Culinary Schools in Kansas City

In recent years there's been a spotlight on niche regional cuisines such as Kansas City barbecue. Perhaps it's the combination of the internet and a new appreciation of food in pop culture that has led to such a celebration of once-ignored culinary treasures. What the past two decades have shown us is that the concept of fine dining can be a lot broader than anyone ever thought, and we are all better off for it. French and Italian classics will always draw hungry crowds, but things we used to dismiss as unrefined or cheap are now enjoying unprecedented attention. Local chefs have capitalized on the public interest and elevated regional favorites with modern twists.

Culinary Arts

This is what makes the Kansas City culinary scene so exciting -- without ever leaving the city limits you can taste everything from humble mainstays such as slow-smoked molasses ribs or a plate of burnt ends (the crusty tips of a brisket of beef or pork), to award-winning Southern nouveau. Students attending culinary schools in Kansas City, Missouri are surrounded by limitless inspiration, and can learn from lifelong pit masters as well as nationally renown chefs.

Famous restaurants in Kansas City

You'd be hard-pressed to find an omnivorous American who doesn't list meat cooked over a flame among their top comfort foods. Kansas City doesn't just do barbecue though. What they have is a hyper-specific style of slowly smoked meat covered in a sweet, spicy and tangy tomato-based sauce. Here are the restaurants that do KC barbecue best, as well as a few other establishments that show the tempting variety Kansas City's culinary scene has to offer.

  • Q39: Q39 is arguably the favorite barbecue joint of the locals. Its menu features classic Kansas City brisket and burnt ends, along with sides like apple coleslaw and white bean cassoulet, in addition to specialty smoked cocktails.
  • Arthur Bryant's: Naturally, you can't talk about the top barbecue spot without encountering some disagreement. Foodies are a passionate and loyal crowd here, and some say Arthur Bryant's is best. Its old school brick exterior and counter service make this restaurant as unpretentious as they come, and the place always draws a huge lunch crowd who come to savor the simple goodness of barbecue ribs and hand-cut fries.
  • Novel Restaurant: Located inside a historic brownstone building, Novel Restaurant serves New American cuisine that features standouts like a crispy egg appetizer and a perfectly cooked pork chop with pork belly and baby bok choy.
  • Seva Cuisine of India: For those who don't want barbecue every day, Seva offers a refreshing alternative. Tucked away rather unassumingly in a strip mall in Northland, Seva boasts an impressive following. It currently sits in the #1 position on TripAdvisor's Kansas City restaurant section. North Indian treats like coconut soup and mango chicken headline the menu.

As the biggest city in Missouri, Kansas City has a lot to offer culinary students. Besides the great food scene, there tend to be more jobs available in this area than in other parts of Missouri. For those who want to hit the ground running, there could be opportunities in the food industry here.

Culinary career outlook for Kansas City

The job outlook and earning potential for graduates of culinary schools in Kansas City, MO is encouraging. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that job prospects should favor candidates who reside in major metropolitan areas and have a good amount of experience. Earning a culinary degree in a city like Kansas City can fulfill both of those criteria.


Total Employment in Kansas City (2014)

Average Salary in Kansas City (2014)

% Job Growth in Missouri (2012-2022)





Chefs and Head Cooks




Food Service Managers




Restaurant Cooks




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and Projections Central

To anyone who's ever watched Iron Chef or a restaurant reality show and thought, "I can do that," take heed: it's a cutthroat field. It's an exciting, rewarding and unique field, to be sure, but also one with stiff competition, especially in the age of the celebrity chef.

Perhaps the most significant way that would-be chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and others wishing to enter the world of professional food can increase their chances of success is by completing a culinary school program.


  • Arthur Bryant's Legendary Kansas City BBQ, 2014, http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com/
  • Bakers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm#tab-6
  • Chefs and Head Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm#tab-6
  • Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/cooks.htm#tab-6
  • Food Service Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/food-service-managers.htm#tab-6
  • Kansas City, MO, May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28140.htm
  • Novel Kansas City, 2014, http://novelkc.com/
  • Q39 - Kansas City BBQ, 2014, http://www.q39kc.com/
  • Seva Cuisine of India, Kansas City, TripAdvisor, 2014, http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g44535-d3513608-Reviews-Seva_Cuisine_of_India-Kansas_City_Missouri.html

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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
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            • 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.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
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