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Culinary Arts Schools in Florida

The food scene in Florida, just like the weather, is hot. With multiple distinct hotspots, from Miami to Orlando, Florida has a diverse range of culinary options that span the spectrum of cultures, emerging food trends, and dining settings. From the James Beard-nominated Juvia in Miami Beach to Rocco's Taco & Tequila Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has a little of something for every palette.

Culinary Arts

To most, Miami's South Beach dominates the food scene in Florida because the city is home to celebrity chefs and independent restauranteurs alike. Indeed, Miami is a melting pot of ethnic cuisine, offering patrons the opportunity to explore small hidden gems and expansive, critic-loved restaurants led by renowned chefs. In fact, during the past thirty years, restaurant row in Miami has experienced several transformative periods, culminating today as one of the hottest culinary hotspots in the country.

For example, Masahuru Morimoto (of Iron Chef fame) opened Morimoto South Beach, while Tony Mantuano (James Beard winner) operates Lorenzo in The Redbury South Beach, and Peruvian food master Gastón Acurio (owns 35 restaurants in 12 countries) owns La Mar at the Mandarin Oriental Miami.

While Miami may attract the attention, other regions especially Tampa Bay, are also undergoing gastronomic revolutions. An area long known for basic franchise and fast food fare, Tampa Bay is now also garnering culinary investments, bringing in a new generation of establishments and a renewed focus on local and sustainable food production.

The culinary industry in Florida is an important contributor to the economy, employing nearly 900,000 individuals throughout the state, according to the National Restaurant Association. More than 38,700 restaurants are in Florida, which drive more than $34.7 billion in annual sales.

Famous Florida restaurants

Indeed, Miami is the crown jewel of culinary action in Florida, and is home to numerous award winning restaurants and chefs. In 2014, six restaurants in Miami earned 5- and 4-star or recommended rankings from Forbes. Overall, 15 restaurants received recognition from Forbes Travel Guide's annual star award ranking. The 5-star winning restaurants in Miami included the following:

  • Azul: Located inside of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami, Azul the French-Asian fusion cuisine is the result of the inventiveness of William Crandall, Chef de Cuisine.
  • NAOE: Chef Kevin Cory's NAOE is a Japanese restaurant famous for its high end sushi that has been called "works of arts" by critics.

The 4-star winning restaurants in Florida included:

  • Café Boulud (Palm Beach)
  • Hakkasan (Miami Beach)
  • J&G Grill (Miami)
  • Nin18 (Orlando)
  • Palm d'Or (Coral Gables)
  • Scarpetta (Miami Beach)
  • Victoria and Albert's (Lake Buena Vista)

In 2014, Zagat also recognized the Miami culinary world, reviewing and listing some of the hottest restaurant openings that took place that year. These restaurants serve everything from oysters to kimchi, slabs of beef to brioche bun hamburgers.

  • Drunken Dragon
  • Buns & Buns
  • Sriracha House
  • Meat Market
  • Mignonette

Florida culinary Schools & career outlook

There are numerous avenues to becoming a chef or finding a place in the culinary industry, including attending a culinary school in Florida. No matter what the path, those seeking a professional culinary career typically choose from one of four central concentrations:

  1. Culinary arts
  2. Baking & pastry arts
  3. Culinary management
  4. Hospitality management

Training in these areas could prepare graduates to pursue careers as chefs, caterers, mixologists, sous chefs, pastry chefs, restaurant managers and more. In Florida, trained culinary professionals are in demand, evidenced by the 15 percent growth rate in the industry in 2014, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Individual careers including chefs and food service managers are some of the fastest growing occupations in the culinary industry in Florida, and they are expected see employment gains of 14 percent and 13.6 percent -- respectively -- between 2012 and 2022. Below is a table of the overall career outlook for bakers, chefs, and food service managers in Florida.

