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Culinary Schools in Tampa

Florida is a true culinary powerhouse, with Tampa at its heart. Although Miami gets much of the glory, foodies and chefs recognize that Tampa Bay's rich cultural history and Gulf coastline make it a culinary haven. Culinary arts schools in Tampa give students the basic skills they need to succeed in any market; attending school in that city will also give students expose to the culinary traditions that define regional fare.

Culinary Arts

Tampa's culinary scene is both traditional and evolved. There are strong roots of Spanish, German, Italian and Cuban flavor, refined by major trends like local sourcing and the farm-to-table movement. New restaurants and culinary techniques are often at play in historic food districts like Ybor City, Tampa's traditional Latin quarter. Iconic dishes, such as the grouper sandwich, sopa de garbanzo and Cuban sandwiches, tell the story of Tampa and its people.

Famous Tampa restaurants and chefs

Tampa culinary school students, and students of baking and pastry schools in Tampa, can look forward to its hefty collection of top-rated restaurants and chefs. Often, the two go hand-in-hand. The following are just a few of the region's best-known and loved restaurants and the culinary visionaries who sustain them.

  • Bern's Steak House: This epic establishment is a must-visit for extreme foodies. Its menu features more than 50 cuts and preparations of premium aged steaks, nearly two dozen kinds of caviar, and nearly 50 different desserts. Its wine list is the largest in the world, with nearly 7,000 choices.
  • Z Grille: Named for James Beard-nominated chef and founder Zack Grosse, Z Grille's menu is upscale and features dishes from all across the globe. Popular options include its trademark deviled eggs and Dr. Pepper-sauced fried ribs.
  • The Refinery: Co-founded by three-time James Beard-nominated chef Greg Baker, its changeable menu features traditional Southern dishes prepared with a French twist, and with locally sourced ingredients.
  • The Columbia Cafe: Founded in 1905, The Columbia is officially Florida's oldest restaurant. It started as a small corner cafe in Tampa's Ybor City, but has expanded to include multiple locations. Its large menu features several Spanish and Cuban dishes, but it is perhaps best known for its authentic Cuban sandwiches and coffee.
  • Mise en Place: To students attending culinary arts schools in Tampa, "mise en place" refers to the art of planning and preparing ingredients ahead of time to ensure efficiency and consistency in the kitchen. It also refers to one of Tampa's most famous, most successful restaurants. Founded in 1986, Mise en Place's menu is ripe with signature dishes like lobster Manchego mac 'n cheese and cornmeal-crusted oysters with green tomato chutney.

Tampa culinary schools & career outlook

Tampa's hospitality industry is massive, pulling all types of talents from all across the nation. Some of these professionals rely on raw talent and years of experience to rise through the ranks, but many employers prefer to hire candidates with formal training, especially in high-end establishments. Culinary schools in Tampa cater to the region's diverse market, offering a wide variety of programs and credentials. They groom future chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and restaurant managers, but also budding tourism and hotel management pros.

Formal training does more than give candidates an edge in competitive job markets and top kitchens. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earnings and employment rates tend to improve with education. Of course, training, talent and experience are also important factors that can shape graduates' futures; job title, regional demand and industry norms play a role too. The following chart details typical earnings and projected career growth for a wide range of hospitality pros within the Tampa metro.

OccupationMedian Salary in Tampa Bay( 2013)% Job Growth in Hillsborough County (2014-2022)
Chefs and head cooks $45,590 3.9%
First-line supervisors $31,590 8.9%
Restaurant cooks $23,090 8.8%
Baker $24,080 7.5%
Food service managers $58,290 7.5%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

While cooking schools in Tampa might offer a future culinary professionals a solid foundation on which to build a career, the city itself is also ripe with opportunity. Several area restaurants, catering companies, hotels and culinary organizations offer internship and staging gigs. These experiences introduce future professionals to the local culinary market, provide hands-on training and build valuable networking relationships. Prospective students can contact cooking schools in Tampa to learn more about their program, internship and career-placement options.

