I live in Sac, and I too have heard all the TV ads for that place. I personally attend Napoli Culinary Academy on Fulton Ave.. I believe there are the following choices in our area-
Napoli- it is a small, more casual program, hours are 9:30am- 2pm- although it is somewhat flexible, it's a 900 hours program, approx 9 mos., about $10K, Culinary Management- meaning you can become Head Chef, Kitchen Manager, or open your own restaurant
Culinary Institute- Roseville, this is a culinary training program, meaning Exec Chef. They have a day and eve programs- 8am-1pm, or 5pm-10pm, also about 900 hours, 9 mos., about $10K also.
San Juan Adult Ed- south Sac., culinary training, 9 mos, 7 am- 1pm, about $3-4K.
American River College, off Madison Ave.- least expensive, esp if you qualify for fee waivers, class schedule varies by semester, they also have some evening classes; culinary training and they also have a pastry certificate available. Check their website- Los Rios College District.
And I guess now the Culinary Kitchen....which sounds like a culinary program from the ads. or you could head to SF for the Culinary Institute- I believe they are close to $40K ??
Sorry for info overload..... I just spent my summer doing the research and started at Napoli in Sept. I would say to call and/or visit each school and see which seems to work best for you. Some are very rigid and some are not- ask to visit a class and/or lab.Some have set program start dates, some are rotating (set semesters vs. you can join anytime) I went with the one I did because I needed the flexible schedule ( I have a family and a family owned business to run- I attend Culinary school only part time right now), and I like the small personalized program, even though it is rather expensive. But I'm sure it wouldn't work for some people. Plus I wanted the management as well as chef training. Some places give one OR the other, but not both. Good luck! If I can help anymore- drop me a message directly.