Culinary Schools in Detroit
Detroit's culinary tradition could easily be described as comfort-centric, with classics like triple-decker burgers, thick-crust pizza, and the iconic Coney Island Hot Dog -- a hot dog topped with a beef sauce, onions and mustard. Detroit's less classically American dishes also tend to be comfort foods. Polish immigrants who settled in the area popularized foods like borscht, paczki and pierogi while Greek and Arabic-speaking communities keep a steady crop of gyro and falafel restaurants afloat.
Detroit's food may be unpretentious, but its restaurant scene has gotten lot of traction with the culinary elite. In 2015, Zagat named it America's no. 3 "Next Hot Food City." The New York Times covered the city's culinary renaissance and both EATER and Food and Wine have ranked its restaurants highly. Official visits from the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Adam Richman have sealed the deal. As chef Marc Djozlija of Wright & Company told the Detroit News in 2014 when he and two other local chefs were named James Beard Award semifinalists, "The kids in Detroit are doing something right."
Top Detroit restaurants
Detroit's booming food scene has become an important part of the city's economy. Zagat credited pop-up restaurants and major investments from celebrity chefs like Michael Symon, Wolfgang Puck and Roy Choi with revitalizing and diversifying the city's restaurant market. These days, locals can chow down in ramen shops, gastropubs and farm-to-table hotspots, while long-standing barbecue and burger joints are as popular as ever. Here are some of Detroit's top restaurants according to publications like The New York Times, Zagat and Eater.
Classic Detroit hotspots
- Slows Bar-B-Q: The New York Times. Zagat. Food and Wine. This Corktown barbecue icon has been featured in several top publications, not to mention on The Today Show and at least two Food Network culinary shows. The restaurant's décor has been described as upcycled and "sleek," but its food is Detroit on a plate. Its pulled chicken sandwich and triple threat pork sandwich score rave reviews, and Adam Richman called its macaroni and cheese "transcendental."
- Supina Pizzaria: Supina in the Eastern Market is another unpretentious Detroit favorite that has snagged a number of awards, including a no. 1 restaurant in Detroit ranking from Zagat in 2013. Eater says it is "totally acceptable to get overly excited" about snagging a table at this crowd-pleaser. Supina is especially famous for its thin-crust pies.
- Duly's Place, Lafayette Coney Island, and American Coney Island: Ordinarily we would never feature three restaurants at once, but the culinary world is so divided about which of these establishments serves the best Coney dogs that it only seem fair to cover all of them. Lafayette and American are next door neighbors and long-time rivals: Lafayette is credited with serving the first Coney dog while American has a loyal following of die-hard fans. Duly's Place may be newer, but it was a fast favorite. When Bourdain wanted to sample this Detroit classic, Duly's was his restaurant-of-choice.
- Torino: Torino is a coffee shop turned four-star restaurant (by Detroit News). According to Eater, which named Torino one of the 38 best restaurants in the nation in 2015, it is also one of the most consistently creative places to eat in the city. Executive chef Garrett Lipar's changeable menu earned him the honor of being the only Michigan chef nominated for a James Beard Rising Star of the Year nomination that same year.
- Roast: Roast is celebrity chef Michael Symon's contribution to Detroit's booming restaurant scene, and it has the "meaty main menu," per Eater, to prove it. Zagat deemed the restaurant one of the area's best in 2013. It is likely no surprise that when Bourdain visited Detroit, Roast was one of his major stops. Roast's happy hour specials and carnivore-pleasing main plates are always a hit.
- Selden Standard: Selden Standard's executive chef Andy Hollyday helped Symon establish Roast before moving to this rustic, seasonal restaurant known for its small plates and locally-sourced ingredients. Recent press suggests he is on to something: Zagat cited Selden Standard in its 2015 feature on America's Next Hot Food Cities; Hollyday was nominated for a James Beard Award that same year.
Detroit culinary schools & career outlook
Motor City's rising restaurant market that presents students attending culinary schools in Detroit with new opportunities -- and more jobs. The National Restaurant Association reported that restaurants accounted for 415,500 jobs statewide in 2015, or about 10 percent of Michigan's total workforce, and is expected to add another 39,500 in the decade to follow. Many of these new jobs will undoubtedly emerge in popular Detroit food neighborhoods like Corktown and the Eastern Market. The following table highlights culinary employment and earnings data for Detroit and Michigan, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Projections Central.
|Culinary careers||Employment in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro (2014)||Average Salary in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro (2014)||% Job growth in Michigan (2012-2022)|
|Chefs and Head Cooks||1,280||$42,460||5.8%|
|Food Service Managers||2,679||$53,920||4.9%|
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and Projections Central
Culinary schools in Detroit can help prepare students to assume any of these in-demand roles, especially higher-wage executive chef and restaurant management jobs and those in prestigious kitchens. Private chefs -- one of the fastest-growing culinary jobs in the state at 14 percent growth -- also tend to benefit from formal training. The programs culinary schools in Detroit offer vary, but the following are often among them:
- Culinary arts
- Catering management
- Baking and pastry arts
- Hospitality management, including restaurant and hotel management
- Bartending, mixology and wine arts
No two culinary schools in Detroit are alike, even when they offer similar programs, so future students should do their research to find the right fit. Check out our directory below to get started.
- "Anthony Bourdain Was Here: Where Did He Eat?" Detroit, Eater, July 8, 2013, Nick Andersen, http://detroit.eater.com/2013/7/8/6409269/anthony-bourdain-was-here-where-did-he-eat
- "The 38 Essential Detroit Restaurants, January 2015," Detroit, Eater, January 6, 2015, Brenna Houck, http://detroit.eater.com/maps/the-38-essential-detroit-restaurants-january-2015
- "Four Michigan chefs named James Beard semifinalists," The Detroit News, February 18, 2015, Molly Abraham, http://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/food/2015/02/18/james-beard-selden-standard-restaurants-award-torino-wright-company/23634059/
- "America's Next Hot Food Cities," Zagat, 2015, https://www.zagat.com/americas-next-hot-food-cities
- "Detroit: A Haven for Food Lovers," Huffington Post, December 8, 2011, Chris Zadorozny, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-zadorozny/detroit-food-scene_b_1137475.html
- "Detroit's Renewal, Slow-Cooked," The New York Times, October 19, 2010, Melena Ryzik, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/dining/20Detroit.html?_r=0
- "May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
- "Michigan: Restaurant Industry at a Glance," National Restaurant Association, 2015, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/2015/MI_Restaurants2015
- May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
- Long-Term Projections, Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/