Sources

  • "History & Legends," Visit Tampa, Tourist Development Council, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, http://www.visittampabay.com/unlock-tampa-bay/history-legends/
  • "Welcome to Cuban Sandwich City," Cigar City Magazine, March 7, 2012, Andy Huse, http://www.cigarcitymagazine.com/articles/food/item/welcome-to-cuban-sandwich-city
  • "Spanish Bean Soup (Potage de Garbanzo)," Columbia Restaurant, http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/recipe.asp?FeaturedItemID=20
  • "101 Best Restaurants in America," The Daily Meal, February 20, 2014, Arthur Bovino, http://www.thedailymeal.com/101-best-restaurants-america
  • "10 best foodie spots in Tampa/St. Petersburg," USA Today, March 10, 2014, Bob Jenkins, http://experience.usatoday.com/weekend/story/tampa-st-petersburg/2014/03/10/tampa-st-petersburg-foodie-spots-10-best/6181767/
  • "Tampa Bay's top 50 restaurants: Which is No. 1?" Tampa Bay Times, January 15, 2014, Laura Reiley, http://www.tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/dining/tampa-bays-top-50-restaurants/216054
  • "Columbia Restaurant: Florida's Oldest Restaurant's History," Columbia Restaurant, http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/fl_oldestrest.asp
  • "Tampa Foodie Festival Season: Seize the Flavor of Tampa Bay," Events, Visit Tampa Bay, http://www.visittampabay.com/tampa-events/foodie-festival-season/
  • Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally, https://www.tampabayfoodtruckrally.com/
  • Tampa Bay Food & Wine Festival, http://www.tampabaywineandfood.com/
  • "May 2013 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 1, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_45300.htm
  • Employment Projections Data: 2014-2022, Labor Market Information, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, http://www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information/data-center/statistical-programs/employment-projections
  • "Earnings and unemployment rates by educational attainment: 2013," Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 24, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Tampa

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
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  • 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.
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  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Has been training students for creative careers since 1921.
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  • 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).
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  • Online Courses
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  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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  • Accredited
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  • Training aviation professionals since 1932, it is one of the few aviation schools to offer both aviation maintenance and professional pilot training programs.
  • Offers programs like Aviation Maintenance Professional, Aviation Maintenance Technology, and more.
  • Approved for Veteran's training for Veterans utilizing their educational benefits.
  • The New England campus at Hanscom Air Field in Bedford, MA and is awarded accreditation through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Has over 350 employees who provide personalized, one-on-one live student support.
  • Partnered with AmeriCorps to create the Segal AmeriCorps education award that pays up to $5,500 towards tuition.
  • Provides 100% tuition assistance for military service members who qualify.
  • Offers JANET, the Job Assistance Network that covers instruction on résumé writing, cover letters and weekly job leads for up to three years.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
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  • Online Courses

Saint Francis University’s 100% Online Master of Human Resource Management

Saint Francis University’s online Master of Human Resource Management program provides students with the theoretical and practical advanced knowledge necessary to become human resource leaders of the best kind.

  • Online Courses
WyoTech , Ormond Beach
  • Offers students the chance to complete their courses in less than 16 months.
  • Had a submission highlighted as one of the 25 best trucks at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market  Association (SEMA) Show by Motor Trend’s Truck Trend magazine.
  • Has partnerships with companies such as AAMCO, Pep Boys Auto, Ryder, John Deere, and others.
  • Offers courses at 5 campuses in California, Wyoming, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • General education classes are not required for graduation, allowing students to focus on core curriculum.
  • Offers 2 focused degree programs: Film & Video Production and Audio Engineering & Music Production.
  • Graduates are employed in the audio and visual industry at CBS Radio, Disney, Universal Studios, and Clear Channel Communications.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET).
  • Campus is located in Orlando, Florida
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  • Ranked 21st among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Offers online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in health systems administration, international health, and more.
  • Instructs with a blend of interactive online class sessions, social connections between peers and faculty, and real-world clinical experiences.
  • Houses a multimillion-dollar research program that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, The Commonwealth Fund, and more.
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  • Online Courses
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
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  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Sunstate Academy , Clearwater
  • Providing cosmetology training in Florida for over 35 years. 
  • Stands as a Redken Premier School with qualified instructors who have Redken professional training and salon experience.
  • Allows students to practice their skills with top Redken products.
  • Has full-service salons run by students available at both campus locations.
  • Offers career placement help for students, and regularly holds recruitment events for employers.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

  • Online Courses
  • Training students for careers in the allied health field since 1994.
  • Recognized on the 2015 Military Friendly Schools List for accommodating military service members, veterans, and their spouses as students.
  • Has a MyUMA mobile app that provides classroom content, learning resources, grades, news, and more.
  • Offers no-charge SOAR Student Assistance for any problems concerning behavioral health, well-being, and/or academic performance.
  • Accredited by Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
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Other Tampa, Florida Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
Brewster Technical Center Culinary Arts
D G Erwin Technical Center Culinary Arts
Hillsborough Community College Culinary Arts Certificate Program