dcsimg

Culinary Schools in Orlando

Sunny Orlando, Florida, with its year-round perfect weather, pink flamingos and abundant theme parks, might be one of the happiest places on earth. And when it comes to food, Orlando delivers. Millions of tourists flock to Florida's coasts and cities every year. It's no surprise that Orlando caters to a wide variety of tastes. From tapas to molecular gastronomy, the city has more to offer in terms of foodie culture than initially meets the eye. Look beyond some of the strip malls and big-chain restaurants and discover wonderful Vietnamese cuisine, Irish pubs, Spanish tapas and food trucks -- it's all there.

Culinary Arts

Students who want to enter the food services industry may consider attending one of the culinary schools in Orlando. With 36,185 eating and drinking establishments in the state of Florida, according to 2011 data from the National Restaurant Association, graduates may also have a good chance of finding a position in the $33.3 billion food and beverage industry in Florida. In 2023, the National Restaurant Association predicts that almost one million people will be working in the industry, which represents a 14.6 percent increase over 2013. That's a pretty bright outlook.

Famous Orlando restaurants

According to the Orlando Visitors' Authority, Orlando has all the necessary awards to prove that it's a culinary destination, including three master sommeliers, eight AAA Four-Diamond Awards and even one AAA Five-Diamond Award for the very sophisticated Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Dining. Laurent Branlard, Executive Pastry Chef at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is the only person who has ever won the World Pastry Team Championship twice. In terms of celebrity chefs, Orlando is no less prominent than other cities its size: Todd English, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Roy Yamaguchi, and Cat Cora all operate restaurants here.

The Downtown Wine and Food Fest takes place outdoors in February each year (in gorgeous weather), and it features hundreds of vendors so attendees can sample fares from both new and established restaurants. Bring a blanket and come hungry!

Speaking of restaurants: have a look at three of Orlando's standout eateries:

  • Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant: Irish culinary star Kevin Dundon owns this charming place, which has been assembled from all original components from Ireland, and it does feel like the real thing. Dundon might only man the stove a few times a year, but even in his absence, Orlando Magazine's 2014 restaurant of the year is wildly popular.
  • Scratch: The tapas craze took the U.S. by storm years ago, and each city is proud to have at least one. Orlando has Scratch, which serves everything made from scratch, including sophisticated cocktails minus the pretentiousness that oftentimes come with them. Small plates are great to share, but the pork belly adobo seems to be the most acclaimed dish. Scratch is open late, and it's romantic and eclectic, and the menu changes daily.
  • Tako Cheena: This friendly and affordable Thai, Cuban, Filipino and Mexican fusion restaurant is one of the best bargains in town. Open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, this tiny and locally owned eatery serves up tasty arepas (the Venezuelan version of a taco), Thai peanut chicken tacos, Korean hot dogs and much more. The portions at this self-described, "cross between a food truck and a restaurant" are very generous, so you won't leave hungry.

While you're dining out, be sure to try the key lime pie, a Florida mainstay. Orlando has plenty of good ones. Many bakeries claim to have the best one, and culinary students in Orlando might just want to find out for themselves. Bakeries that serve this Florida specialty include P is for Pie Bake Shop, Sister Honey's and Charlie's Gourmet Pastries, among many others.

Orlando culinary schools & career outlook

Of course, it's important to know how much one could potentially earn with a degree in culinary arts. The following includes data for the entire state of Florida:

OccupationTotal Employment in Florida (2014)Average Salary in Florida (2014)% Job Growth in Florida (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 6,300 $55,080 5.5%
Bakers 11,740 $24,940 5.3%
Food Service Managers 8,200 $64,020 5.5%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

In terms of earning for culinary arts professionals specifically in Orlando (which includes Kissimmee and Sanford) we have listed that data below:

LocationOccupationsTotal Employed (2014)Average Salary (2014)
Orlando Bakers 1,280 $24,780
Chefs 890 $53,380
Food Service Managers 1,390 $65,520

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Potential culinary arts students in Florida should have a look at all the opportunities that are available in the Sunshine State. We've listed some of them below to make the decision a bit easier. Don't forget your sunglasses and your mosquito spray.

Sources:

  • 2014 Dining Awards, Orlando Magazine, May 2014, http://www.orlandomagazine.com/Orlando-Magazine/May-2014/2014-Dining-Awards/
  • Charlie's Gourmet Pastries, http://www.charliesgourmetpastries.com/menu/
  • Crazy for Pies, http://crazyforpies.com/#home
  • Downtown Food & Wine Fest, February 21 & 22, 2015, http://downtownfoodandwinefest.cbslocal.com/
  • Florida Restaurant Industry at a Glance, National Restaurant Association, https://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/florida
  • Great Dining Deals, No Dollar Menus: Best Value Venues in Orlando, USA Today, http://www.10best.com/destinations/florida/orlando/restaurants/best-value/
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Orlando-Ki, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_36740.htm
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Florida, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_fl.htm
  • Orlando Restaurant Awards, Visit Orlando, http://www.visitorlando.com/related/orlandodiningawards/
  • Tako Cheena, http://www.takocheenaorlando.com/
  • Raglan Road, Irish Pub and Restaurant, http://www.raglanroad.com/
  • Scratch Tapas & Craft, http://scratchtapas.com/
  • Sister Honey's, http://www.sisterhoneys.com/
  • Victoria & Albert's, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Dining, https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/grand-floridian-resort-and-spa/victoria-and-alberts/

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Orlando

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
2 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
  • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
  • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
  • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
  • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
Show more [+]
5 Program(s) Found
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Has been training students for creative careers since 1921.
  • Provides interactive course materials and unique approaches to curriculum that  support multiple learning styles.
  • Offers a 10% scholarship to eligible active duty, active and drilling members of the Reserve and National Guard. 
  • Its accelerated online courses allow students to learn new course material every 5 ½ weeks.
  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Other Orlando, Florida Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
Mid-Florida Tech Commercial & Culinary Arts
University of Central Florida Hospitality Services Management
Valencia Community College Culinary/Pastry Management