Cook Street Veterans' programsYour Culinary education is our mission.

Cook Street is pleased to be approved and regulated by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. We offer a unique, accelerated and intensive culinary arts program to help launch your new culinary dreams. Tuition is covered 100% by your Post 911/GI Bill benefits. Cook Street has been in operation for over 15 years so we have learned a thing or two about giving our valued students a tailored and elevated Culinary experience.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is a privately-owned teaching facility in Denver, CO. We are approved and regulated by the State of Colorado Department of Higher Education Division of Private and Occupational Schools. Our Culinary Arts Program is endorsed for quality education by the American Culinary Federation Foundation, the industry’s preeminent professional chefs’ organization.

Cook Street is a proud recipient of the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation’s (ACFEF) Quality Program Approval, meeting the ACFEF’s quality education standards. The School was awarded winner in 2015 for the “Denver’s Best Cooking Classes” category of DiningOut Magazine’s first DiningOut Prime Picks and a Best of Westword award for its recreational programs in 2010.

American Culinary Federation

GI Bill Benefits

The Post-9/11 GI Bill — Under this bill, veterans’ undergraduate tuition and fees would be paid directly to the school in which they enroll. Maximum tuition and reimbursement rates are found online. These limitations also apply to transferee spouses of active duty service members. More information can be found by visiting the GI Bill website.

Eligibility requirements:

  • You served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months.
  • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001.
  • You are a dependent who is eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.

Session Dates

The Culinary Arts Program

2017 Terms

August 28th – December 15th
November 27th – March 23rd

2018 Terms

March 12th – June 29th
June 18th – October 5th
September 10th – December 21st


Call 303.308.9300 to schedule a tour of Cook Street today!

Culinary Arts Program Success Story: Julie Ciezadlo

Julie Ciezadlo, chef/owner, Tuffy Kickshaw’s

Julie Ciezadlo, chef/owner, Tuffy Kickshaw’s

If you asked alumna Julie Ciezadlo (July 2004) if her favorite sweet treat is caramel corn, her answer would likely be an emphatic “No!” Ironic, given that Julie is the Chef/Owner of Tuffy Kickshaw’s — not caramel , but, rather, sweetly covered corn. While she may not crave it, that sweetly covered corn became a vehicle for Julie to express her culinary creativity.

A Colorado native with a degree in anthropology, Julie worked at a number of different jobs while she began a family. Though she considered herself a good home cook, Julie hadn’t considered a professional culinary career until she and a friend decided to try their hands at catering as a new career option.

While somewhat more interested in pastry than the savory side of the kitchen, Julie was intrigued by the intensity of the Cook Street 180° Program and European Culinary Tour. “I’m glad I enrolled at Cook Street,” says Julie. “I got a good foundation in French and Italian techniques; and I came back from Europe with a different relationship with the food I eat and the wine I drink.”

After graduation, she started a small business, doing what she set out to do — pastry catering. “I would spend two days working on a cake. It was wonderful and fabulous, but I couldn’t charge for the amount of time I put into working on it.”

A little over a year and a half ago, Julie, who was always responsible for bringing dessert, made some caramel corn for a girls’ weekend with friends. The caramel corn was a hit, and Julie began thinking up new flavor possibilities. “Popcorn is really such a great canvas for whatever fun stuff and flavors you bring to it. I thought it would be easy and fun.”

Julie’s creativity is not limited to her culinary skills and she began envisioning her new brand. She enlisted help to come up with the name. Tuffy is an old word for toffee and kickshaw is a word meaning an exotic tidbit or delicacy. The words together created an image of a guy who makes sweetly covered corn. Julie specifically avoided the gourmet caramel corn label that invokes images of large red tins and tacky Christmas malls.

While Tuffy Kickshaw did start slowly — a farmers’ market here, an event there — it wasn’t long until she was inundated with orders. “It actually felt like ‘trickle, trickle, trickle…Waterfall!” Part of that success came with an arrangement with the Hotel Monaco, which provides the sweetly covered corn to its guests. And part of the waterfall effect came from 5280’s blog post:

“I’m embarrassed to admit how quickly I blew through not one, but two, bags of Tuffy Kickshaw’s Sweetly Covered Corn. When I opened the fiery-sweet Jalapeño Addiction and the decadent Whiskey ’n Brown Butter (made with Stranahan’s) I intended to try a couple kernels of each flavor. But the small-batch treats got the best of me: After devouring half a bag of each, I had to walk away from my desk to avoid finishing them both. I polished off the rest the next day.”

Julie opts for seasonal menus to keep her popcorn line fresh and fun. This past fall she featured products such Cinnamon French Toast and Caffe Dolce (caramel, cinnamon, biscotti and hazelnuts).

In spring and summer, popcorn lovers might enjoy Lovely Day (white chocolate and lemon) and How Civilized (Earl Grey tea and orange-scented shortbread) for a treat with a lighter touch.

Julie does everything Tuffy Kickshaw — from making the corn to stamping bags to deliveries to fielding national orders and a flood of publicity. Tuffy Kickshaw is far from that easy, fun little idea she had a year or so ago. “When I went to Cook Street, I thought I had two choices: to work in a restaurant or as a caterer. There’s a whole wide world of stuff that you can do in the food business.”

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