Frequently Asked Questions

How many certificates does the Culinary Arts department offer?

  1. Restaurant Dining Room Service Certificate
  2. Front House Operations Certificate
  3. Baking & Pastry Certificate
  4. Restaurant Management Certificate
  5. Culinary Arts Certificate

Do you offer an AA degree?

  1. Culinary Arts Associate of Arts
  2. Restaurant Management Associate of Arts

Do I need any previous cooking or work experience to enroll?

The curriculum in these programs is designed to accommodate the novice cook as well as individuals with some cooking experience.

Will I be a chef when I finish my Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Certificate?

We are training professionals for entry-level jobs in the food service industry. You must work your way up the career ladder in the industry to become a chef.

Do you have a job placement program?

Yes. The Culinary Career Center connects students and graduates with over 400 local employers – restaurants, hotels, caterers and wineries - in Northern California and the Bay Area.

How long does it take to get my certificate?

Most classes are in 8-week blocks. There are two 8-week blocks offered in both the Fall and Spring semesters. We also offer one 8-week block of classes in the Summer. It is recommended that Blocks be taken in sequence (Block One, Block Two, etc.)

Certificate Timelines:

  1. Restaurant Dining Room Service Certificate: one 8-week block
  2. Front House Operations Certificate: two 8-week blocks
  3. Baking & Pastry Certificate: two/three 8-week blocks
  4. Restaurant Management Certificate: five 8-week blocks 
  5. Culinary Arts Certificate: four 8-week blocks

Do I have to take classes full time?

No. You may tailor your class schedule to your needs. You must complete the Block One prerequisite courses before advancing to Block Two in all certificates.

How do I register for classes?

Complete an application on-line and register for classes. You can also register on campus at Admissions & Records.

Are there prerequisite classes I must take?

You must complete the Block One prerequisite courses before advancing to Block Two in the Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry certificates.

Do I have to repeat the pre-requisites for each certificate?

No. You only need to successfully complete a prerequisite course once, even if you are working toward more than one certificate requiring the same course.

Is there room in the classes? I've heard they fill up quickly.

Classes fill up quickly. Once you get started in the program, you will have priority registration, and it becomes easier to get into classes. If the classes you want are full, and you are unable to enroll, come to the first class and ask the instructor if there is room to add. If so, you will be given an add code at that time. Instructors do not have add codes until the first day of a class.

Do you cater or take special orders like wedding cakes?

The Culinary Arts department does not offer catering services or accept special orders.

How much does each certificate cost?

Estimated Certificate Costs are based on in-state tuition (costs include books, uniform, and supplies):

  1. Restaurant Dining Room Service Certificate: $550
  2. Front House Operations Certificate: $960
  3. Baking & Pastry Certificate:  $2,300
  4. Restaurant Management Certificate: $1,400
  5. Culinary Arts Certificate: $3,000

Do I need a uniform?

Restaurant Dining Room Service (CUL 256) class uniform:
Black dress pants
Black long-sleeved collared dress shirt 
Black bib apron with the SRJC Culinary Arts logo
Sturdy, close-toed plain black shoes

The Culinary and Baking & Pastry Certificate uniform:
White chef's coat with the SRJC Culinary Arts logo 
White apron
Long, black/white checked chef's pants
White skullcap
Sturdy, close-toed plain black shoes

Where can I get the uniform?

You can purchase the uniforms and shoes from Santa Rosa Uniform. Uniforms, other than shoes, may also be available at the SRJC Bookstore. Please plan ahead! Uniforms can take as long as 2 weeks to arrive and most cooking classes require you be in uniform on your first day.

Do I need my own set of knives and text books?

Yes. You will need to buy a set of knives for your culinary classes. You should wait to purchase your knives until you are in the Culinary Fundamentals 1 (CUL 251A) class and after the knife lecture. If your class requires a book, you should plan on bringing the book to the first day of class.

Where are classes held?

Classes are held in the B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center at 1670 Mendocino Avenue across the street from the Santa Rosa Campus. The Culinary Arts department phone number is 707-522-2800.

Will I need to go to another cooking school after I get a certificate from SRJC?

No. No matter where you go to culinary school, you will have to start at entry level in the professional food service industry.

Who should I contact to get more information?

Department Chair: Betsy Fischer 707-524-1758