Culinary Schools in Knoxville

Those who are familiar with Knoxville know that it's quintessentially southern, but it's flavors are more specific than that. Knoxville has been hailed as an up-and-coming food town, and while it may be no match against nearby foodie haven Ashville (yet), it's changing and improving all the time. What Knoxville's culinary scene offers is both exactly and so much more than what expectations prepare us for: flavors of the American South in a spectrum of interpretations, from high-end to vegetarian, plus a surprisingly well-received stronghold of ethnic influences.

Culinary Arts

Students who attend Knoxville culinary schools are part of an exciting time in the city's edible landscape, and enjoy a unique opportunity to both learn from and contribute to the diverse flavors of Tennessee's Marble City.

Famous restaurants in Knoxville

Tupelo Honey Cafe: Located in Knoxville's vibrant Market Square, Tupelo Honey Cafe is all about new Southern flavors. Diners begin their meal with complimentary house-made biscuits and honey, and after that pretty much anything goes. Tupelo's long list of tempting small plates -- such as goat cheese jalapeño grits poppers, Southern tacos and Appalachian egg rolls -- are the stuff of food-fusion dreams, and filling enough in combination to constitute a whole meal. Naturally, there's also buttermilk fried chicken and shrimp & grits on offer, so hungry patrons can be as traditional or adventurous as their appetites dictate.

Knox Mason: Knox Mason is the Foodie Generation's answer to Southern food: seasonally focused, painstakingly handmade, and with a killer artisanal drink selection to boot. Executive chef and Knoxville native Matt Gallaher boasts a star-studded resume with over fifteen years of experience at some of Tennessee's most respected restaurants. His vision for Knox Mason shines through in every menu offering. House-made pickles and pimento spread, pork belly with whiskey-stewed apples and cornmeal-crusted catfish are all familiar but at the same time elevated by fresh techniques and the best local ingredients around.

The Tomato Head: In general, Southern vegetarians don't have much to be excited about when they go out to eat. Meat-free menu options are typically more accidental than carefully considered (side salad and fries, anyone?). At Knoxville's Tomato Head restaurant, however, vegetarian and even vegan diets are given their fair shake. While the Tomato Head's menu still includes plenty of animal protein for the omnivore crowd, high-quality, creative vegetarian offerings steal the show. Whether it's black bean hummus, a veggie-laden pasta salad, portobello and walnut quesadillas or the famous Kepner Melt (spinach, pesto, baked tofu, Monterey jack and pineapple), the meat-eschewing minority has plenty to smile about at The Tomato Head.

Culinary careers and salaries in Knoxville

Food is glamorous business these days, and where fame exists, so too does ruthless competition. Job growth for most high-level food industry careers is slower than average compared to other occupations. However, Knoxville's food scene is truly up-and-coming, and that kind of growth means exciting opportunities for aspiring Knoxville chefs. Education and experience are the best possible tools to jump-start one's culinary career, and Knoxville cooking schools provide both in spades.

Occupation Total Employment in Knoxville (2014) Average Salary in Knoxville (2014) Projected Job Growth Nationwide (2012-2022)
Bakers 580 $20,690 6%
Chefs and Head Cooks 540 n/a 5%
Restaurant Cooks 2,620 $21,630 10%

Students who attend Knoxville culinary schools may also find jobs in some of the larger surrounding metro areas. The BLS recommends earning a culinary degree or certification for better employment opportunities, so check out the schools below to get started.


  • Bakers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/bakers.htm
  • 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
  • Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/cooks.htm
  • "Is Knoxville Cuisine Improving?", Inside of Knoxville, knoxvilleurbanguy, March 4, 2015, http://insideofknoxville.com/2015/03/is-knoxville-cuisine-improving-which-are-the-best-downtown-restaurants/
  • Knoxville, TN - May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28940.htm
  • Knox Mason, 2015, http://www.knoxmason.com/
  • The Tomato Head, 2015, http://thetomatohead.com/
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe - Knoxville, 2015, http://tupelohoneycafe.com/location/knoxville/

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Knoxville

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