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Culinary Schools in Bakersfield

Located at the southern tip of the fertile San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield is about equal distance to Los Angeles (110 miles to the south) and Fresno. While it lacks the most popular attraction in California -- the Pacific Ocean -- it has other things going for it. Bakersfield is significantly more affordable than coastal communities, and students considering attending one of the Bakersfield culinary schools might be happy to hear that. However, when a beach trip is in order, it's only 127 miles to gorgeous Pismo Beach on California's storied Central Coast. The ninth largest city in California is home to some 375,000 residents who enjoy year-long sunshine and the dry desert climate. The city is located in Kern County, which is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country, making this place a true heaven for Bakersfield culinary students who love working with locally sourced produce.

Culinary Arts

Famous Bakersfield restaurants festivals

Every September, the Kern County Fair brings together carnival, livestock exhibitors, competitive events shows such as cooking competitions, rodeo events, stage performers, and of course plenty of food vendors in one location. It is also a great opportunity to showcase the area's significant agricultural heritage. Something that might be news to many is the interesting fact that Bakersfield is home to the largest concentration of Basque restaurants in the United States -- more than northern Nevada, where there is also a large Basque population. In the Basque tradition, dishes are served family-style at long tables, accompanied by red wine -- so prepare to stay a while and enjoy.

Hungry yet? Allow us to further whet your appetite by introducing you to a few beloved local restaurants:

  • La Costa Mariscos: It's colorful, cheerful, serves great food and inventive drinks: what's not to like? The portions are large, and the service is prompt and attentive. It does get crowded, but it's worth the wait. La Costa can easily accommodate big groups -- so this might be a good place for dinner after classes at one of the Bakersfield cooking schools.
  • Zaika Indian Cuisine: This traditional North Indian restaurant is well-known for its delectable lunch buffet and its tandoori chicken. Don't miss the champagne brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Zaika also serves some fusion dishes, such as coconut shrimp curry (Indo-Thai).
  • Wool Growers: This unassuming restaurant has been family, run since 1954, and it's quite the Bakersfield institution. It serves dishes from the Basque region (south of France and northern Spain). There are things on the menu you have never have had before, but trust us: they are delicious (give the pickled tongue or the oxtail stew a try).

Bakersfield culinary salary and career information

In today's competitive labor market, having an education can definitely give you an edge. However, an education always comes at a cost, so it's important to make a smart decision by looking at some of the earnings data for food and beverage positions. Below is information for positions in that sector as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Occupation

Total Employment in California (2014)

Average Salary in California (2014)

% Job Growth Nationwide (2012-2022)

Bakers

27,900

$26,490

6.5%

Butchers and Meat Cutters

20,840

$29,740

7.0%

Chefs and Head Cooks

15,840

$45,340

8.6%

Food Service Managers

34,600

$52,010

5.5%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

In terms of more specific data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles earnings information on the city of Bakersfield in conjunction with Delano, which is located some 30 miles to the north. Let's have a look:

Location

Occupations

Total Employed (2014)

2014 Average Salary

Bakersfield-Delano

Bartenders

600

$25,650

Butchers and Meat Cutters

320

$31,410

Food Service Managers

490

$45,140

We know that picking a culinary school can be a challenge, as it's a big decision. We hope we've made it a bit easier for you. If you are ready to take the first step in your culinary arts adventure, you might want to have a look at one of the Bakersfield culinary schools. Studying and living here would mean having access to farm-fresh ingredients all year long, and plenty of sunshine to boot.

Sources:

  • Bakersfield Restaurants, http://www.visitbakersfield.com/visitors/restaurants/
  • Kern County Fair, http://www.kerncountyfair.com/
  • La Costa Mariscos: https://www.facebook.com/lacostamariscosbakersfield
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates California, 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bakersfield-Delano, CA, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_12540.htm
  • What Are Some of the Official State Foods? http://www.pbs.org/food/features/official-state-foods/
  • Wool Growers, http://woolgrowers.net/
  • Zaika Indian Cuisine, http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com/

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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
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