OccupationTotal Employment in Florida (2013)Average Salary in Florida (2013)% Job Growth in Florida (2012-2022)
Bakers 11,710 $24,840 7.1%
Chefs and Head Cooks 5,590 $51,660 14.0%
Food Service Managers 8,120 $61,740 13.6%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, and Projections Central

At the local level, the largest opportunities are concentrated in metropolitan areas such as Miami-Miami-Beach-Kendall and Tampa-St.Petersburg. Below is a list of the total number of individuals working as bakers, chefs and restaurant managers in the top three metropolitan areas in 2013:

Bakers

  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (2,020)
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg (2,020)
  • West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach (1,560)

Chefs

  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (940)
  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (900)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach (520)

Restaurant managers

  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (1,500)
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg (1,280)
  • Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall (1,080)

As for career earnings, the BLS 2013 average top paying regions for bakers is Naples-Marco Islands ($37,850), Sebastian-Vero Beach for chefs ($64,400) and Miami-Miami-Beach-Kendall ($73,920) for restaurant managers.

With favorable weather, diverse cultural regions, and one of the best culinary destinations in Miami, Florida may be an attractive option for students considering attending a culinary school in the state.

Hands-on professional experience is essential for developing a career in culinary arts. However, a culinary arts degree demonstrating both dedication and skills to employers can also help. To amplify your professional training, start by browsing the list of culinary schools in Florida below:

Additional Information on Culinary Colleges in Florida from Chef2chef.net
Baking and Pastry Arts Schools in Florida
Hotel Management Schools in Florida
Pastry Chef Schools in Florida

Sources

  • Azul, http://www.mandarinoriental.com/miami/fine-dining/azul/
  • NAOE, http://naoemiami.com/
  • Forbes, Restaurant Rankings, http://www.forbestravelguide.com/restaurant
  • National Restaurant Association, Florida, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/2014/florida
  • Projections Central, Florida, projectionscentral.com
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, California, Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_fl.htm
  • Zagat, Miami, http://www.zagat.com/miami
  • OceanDrive.com, Miami's Great Chef Invasion, http://oceandrive.com/dining/articles/miamis-great-chef-invasion
  • CBS Local, Best Chefs Heating Up Tampa Bay Culinary Scene, http://tampa.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-chefs-heating-up-the-tampa-bay-culinary-scene/
  • Forbes, Travel Guide Award Winners, http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/the-2014-forbes-travel-guide-star-award-winners

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Florida .

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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.
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  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
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  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
  • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
  • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
  • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
  • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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  • Has been training students for creative careers since 1921.
  • Provides interactive course materials and unique approaches to curriculum that  support multiple learning styles.
  • 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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  • 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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Keiser University Campus , Saint Petersburg
  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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  • Owns a public spa where students can get real-world experience.
  • Provides scholarship opportunities and financial aid to students who qualify.
  • Offers many start dates throughout the year, with part-time and full-time attendance options.
  • Has 3 main campuses in Greenacres and Jacksonville, Florida, with 4 branch campuses in Miami Lakes, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Sunstate Academy , Fort Myers
  • 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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  • Accredited
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  • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
  • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
  • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
  • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
  • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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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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  • A private university founded in 1939.  
  • Part of an international network of Assemblies of God colleges and universities.
  • Offers bachelor’s programs that give students the option to take one 7-week course at a time and complete their degree in as few as 36 months.
  • Provides 18 month programs for a master of arts in organizational leadership, digital media, and more.
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•        Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.

•        More than $14 million in scholarships and grants are available per year to students who qualify.

•        100% online programs include 7 baccalaureate degrees, 11 associate’s degrees, 7 diplomas, and an MBA program.

•        Holds partnerships with many business and organizations to help create beneficial work opportunities for students and graduates.

•        Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).

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Florida Vocational Institute offers affordable training in a variety of health care careers. We provide our students with a comprehensive, career-oriented education by our experienced faculty.

