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Culinary Arts Schools in Indiana

As a linchpin of the Midwest, Indiana is known for agriculture, farming and basketball. But the state is also cultivating a rich culinary presence. Its food festivals and fairs are recognized nationally, including the Maple Syrup Festival and the Indiana State Fair -- one of the largest state fairs in the country. At the state fair, attendees can be delighted by Midwestern classics ranging from the cheeseburger on a stick to pretzel rolls, macaroni and cheese sandwiches to giant Amish donuts. Yet, the staples of the state fair do not define the culinary experience in Indiana. In fact, the tastes of the state are much more diverse and refined, drawing upon and combining culinary influences from regions not only throughout Indiana, but the country.

Home to major cities and college towns alike, the state offers multiple foodie destinations with options for every palette: Mediterranean cuisine, soul food, barbeque, Asian fusion fare, Amish cuisine, and more. There is much to look forward to as a prospective student of culinary schools in Indiana. The culinary industry is nearly a $10 billion dollar industry in Indiana, with more than 11,000 eating and drinking establishments and employing more than 300,000 individuals across the state.

Famous Indiana restaurants and chefs

The culinary scene in Indianapolis is garnering national recognition. A five-block square in Fletcher Place is considered one of the best areas for gastro pubs and bars. Zagat included the area on its list of the 10 hottest food neighborhoods in the U.S. in 2014, recognizing the diverse collection of culinary and spirit options. Indeed, the recognition from Zagat is reflective of the state's growing culinary presence. For example, in 2014, the James Beard Foundation recognized four Indiana culinary professionals as semi-finalists for its yearly honors. In the Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region, the semi-finalists from the state included:

  • Micah Frank (Black Market, Indianapolis)
  • Greg Hardest (Recess, Indianapolis)
  • Daniel Orr (FARMbloomington, Bloomington)
  • David Tallent (Tallent, Bloomington)

In addition to the James Beard Foundation, Indiana has had chefs and restaurants alike recognized by other major publications including Wine Spectator, Forbes, and Zagat. In its 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards, Wine Spectator recognized two restaurants in South Bend:

  • The Carriage House - A cornerstone establishment, The Carriage House has been on Wine Spectator's list every year since 1986 -- 29 straight years of recognition. In 2014, Wine Spectator awarded the restaurant a Best of Award of Excellence.
  • LaSalle Grille - Sommelier Zoran Lazarevic has created a list of 270 wines that ultimately won an Award of Excellence for the quality of those selections to the restaurant's menu.

Well-established chefs including Regina Mehallick (R. Bistro), Greg Hardesty (Recess), Peter George (Tinker Street) and Neal Brown (Pizzology) are redefining the culinary experience in the state, evidenced by the growing number of award-winning, popular restaurants:

  • St. Elmo Steakhouse
  • Recess
  • The Libertine
  • Delicia
  • R Bistro
  • Tulip Noir
  • Cerulean
  • Black Market
  • Bru Burger
  • Indigo Duck

Indiana culinary schools & career outlook

Entering the culinary industry typically starts with an education at a culinary arts school in Indiana. Prospective students generally follow one of four educational paths: Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking & Pastry Arts, and Culinary Management. Those four major options from a culinary schools in Indiana serve as umbrellas to a diverse selection of potential career avenues, including restaurant manager, pastry chef, sous chef, chef de cuisine, hospitality director, and restaurateur.

In 2014, the culinary industry employed more than 340,000 people in Indiana, according to the National Restaurant Association, and is expected to add nearly 29,000 jobs in 2014 in the state. The employment outlook for culinary careers in Indiana is expected to be positive between 2012 and 2022. For example, individual careers (chefs, bakers, and food service managers) are projected to see a collective 10.1 percent increase in job opportunities in Indiana during that time. Below is a table of the career outlook for those positions in Indiana, including employment totals and average salaries.

OccupationTotal Employment in Indiana (2013)Average Salary in Indiana (2013)% Job Growth in Indiana (2012-2022)
Bakers 2,050 $22,940 8.2%
Chefs and Head Cooks 1,180 $37,410 10.4%
Food Service Managers 5,190 $48,780 11.7%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

At the local level, the best paying opportunities can be found in metropolitan areas across the state. Below is a table of the top paying Indiana metropolitan areas for bakers, chefs, and food service managers in 2013:

PositionIndiana Metro2013 Average Salary
Bakers Michigan City-La Porte, IN $25,030
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN $24,930
Evansville, IN-KY $24,720
Chefs and Head Cooks South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI $38,060
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN $37,960
Lafayette, IN $37,740
Food Service Managers South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI $53,800
Michigan City-La Porte, IN $52,580
Evansville, IN-KY $52,270

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indiana Metropolitan Wages and Employment Estimates, 2013

As Indiana's Midwest culinary tradition integrates with emerging trends and restauranteurs continue to move their menus forward, Indiana should be a great place for culinary students seeking to embark upon a new career in the state.

Indiana culinary schools can be an excellent resource for budding chefs who want to learn more about joining this state’s lively culinary scene. Many great chefs started their careers in culinary school, a culinary arts degree is not always required to obtain a position. However, a formal education can be one of the many important factors that can help shape your success in the industry. Have a look at the list below of culinary schools in Indiana and give that chef's hat a twirl as you prepare for your culinary career.

Sources:

  • Forbes, Restaurant Rankings, http://www.forbestravelguide.com/restaurant
  • Zagat, 10 Hot Food Neighborhoods in the U.S., https://www.zagat.com/b/10-hot-food-neighborhoods-around-the-u.s#9
  • Indianapolis Star, 4 Indy-Area Chefs up for James Beard Awards, http://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/dining/2015/02/18/chefs-james-beard-awards-2015/23628877/
  • National Restaurant Association, Indiana, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/2014/indiana
  • Projections Central, Indiana, projectionscentral.com
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania, Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
  • 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 Indiana .

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
The Chef's Academy , Indianapolis
  • Listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
  • Offers intern and externship placement assistance for real-world experience.
  • Offers programs in culinary arts, pastry arts, and hospitality & restaurant management.
  • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF).
  • 2 campus locations in Indianapolis, Indiana and Morrisville, North Carolina.
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1 Program(s) Found
Penn Foster , Online
  • Its career-focused online and hybrid programs are designed to address the skills gap in America.
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
  • Offers over 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Founding member of the National Home Study Council in 1926 (now DETC).
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • 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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  • Online Courses
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4 Program(s) Found
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid

Find Culinary Schools in Indiana by City

Indianapolis

Other Indiana Culinary Schools

School Name City or Town Programs Offered
Indiana University - Purdue University - Fort Wayne Ft Wayne Hospitality Management
Ivy Tech State College - Northeast Ft Wayne Hospitality Adminstration
Ivy Tech College Northwest Gary Hospitality Adminstration
Purdue University - Calumet Campus Hammond Hospitality and Tourism Management
Harrison College - The Chef's Academy - Indianapolis Indianapolis Culinary Arts
Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Indianapolis Hospitality Management
International Business College-Indianapolis Indianapolis Travel and Hospitality
Ivy Tech State College - Central Indiana Indianapolis Hospitality Adminstration
Ball State University Muncie Hospitality & Food Management
Oakland City University Oakland City Hospitality and Tourism Management
Vincennes University Vincennes Culinary Arts/Chef Training
Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette Food Sciences and Tech.