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Culinary Schools in St. Augustine

The oldest continuously occupied European-founded settlement in the country is rich in history, culture, natural beauty, and yes, food. St. Augustine dates back to 1565, when Spanish settlers first arrived in this area of northeastern Florida that was to serve as the capital of Spanish Florida for some 200 years. Nowadays, the town's charming historical district (think cobblestone streets, quaint cafés and a castle) make it a major tourist attraction -- and one with gorgeous beaches to boot. Located on the Atlantic side of Florida, this isn't the Caribbean, but the water is warm, the sand is white, and the drinks are cold here, too.

Culinary Arts

While the city itself is relatively small at around 12,000 residents, the urban area with some 60,000 inhabitants means that the area has much to offer to those who are lucky enough to call Florida home -including students at one of the St. Augustine culinary schools. The subtropical climate makes outdoor activities possible year-round, which is one of the reasons tourists flock to St. Augustine to golf and fish.

Famous St. Augustine restaurants and festivals

Those who want to combine history and food are in luck in St. Augustine, as the city's Tasting Tours provide a variety of tours on horse-drawn carriages, including a Sunday brunch carriage tour complete with food and wine. In terms of specific food that St. Augustine is known for, one has to look to the city' Spanish heritage, as this part of the country was colonized by the Spaniards rather than the British. The Spanish explorers left their mark and in addition to the great seafood that Florida is known for, in St. Augustine one can also find plenty of empanadas, picadillo and tapas (appetizer-sized dishes of Spanish food). Here are three local favorites:

  • Spanish Bakery and Café: This historic eatery has been around for almost 40 years, and it serves homemade sandwiches and pastries that can be enjoyed underneath a historic Cedar tree. Don't miss the gazpacho.
  • The Floridian: This cozy and funky restaurant (yes, that's a boat hanging from the ceiling) recently moved to a new location, and it's consistently popular with tourists and residents alike. The main signage is partially hidden by greenery, so you might just miss it at first. The fried green tomatoes are a must here, and the outdoor porch seating is as charming as it gets.
  • O'Steen's Restaurant: This humble, family-owned restaurant is anything but fancy, but the food is legendary. Sometimes they get so busy, there's even a shaded outdoor waiting area with fans and benches. The fried shrimp with the special sauce consistently earns rave reviews from diners. Trust us -- it's worth the wait.

If three restaurants aren't enough, then A Taste of St. Augustine might just be what the doctor ordered. This outdoor festival, now in its 19th year, features 30 participating restaurants, and attendees can vote for their favorites. To burn some calories before the event, there's also the Race to the Taste running event (just three miles).

St. Augustine culinary career outlook

Aspiring culinary students will find lots of opportunities in the tourism industry in Florida, and may consider searching for a job in the food and beverage sector in one of the many metro areas across the state. Below you can take a quick look at earnings data for the entire state of Florida, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Occupation

Total Employment in Florida (2014)

Average Salary in Florida (2014)

% Job Growth Nationwide (2012-2022)

Bakers

11,740

$24,940

6.5%

Butchers and Meat Cutters

9,790

$29,470

7.0%

Chefs and Head Cooks

6,300

$55,080

8.6%

Food Service Managers

8,200

$64,020

5.5%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

The BLS does not track data for the city of St. Augustine, but it does compile earnings numbers for nearby Palm Beach, which is located some 25 miles south of St. Augustine. The professions tracked for St. Augustine are slightly different than those for which we presented data for the entire state of Florida, but this data should give you a good place to start:

Location

Occupations

Total Employed (2014)

Average Salary (2014)

Palm Coast

Bartenders

150

$21,880

Cooks, restaurants

360

$21,100

Waiters and Waitresses

900

$20,290

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Are you ready to head to one of the St. Augustine cooking schools? You'd have the chance to study in our nation's oldest city and perhaps learn some secrets of Spanish cooking. Choosing the right school can be daunting, so we hope to make it a bit easier for you with the information below.

Sources:

  • A Taste of St. Augustine, http://augustine.com/event/taste-st-augustine
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Florida, 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_fl.htm
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Palm Coast, Florida, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_37380.htm
  • O'Steen's restaurant, http://www.osteensrestaurant.com/The Tasting Tours, Tour Descriptions, http://www.thetastingtours.com/tour-descriptions.html
  • Spanish Bakery and Café: http://www.spanishbakerycafe.com/
  • The Floridian, http://www.thefloridianstaug.com/
  • Visit St. Augustine, Florida: The Nation's Oldest City, http://www.oldcity.com/

This list also contains online schools that accept students from St Augustine

Other St Augustine, Florida Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
First Coast Technical Institute Culinary Arts