Chef Apprenticeship program are working alongside seasoned professionals at John Knox Village venues, gaining real-world experience while providing mouthwatering menu options for residents. Check out this video to learn more.

Why JCCC for the Chef Apprenticeship program?

Future employers know JCCC culinary graduates bring more than a strong foundation of kitchen skills. You’ll also understand the management and financial sides of the business. Our Chef Apprenticeship graduates go on to run kitchens in restaurants, country clubs, and hotels, or own their own restaurants.

Sharpen your skills in the 36,000-square-foot Wylie Hospitality and Culinary Academy, which features:

  • Five culinary labs fully equipped with restaurant-standard appliances and tools.
  • An innovative kitchen where you’ll learn how to creatively adapt your skills in challenging scenarios.
  • A culinary theater with a demonstration kitchen, where you can watch experts in action.

Our faculty chefs are highly qualified; collectively, they possess many post-graduate degrees, high-level chef certifications, honors, and culinary competition medals. They have decades of combined experience working in restaurants, private clubs, hotels, and resorts worldwide.

JCCC’s Chef Apprenticeship program was the first to get accreditation from the American Culinary Federation Educational Institute and is currently the largest in the country. It is sponsored by the American Culinary Federation, the Greater Kansas City Chefs Association, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Our Hospitality Management Advisory Board provides expert advice on a variety of issues to ensure that graduates earning degrees or certificates from JCCC are prepared to enter the workforce and become immediately productive.

See faculty list

Cecilia Knight named JCCC Chef Apprentice of 2020!

Congratulations to Cecilia Knight, named JCCC Chef Apprentice of 2020 by the American Culinary Federation (ACF) GKC Chefs Association.

Culinary Competition Team

JCCC maintains one of the most competitive college culinary teams in the United States and the world. The 2018 team was the United States national champion.

JCCC students also represent our country as the Student Chef component of the U.S. Culinary Olympic Team and regularly travel internationally to compete. All students who are willing to make the time commitment to practice are eligible to join this team.

Janelle D., Chef Apprentice
“The teaching never stops. It happens in the hallways, it happens everywhere. The knowledge never stops flowing between students and faculty in this beautiful facility.”

Explore the Wylie Hospitality & Culinary Academy

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Demand for skilled professional chefs is high. Graduates of the Chef Apprenticeship program at JCCC are highly recruited by restaurants, clubs, and hotels, and often compete for the best of them. We have a 100 percent placement rate for all of our culinary graduates.

The U.S. Department of Labor compiles statistics on careers involving culinary arts. You’ll find information specifically related to careers in Kansas, including salary information and job prospects. Take a look below:

Download the Chef Apprentice Program Outlook (PDF) for employment projections and salary information.

Students who want to attend college may be stressed about the cost associated with pursuing higher education. Our team at JCCC is always working to keep tuition costs affordable for all students.

At JCCC, we offer:

Additional fees may be required for textbooks and other supplies. The cost of these items will vary depending on what courses you plan to complete in the Chef Apprentice Program.

At Johnson County Community College, we have many resources and tools available to help with student success. From small class sizes to one-on-one tutoring, JCCC can offer a more personalized learning experience.

For students looking to lower their out-of-pocket expenses, speaking to one of our counselors in the Financial Aid Office to inquire about loan and/or scholarship opportunities is a great benefit.

Our Academic Counseling services, as well as the Career Development Center, can help students create a career plan for after they graduate.

If you want to transfer your JCCC credits to another school, we try to make the process as easy as possible for you.