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What Will I Learn in JCCC's Chef Apprenticeship Program?

In our intensive, three-year Chef Apprenticeship program, you’ll learn the skills to become a leader in the professional kitchen and earn your Associate of Applied Science degree. After acceptance into the program, 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 dressing to artisanal breads 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 to be considered for this selective admission program. Accepted students must be capable of working long and 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's 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 to 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 innovations kitchen where you’ll learn how to creatively adapt your skills in challenging scenarios.
  • A culinary theater with demonstration kitchen, where you can watch experts in action.

Our faculty chefs are highly qualified; collectively they possess many post-graduate degrees, high level chefs’ 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.

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 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 are highly recruited by restaurants, clubs and hotels, who often compete for the best of them. We have 100 percent placement rate; graduates who choose to work in the field are doing it. 

The U.S. Department of Labor compiles statistics on the careers involving culinary arts. You'll find information specifically related to careers in Kansas, including salary information and the job prospects.

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

Need help with career decisions? Visit the Career Development Center.

The cost of going to college can drastically impact your ability to succeed. At Johnson County Community College, we want our students to be able to afford a program that they love. That’s why we’re constantly working to make tuition more affordable for you.

Here’s what JCCC has to offer:

Textbook and other supply costs vary depending on your courses.

Resources and Tools at JCCC

Being a student at JCCC means you have access to a range of services and resources to help you succeed. We offer professional tutoring and small, personalized class sizes. When you attend Johnson County Community College, your education truly matters.

The cost of going to school can be daunting. Fortunately, our Financial Aid office is here to help you through the process. Our counselors can help you find ways to fund your schooling, including scholarships and student loans, both of which can help to reduce the cost of your tuition every semester.

If you need help discovering what your passion will be post-graduation, our Career Development Center and Academic Counseling services are great support tools.

You can also further your education by transferring to a four-year school. JCCC is here to help make the transition to another college program easy and stress-free.