15 Best Culinary Schools in Hawaii | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

Hawaii has a very distinctive cuisine that is unlike anything found in any other state in the United States. This is possible through the Culinary schools in Hawaii.

This place has a unique food scene due to the fusion of different cultures.

In addition, the culinary schools in Hawaii are the right places to start if you are exploring a career in the culinary arts. 

Also, you will have career alternatives that include working as a chef, a baker in restaurants and eateries or even as a food service manager with the appropriate education and experience.

This article will therefore examine Hawaii’s culinary schools and the costs, requirements and how to apply.

Are there Culinary Schools in Hawaii?

Yes, there are Culinary schools in Hawaii. 

These Culinary schools are below;

  • Hawaii Community College Hilo Campus-Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kaua’i Community College-Lihue, Hawaii
  • Leeward Community College-Pearl City, Hawaii
  • Kapiolani Community College-Honolulu, Hawaii
  • University of Hawaii Maui College-Kahului, Hawaii
  • Culinary Institute of the Pacific
  • Travel Institute of the Pacific
  • Hawaii Pacific University
  • Kupu Culinary program
  • Gros Bonnet Culinary Arts Academy

How Much Do Culinary Schools Cost in Hawaii?

Leeward Community College costs $8,010 yearly.

Kapiolani Community College has a net price of $6,411 as its total every year.

Hawaii Community College costs $12,759 a year.

The University of Hawaii has a net cost of $11,471 a year.

For Kauai Community College, the tuition cost is $9,446 a year.

What are the Requirements for Culinary Schools in Hawaii?

Many culinary schools in Hawaii accept applications online. Typical prerequisites include a high school diploma or GED certificate and academic transcripts. 

Also, culinary schools in Hawaii require letters of recommendation and SAT/ACT scores. They can help applicants stand out.

What are the Best Culinary Schools in Hawaii?

1. Hawaii Community College Hilo Campus-Hilo, Hawaii

A stimulating, certified culinary curriculum is available via Hawaii Community College, with courses on topics like menu marketing, short-order cooking, cold food pantry, and culinary nutrition. 

Over 100 students are currently in this renowned culinary program, which has been operating for over 50 years. 

In addition to associate degree programs, they also offer certificate programs. 

Students can also enter the Hilo Classic cooking competition each year and submit their best culinary creations. 

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Students can submit collaborative projects in teams or solo entries for the competition. A completion certificate or medals goes to the students. 

Finally, the students anticipate this encounter all year long.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best culinary schools in Hawaii.

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2. Kauai Community College-Lihue, Hawaii

Using a professional ladder structure, Kauai Community College offers culinary programs. 

Beginning with the Certificate of Competence, students can then proceed to finish their AAS degree or Certificate of Achievement. 

Students study from knowledgeable teachers in a cutting-edge facility while participating in hands-on instruction in a cooking laboratory. 

Also, students acquire the communication skills needed to function well in teams during the course of the program and the knowledge essential to practice professionalism. 

In addition, to earn an AAS degree, a practicum is necessary.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best culinary schools in Hawaii.

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3. Leeward Community College-Pearl City, Hawaii

Students studying culinary arts at Leeward Community College learn traditional regional cuisines and European and Asian cooking methods. 

Notably, this prestigious culinary school offers a $6 million kitchen facility with cutting-edge technology and a fine dining restaurant. 

Students have the chance to put their skills and abilities to use in a real-world situation by working in the student-run restaurant, ‘The Pearl. 

Also, the associate degree program has a two-year completion time and offers paid externship opportunities. 

Further, the 30-credit Certificate of Achievement program equips students with the skills necessary for an entry-level career in a commercial kitchen. 

Lastly, programs leading to a Certificate of Competence are shorter and include practical instruction to provide students with the fundamental skills they need to enter the culinary industry.

This is a good reason why it is among the best culinary schools in Hawaii

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4. University of Hawaii Maui College-Kahului, Hawaii

The American Culinary Federation has recognized the University of Hawaii-Maui College as an outstanding culinary school with associate degree programs in the culinary arts.

Along with a Certificate of Achievement in Culinary Arts, students can also obtain a Certificate of Competence in Culinary Arts or as a Pastry Cook. 

Coursework for certificates is subject-specific and can finish in around six months of study. 

Also, programs leading to an associate’s degree endure for four semesters and offer an externship after the semesters.

Moreover, Students learn the sector’s fundamentals, including catering, event planning, food trucks, and farm-to-table principles. 

After graduating, students successfully open their own restaurants and apply for jobs in five-star establishments.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best culinary schools in Hawaii.

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5. Kapiolani Community College-Honolulu, Hawaii

To address the demands of professionals in the culinary arts at all levels, Kapiolani Community College offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. 

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Notably, its associate degree programs can be finished in around two years and are intended to serve as either a terminal degree for people entering the workforce or as a stepping stone degree for those transferring to a four-year university. 

Also, the curriculum includes lessons in continental cuisine, Asian and Pacific cuisine, menu merchandising, sanitation, and dining room service. 

