Culinary Schools in Jamaica, New York City

New York City is considered the melting pot of the world, and that sentiment is definitely reflected in the wide variety of cuisine available down any street, around any corner and on any sidewalk cart you might happen upon. Jamaica, a bustling neighborhood in the borough of Queens, is filled with opportunities for great eats, with more to come -- the downtown area of Jamaica is targeted for growth, especially for sit-down culinary establishments, according to New York Daily News.

Culinary Arts

The National Restaurant Association reported over 45,000 eating and drinking establishments in the state of New York; 790 of those were in Jamaica, employing almost 11,000 people. Getting one of those jobs in a fast food establishment can be as easy as filling out an application; however, those who are serious about moving into management or significant positions as bakers, chefs, cooks, caterers and more can look into the options offered by Jamaica cooking schools.

Famous restaurants in Jamaica, NYC

Jamaica might not have as many restaurants as one might expect for the population and location, but there are definitely some standouts. These are known as some of the best places to get a true taste of New York.

  • Burgandy's Cafe: The home of delicious soul food, this place serves up nine different types of melt-in-your-mouth wings, but also offers fried whiting, barbecued beef ribs and much more. There is even some Caribbean fare here, all with that famous soul-food slant.
  • Brown Betty: This hole-in-the-wall joint is actually home to some of the best fried chicken in NYC, but the lo mein and fried rice are astounding as well. Pick up a "Ruff Box" (chicken and fries to go) as a first try at what this place has to offer.
  • Anil's Roti Shop: This hotspot for Trinidadian curry and potatoes has a funky atmosphere, music going all the time and plenty of regulars who like to stop and chat. Eat it with flaky roti bread or get it wrapped up burrito-style for an on-the-go meal.

It is important to note that Jamaica currently has a serious shortage of fine eating establishments, and lacks a bakery or an ice cream parlor, according to NY Daily News. That means a huge opportunity for those who not only know their way around a kitchen, but also know how to manage staff and handle the logistics of the restaurant business. To that end, graduates of Jamaica culinary schools might want to look into management, business, finance and other courses that can hold them in good stead if they decide to start their own culinary business.

Jamaica culinary salary and career info

Almost 800,000 people were employed by the restaurant industry in New York in 2015, or nine percent of all state residents. That number will grow by another 50,000 people by 2025, according to the National Restaurant Association. That means that those who graduate from Jamaica cooking schools might find work in any number of areas in the Empire State, whether they travel to Albany or beyond, or stay right at home in the borough.

Though graduates could be qualified to work anywhere in the state or nation, many choose to stay close to home. Here's what restaurant workers in the NYC metropolitan area, including Jamaica and Queens, made in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Chefs and head cooks: $54,660
  • Restaurant cooks: $28,440
  • Bartenders: $25,880
  • Waiters or waitresses: $25,820
  • First-line supervisors: $40,040

The good news is that income for those in the restaurant industry is going up in New York. At the end of 2015, minimum wage in the state will rise to $9 per hour; that is expected to go up to $15 per hour in NYC by the end of 2018, and across the entire state by 2021. This boost in income can be a great motivation for more students to attend Jamaica culinary schools.

Those who want to move into restaurant jobs across the state might want to check out the following possibilities. These popular positions are expected to have robust job growth from 2012 to 2022, according to Projections Central:

  • Bartenders: 27.9%
  • Chefs and head cooks: 15.8%
  • Restaurant cooks: 31.4%
  • Waiters or waitresses: 20.2%
  • First-line supervisors: 26.2%

Graduates of Jamaica cooking schools can find excellent opportunities in the area, especially if they intend to launch their own business. Taking on additional courses in management and business can help, as well as doing their best in the traditional culinary classes -- this excellent education means a promising future for cooks, chefs, food service managers, and even the waiters and waitresses who work hard on their way up the culinary ladder in NYC.


  • "10 Old-Fashioned Soul Food Restaurants to Try in NYC," New York Eater, November 20, 2015, Robert Sietsema, http://ny.eater.com/2015/11/20/9757710/best-fried-chicken-soul-food-nyc
  • "Best Food in Jamaica, Queens," Time Out New York, October 19, 2009, Rachel Wharton, http://www.timeout.com/newyork/eating-drinking/best-food-in-jamaica-queens
  • "Business leaders in Jamaica launch campaign to bring sit-down restaurants," New York Daily News, September 10, 2013, Clare Trapasso, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/sit-restaurants-jamaica-article-1.1451344
  • Long Term Occupational Projections, New York, Projections Central, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_35620.htm#35-0000
  • "NY Board Upholds $15 Minimum Wage for Fast-Food Workers," ABC News, December 9, 2015, Michael Virtanen, http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ny-board-upholds-15-minimum-wage-fast-food-35675033
  • Restaurant Employment Growth 2015 to 2025 (Projected), National Restaurant Association, http://www.restaurant.org/Restaurant/media/Restaurant/SiteImages/News%20and%20Research/Forecast/2015%20Forecast/2015EmpGrowthMap.jpg
  • State Statistics: New York, National Restaurant Association, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/2015/NY_Restaurants2015

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