Let us help you decide which class suits you the best

Launch your dream pastry career with a 100% hands-on education that integrates you into the industry with a paid apprenticeship

3

Months into the program you get placed at an Apprenticeship/job

1000

Hour paid apprenticeship (earn at least $15,000)

4.92

Overall rating (Yelp + Google + Facebook)

Gain the skills needed to move up in the industry or open your own business

During our professional pastry diploma program, you focus on the science behind baking, allowing you to expand your artistic ability and pursue an array of pastry careers.
“We conduct experiments in class, where you can taste, touch, smell, and feel the outcome of your products”
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Learn traditional and modern techniques

Cakes, Breads, Plated Desserts, Laminated Doughs, Chocolates and Candles

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Hands-on learning

You learn by experimenting in the kitchen as well as gaining hands-on professional experience during your apprenticeship

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Current curriculum based on in-demand skills

You get real-life pastry training that gives you a competitive advantage in the industry right now.

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Every student matters

You get real-life pastry training that gives you a competitive advantage in the industry right now.

Gain industry experience as a paid apprentice

CulinaryLab students can choose to work in an immersive, hands-on, 1,000 hour professional apprenticeship rotation, getting paid while they learn. The two-pronged approach combines hands-on learning and immersive industry experience.
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Graduate after 12 months with a real job and resume.

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Receive recommendations from your chef instructors and chef mentor where you completed your apprenticeship.

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Use your apprenticeship to fund your education and get paid to pursue your dreams.

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Create life-long connections with classmates. (After graduation, it’s not uncommon for classmates to open businesses together.)

Below are some of the businesses we partner with for our apprenticeship program. We work with established chefs mentors who believe in our program and share our vision for education:

See what our students think about us

Just completed my Pastry program, and it was an amazing experience! Chef Colleen is a master in the Pastry world, knows what she's doing, very experienced and very patient, answered all of my endless ...  Read more

Razan I.

Irvine, CA

I was a student in Beginner Pastry Class. It was wonderful experience to be in class under Chef Brianna's instruction. She is so knowledgeable and helpful. The kitchen is well equipped, very modern an ...   Read more

Anh T.

Universal City, Los Angeles, CA

I just completed the 6 month Pro Pastry program at the Culinary Lab & it has been a dream come true. I retired this past year and had always wanted to attend culinary school--it is never too late ...  Read more

Terri S.

Corona, CA

This school is hands down amazing! I'm from their first graduating class and I can say hands down I'm so glad I came here and not some other cooking school. Price wise it was cheaper than any other sc ...  Read more

Yair R.

Lakewood, CA

I have been in classes taught by both Chef Wagner and Chef Johnson. They are both fantastic, knowledgable, approachable, witty and talented. I wanted to be in class. I wanted to learn. Both amazing in ...   Read more

Traci S.

San Jose, CA

The chefs are great & very passionate about teaching. I was in the previous school they thought at, and if I had known this one was opening I would have gone here instead. The price is much more a...  Read more

J P

Yelp Rating 2

What you learn at CulinaryLab Pastry School

This 12-month program is broken down into the following five steps:
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level 1
Skills

Pantry Preserves & Milk Crafting | Quick Breads & Yeasted Breads | Cookies & Custards | Pies, Tarts & Gluten-Free Baking | Pate a Choux & Basic Cakes
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level 2
Craft Baking & Pastry

Specialty Yeasted Breads | Laminated Doughs | Candies / Confections | Artisan Chocolates
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level 3
Modern Techniques

Modern Entremet & Chocolate Applications | 3D Carved Cakes & Cupcakes | Tiered Cakes & Decorated Sugar Cookies | Plated Desserts
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level 4
Specialty

Pastry 1: Breads | Pastry 2: Fundamentals | Pastry 3: Plated | Small Bites + Buffet Design | Family and Friends Buffet
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level 5
Apprenticeship

1,000 Hours | Top Local Chefs & Bakers | Learning Modules Include: Culinary Career Paths, Field Trips, & Menu Development
Classes are limited to 16 people and fill months in advance.