By limiting students to education relevant to their sector, certificate programs can be finished more quickly. 

Along with a student-run restaurant, Kapiolani Community College’s culinary program also offers a catering service.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best culinary schools in Hawaii. 

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6. Culinary Institute of the Pacific

With its main office in Honolulu, the Culinary Institute also has campuses spread out over the state, notably in Maui and the Big Island. 

It is worth mentioning that programs in pastry arts, culinary management, institutional food service management, associate degrees, certifications, and bachelor degrees are available.

This is one of the best culinary schools in Hawaii.

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7. Travel Institute of the Pacific

Chefs can choose from various certificate programs offered by the Travel Institute of the Pacific. 

On their campus in the city of Honolulu, classes are held daily.

Also, the institution has around 71 students in total, with the bulk enrolled under two-year programs. 

Notably, The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges has granted institutional accreditation to the college. 

Around $14,737 is spent on tuition per year. 

Furthermore, depending on the program, the cost of the instructional materials might be around $4,908.

This is one of the best culinary schools in Hawaii.

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8. Gros Bonnet Culinary Arts Academy

The Gros Bonnet Culinary Arts Academy is one of the most prestigious and venerable institutions for teaching cooks. 

Along with providing high-quality education, it also offers students a wealth of job guidance after graduation and is located in a popular tourism area of Hawaii.

The school aims to develop its students through attractive teaching, which greatly helps hone students’ culinary skills to prepare them for the culinary industry.

This is one of the top-ranked culinary schools in Hawaii.

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9. Hawaii Pacific University 

Students studying Hospitality and Tourism Management at HPU relate to Hawaii as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. 

Hospitality and tourism management students are frequently connected to their first career position when they graduate, thanks to internships and partnership projects with significant hotels and travel suppliers. 

Hawaii Pacific University is also recognized as one of the most culturally diverse student and faculty populations, making affiliations with significant international associations, and professional travel clubs effortless and straightforward.

This school is regarded as one of the best culinary schools in Hawaii.

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10. Kupu Culinary Program

With the use of food and service learning, the Culinary Program’s goal is to equip young adults with the skills necessary to prepare wholesome meals for themselves as well as for their families and communities. 

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Also, the Kupu Culinary Program is intended for teenagers and young adults curious about the culinary arts’ distinctive world, including food preparation, event catering, and sustainable food resources in Hawaii. 

Furthermore, participants in this practical program get the chance to participate in cultural activities and workshops on personal development and real-world employment experience.

This is a good reason why it is one of the top-ranked culinary schools in Hawaii.

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How Much Do Cooks Make in Hawaii?

Cooks in Hawaii typically get paid an average salary of $34,258 a year. 

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How Do I Become a Cook in Hawaii?

To become a cook in Hawaii, the following steps should be taken;

  • The capacity for thoroughness and attention to detail. 
  • Understanding of food-producing techniques. 
  • The capacity to operate effectively under pressure and to tolerate criticism. 
  • Leadership capabilities. 
  • The capacity for collaborative work. 
  • Understanding of industrial procedures and production. 
  • Math expertise is also very important 
  • The capacity to use your hands effectively.

If these steps can be adhered to, you’re well on becoming a cook in Hawaii.

Best Paying Culinary Jobs in  Hawaii with Salary

Sous chefs in Hawaii get paid between $55,000 – $60,000 a year.

An executive pastry chef earns an estimated $60,000 – $80,000 yearly in Hawaii.

A culinary Coordinator in Hawaii makes $40,000 – $50,000 annually.

Banquet chefs make between $42,000 – $58,000 per annum.

A Kitchen manager earns between $41,000 -$54,000 per year.

An executive restaurant chef in hawaii makes approximately $105,000 a year.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is culinary school in Hawaii?

Earning a culinary degree can be very affordable in Hawaii since the average tuition cost is $2,509. The average scholarship award in Hawaii is a sizable $1,618, which can make your education even more affordable.

How long is a culinary school in Hawaii?

Program Outcomes & Success Measures

The Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts is a 72-credit program. The data below refers to the completion of the program within 150% of the program length as measured in credits (within 3 years). Our mission is to teach in a nurturing, student-centred environment.

How much are chefs paid in Hawaii?

The average salary for a chef is $21.11 per hour in Hawaii. 41 salaries were reported, updated on September 12, 2022.

How much do executive chefs make in Hawaii?

How much does an Executive Chef make in Hawaii? The average Executive Chef salary in Hawaii is $90,481 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $77,988 and $104,409.

Where do chefs make the most money?

According to a study published in 2022, Switzerland was the world’s best-paying country for chefs and head cooks between 2019 and 2020. In those years, a cook in a European country could earn, on average more than 56 thousand U.S. dollars annually.


Hawaii has many boarding schools for cooking enthusiasts that provide diverse lessons and activities for people of different abilities and skills.

As a result, you can enrol yourself in any of the best culinary schools in Hawaii featured in this article to provide him or her with a strong educational foundation in culinary arts.


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