culinary schools in Oregon
Do your research on Oregon Culinary Institute. I dreamed of going there for five years and finally recently made it, so I'm currently a student. They offer serious competitive rates and if you check out what many many alumni and chefs/restaurants owners in the area are saying about OCI (there are many youtube interviews including one of James Beard), you will be impressed. Class sizes are small and most of the time is spent in the kitchen, with some classroom time as well. To complete either a Diploma or an associates degree you have to take part in running the student restaurant and then completing an externship, and most often with a dedication you can land an externship at a very highly thought-of restaurant not just in Portland but in the country. There have been multiple people who've gotten externships at Thomas Keller restaurants and the like. Of course that isn't a for sure thing, but I've seen many students get awesome opportunities because of the program.
Enough of me blabbing, but I really do love this school. The instructors have so much amazing experience and passion, and are really there to develop you as a cook. If you want more information you can visit their website and set up a tour, which will include a free lunch at the student run restaurant open to the public.