How CulinaryLab compares to
the traditional culinary school model

CulinaryLab compared to the traditional culinary school model

CulinaryLab's Approach

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vs

Traditional Approach

Classes are limited to 16 people and fill months in advance.

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Your professional pastry diploma from CulinaryLab allows you to pursue many culinary careers

Learn from the best

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Briana Breluke

Director of Education

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Jacquelene Martinez

Pastry Chef Instructor

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Natalie Galvan

Pastry Chef Instructor

“I was so impressed with the Chef Instructors, the facility, the method of teaching and the over all course itself.“

“Love these people, to them you're not just a student, they treat everyone with love and support and they want nothing but to help you succeed and reach your goals.“

“All of the staff at the school are extremely professional and kind at the same time. It is amazing how much you learn from the staff, they continually focus on making sure the students are the focus.“

“The teachers are phenomenal! Each one not only give you lessons in cooking but also in life. They all genuinely want you to succeed in your career. Even after graduating they still keep in touch and help whenever they can.“

“The chefs are great & very passionate about teaching.“

“The chefs were all articulate, patient experts in their respective crafts and you could tell they were excited about teaching and sharing their knowledge with others. True foodies.“

“CulinaryLab is run by a group of the more talented and passionate chefs I've ever had the pleasure of learning from.“

“Colleen is the best at what she does and makes it fun.“

“Chef Mike helped me with ServSafe. Tyler, Sarah H., and Sarah were awesome as well.“

“It was wonderful experience to be in class under Chef Brianna's instruction. She is so knowledgeable and helpful.“

“The entire staff is so supportive & encouraging beginning with Founders Chef Ryan & Lisa Wagner. Chef Colleen is amazing“

“The teachers are excellent and truly help you both by showing you the proper way and correcting your mistakes.“

“All of the staff at the school are extremely professional and kind at the same time. It is amazing how much you learn from the staff, they continually focus on making sure the students are the focus.“

“Chef Paul was great!“

“When you first meet the instructors at The Culinary Lab they might be intimidating and what might come to mind is some episode of kitchen nightmares with Ramsey! but rest assured, they are the most approachable chefs you will ever meet!aaaaand the knowledge and resources the instructors poses @The Culinary Lab is abundant!“

“The collaborative environment makes for a fun atmosphere and Chef Matt encouraged everyone to ask any question we had. “

“The chefs are great & very passionate about teaching.“

“Chef Mike is an amazing teacher and really takes the time to go into detail and explain techniques.“

“The teachers are phenomenal! Each one not only give you lessons in cooking but also in life. They all genuinely want you to suceed in your careeer. Even after graduating they still keep in touch and help whenever they can.“

“I have been in classes taught by both Chef Wagner and Chef Johnson. They are both fantastic, knowledgable, approachable, witty and talented“

“CulinaryLab is run by a group of the more talented and passionate chefs I've ever had the pleasure of learning from.“

“The chefs were all articulate, patient experts in their respective crafts and you could tell they were excited about teaching and sharing their knowledge with others. True foodies.“

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My vision and belief

I started CulinaryLab because I saw significant gaps in the traditional culinary school model, so I identified the opportunity to provide a more modern approach and address these shortcomings. I’ve worked for over 20 years in the industry, attended as a student at a traditional culinary school, and then later taught at another one. Class sizes were large and students worked in groups, preventing them from working hands-on with every technique and getting the one-on-one support
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I started CulinaryLab because I saw significant gaps in the traditional culinary school model, so I identified the opportunity to provide a more modern approach and address these shortcomings. I’ve worked for over 20 years in the industry, attended as a student at a traditional culinary school, and then later taught at another one. Class sizes were large and students worked in groups, preventing them from working hands-on with every technique and getting the one-on-one support they needed. Students were given lengthy textbooks to learn from and long lecture classes to attend. Tuition prices were as high as $100,000 for training that would only lead to students getting entry-level roles.