Empire Beauty Schools , Fort Lauderdale
  • A cosmetology and beauty educator since 1935, with 98 beauty and cosmetology schools all over the US.
  • Employs many green initiatives on their campuses.
  • Has a professional clinic on each campus, run by senior-level students under supervision of licensed educators.
  • Offers a variety of beauty programs and cosmetology courses including cosmetology, esthetics, make-up artistry, and cosmetology educator training.
  • Accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
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Other Florida Culinary Schools

School Name City or Town Programs Offered
South Florida Community College Avon Park Hospitality Services Management
Webber College Babson Park Hospitality & Tourism Management
Lynn University Boca Raton Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Southtech Academy Boynton Beach Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Manatee Technical Institute Bradenton Culinary Arts
Lee County High Technical Center - North Cape Coral Culinary Arts
Washington-Holmes Technical Center Chipley Culinary Arts & Related Services
Pinellas Technical Education Center - Clearwater Clearwater Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Brevard Community College - Cocoa Campus Cocoa Culinary Operations
Atlantic Vocational Technical Center Coconut Creek Culinary Arts/Chef Training
William T Mcfatter Vocational Technical Center Davie Culinary Arts & Related Services
Bethune Cookman College Daytona Beach Culinary Arts
Daytona Beach Community College Daytona Beach Culinary Management
Lake Technical Center - Lake Culinary Institute Eustis Chef Apprenticeship
Broward Community College Ft Lauderdale Culinary Arts Management Associate in Science Degree
Edison Community College Ft Myers Hospitality and Spa Operation
Lee County High Technical Center - Central Ft Myers Culinary Arts
Indian River State College Ft Pierce Associate in Applied Science degree in Restaurant Management with a Culinary Arts Specialty
Okaloosa Applied Technology Center Ft Walton Beach Culinary Arts & Related Services
University of Florida Gainesville Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Florida National College Hialeah Hospitality Services Management
Sheridan Technical Center Hollywood Certificate in Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Sheridan Vocational Center Hollywood Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville Culinary Management
Technical Education Center - Osceola Kissimmee Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Palm Beach Community College Lake Worth Culinary & Hospitality
Traviss Career Center Lakeland Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Schiller International University Largo International Hospitality and Tourism Management
Suwannee-Hamilton Technical Center Live Oak Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Chipola Junior College Marianna Culinary Management
Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center Miami Culinary Arts
Miami Dade College Miami Culinary Arts Program Associate in Science Degree
Florida Memorial College Miami Gardens Dual-Degree Program in Business Administration and Hospitality Management, with Florida International University
Saint Thomas University Miami Gardens Tourism & Hospitality Management
Miami Lakes Educational Center Miami Lakes Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Radford M Locklin Technical Center Milton Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology Naples Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Okaloosa-Walton Community College Niceville Hospitality Services Management
Florida International University North Miami Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
Johnson & Wales University - North Miami Campus North Miami Bachelors Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Mid-Florida Tech Orlando Commercial & Culinary Arts
University of Central Florida Orlando Hospitality Services Management
Valencia Community College Orlando Culinary/Pastry Management
Gulf Coast Community College Panama City Culinary Management
George Stone Area Vocational Technical Center Pensacola Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Pensacola State College Pensacola Culinary Arts/Management
Charlotte Vocational Technical Center Port Charlotte Culinary Arts – High School
Sarasota County Technical Institute Sarasota Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
First Coast Technical Institute St Augustine Culinary Arts
Pinellas Technical Education Center St Petersburg Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts
Saint Petersburg Junior College St. Petersburg Hospitality and Tourism Management
Capital Culinary Institute of Keiser College Tallahassee Associate of Science in Culinary Arts
Dedman School of Hospitality Tallahassee Major in Hospitality Management
Brewster Technical Center Tampa Culinary Arts
D G Erwin Technical Center Tampa Culinary Arts
Hillsborough Community College Tampa Culinary Arts Certificate Program
Northwood University - Florida Education Center West Palm Beach Hospitality & Recreation Mrktng
Ridge Technical Center Winter Haven Culinary Arts/Chef Training