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6 Culinary Schools for Over-50 Foodies

Dreaming of a second career in the food industry? These places can make it a reality.

Tools of the trade of chocolatier Antoinette Little

— Nathaniel Welch

Culinary Institute of America
: Main campus in Hyde Park, N.Y.; with additional campuses in St. Helena, Calif., San Antonio and Singapore
Specialty programs
: Culinary Arts; Baking and Pastry Arts; Wine and Beverages

In addition to bachelor's and associate's degrees, CIA offers a 15-month Advanced Career Experience geared toward older students looking to work their way up in the industry.

College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University
: Providence, R.I.
Specialty programs
: Culinary Arts; Food Service Entrepreneurship; Culinary Nutrition

JWU's program emphasizes hands-on experience with a focus on the entrepreneurial side of the food industry — fitting, since the university is also home to a prestigious business school.

French Culinary Institute
: New York
Specialty programs
: FCI offers both Career (Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts) and Amateur (Culinary, Pastry, Bread, Wine) programs

The offerings here are varied, from a 2-week chocolate workshop to a 9-month Pastry Arts program, to name just two.

California Culinary Academy
: San Francisco
Specialty programs
: Associate and certificate programs in Culinary Arts or Baking

A part of the North American branch of the renowned Le Cordon Bleu school, the CCA teaches classic cuisine with a global flair and a modern twist.

L'Academie de Cuisine
: Campuses in Gaithersburg, Md., and Bethesda, Md.
Specialty Programs
: Recreational classes; Professional programs in Culinary Arts or Pastry Arts

Founded in 1976, L'Academie's aim was to bring European technique to American chefs. This tradition lives on today in the school's two Maryland campuses, where students are taught to combine an understanding of food theory along with technique.

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