Bottom line, students were spending a lot of money and not getting the results they came for. I knew there was a better way. So I created CulinaryLab with the idea of making culinary education more contemporary and accessible. We teach students the way we know they learn best, with small class sizes, hands-on immersive learning, video-driven content, and a price tag that aligns with industry wages. We work directly with local chefs and business owners to find great kitchens for our students to work in while they’re still in school. It’s a key part of their training. We get students from newbie to working professional as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s a straightforward model that gets great results.

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Chef Ryan

Founder, CulinaryLab

The founder Chef Ryan looks put for you and pushes you to be a better person, cook and everything in between. He hand selected the teachers based on his criteria and it shows. “

Chef Wagner has truly outdone himself and created a culinary school like no other that will no doubt rise to the top and be extraordinarily successful!”

What I know of Ryan Wagner, I am sure he is surrounding himself with knowledgeable and accomplished instructors. If you are looking to get into the culinary field, I would recommend checking this school out before deciding on where to study.”

Start your application by talking with our admissions team

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are classes held?

CulinaryLab has two locations, one is located in Tustin, California, right off the 55 Freeway and 17th Street, next to Mimi's Café, and the other in Santa Ana at 4th Street Market.

17231 17th St. B
Tustin, CA 92780

Why is CulinaryLab so affordable compared to other culinary schools?

At $27,300 for the entire program, CulinaryLab is a fraction of what’s required for enrollment at traditional culinary schools. We keep fees as low as possible because we don’t believe it’s fair to stick students with high debt after graduation. This is also one reason why we place you in an apprenticeship. You’re able to make money that you can put toward your education or to cover your costs while learning.

Do you offer financial assistance?

While we don't accept FAFSA, we work with two student loan companies to offer financing options. Keep in mind, during your 1,000-hour apprenticeship, you make a minimum of $15,000 before graduation.

Can I choose my schedule?

We offer morning (7:00 am to 2:30 pm) and evening (3:00 pm to 10:30 pm) class options two days a week (Monday and Tuesday or Wednesday and Thursday) throughout the year. Our program is two days per week to accommodate students with outside jobs and/or family responsibilities.

Do you guarantee a job after graduation?

You graduate from CulinaryLab with the knowledge and connections needed to excel in a variety of culinary careers. A 1,000-hour paid apprenticeship program is part of the program. Many of our students stay at that job after graduation.

Do I have to take all the classes?

Chef Ryan and the team have narrowed down this program as much as absolute possible to teach students only what really matters. In order to leave CulinaryLab with the quality education and experience we think is necessary to succeed in the industry, students are required to complete all Five parts.

How soon can I get started?

Classes typically sell out quickly. However, we regularly start new sessions. So, if your application is accepted, you can begin in as few as X weeks/months.

COVID-19: What safety measures are we taking during COVID?

CulinaryLab takes many steps to ensure student safety, including mandatory face coverings, small class sizes, individual work (no partners), hourly disinfecting of high-traffic areas, and socially distant work stations. Each Cooking Station is 6 feet from the next person, and Chef is cooking at the end of the room, with Video and Monitors. Assistants are bringing all the stuff to us, and sanitizing everything. Chef Ryan has done everything possible to make sure we are comfortable, and able to work in the kitchen.

Pro Pastry in Action

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Hi! I am going to talk with you and help you throughout your application process. We will discuss your needs, questions, and payment options. This “interview” is more like a general conversation about you and how we are able to help you.
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Jim Sutherland

Admissions Manager

Schedule your no-obligation phone interview now to learn more and hold a spot.

Classes are limited to 16 people and fill months in advance.

  • Let us know what type of pastry career you’re interested in, so we can get you the right information.

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