Culinary Arts Schools in Maryland

Maryland's culinary status could only be characterized as epic. Food lovers, chefs and restaurateurs from all across the nation visit the region, and many settle there permanently. There are dozens of reasons for this, namely the state's Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay coastlines and their legendary seafood. Its proximity to Washington, D.C. also makes it a big tourist destination. Students attending culinary schools in Maryland are poised to take advantage of these factors, and may even have a valuable edge when vying for top positions. Let's explore the trends that shape Maryland's food culture, and the careers it provides.

Culinary Arts

Famous Maryland restaurants and dishes

Maryland is a cultural melting pot, which makes it a bit of a culinary melting pot, too. Global influences may affect some local dishes and menus, but if you had to characterize all of Maryland's culinary legacy in a single word, that word would be "seafood." The Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay are treasure troves of ingredients that are as celebrated and beloved today as ever. Among the most revered, according to the Maryland State Archives:

  • Bay Scallops
  • Blue Crabs (the official state crustacean)
  • Bluegill fish
  • Eastern Oyster
  • Rockfish (the official state fish)
  • Soft-Shell Clam

Unfortunately, agricultural run-off and overfishing threaten Maryland's seafood legacy. Many chefs advocate for greener practices, and their dishes and menus reflect that. These lessons are often passed down to students attending culinary schools in Maryland, where lessons teach to prepare seafood masterfully and sustainably.

Maryland has no shortage of well-known and loved restaurants. These venues offer students attending culinary schools in Maryland a refined introduction to some of the state's top foods and chefs while internships in their kitchens can hone valuable skills and forge useful connections. Here are just some of Maryland's most popular restaurants.

  • Faidley's Seafood: One of Maryland's oldest and best-loved restaurants. Since its founding in 1886, Faidley's -- and its famous lump crabcake -- have won dozens of awards and been featured at cultural events all over the world.
  • Cotton Geatz's American Restaurant: This Cumberland-area restaurant holds the distinction of being Maryland's oldest family-owned restaurant, and features only the finest meats and seafood prepared using closely-guarded secret recipes.
  • Black's Bar & Kitchen: This Bethesda-based restaurant earns high marks for its wood-grilled meats and seafood dishes, like its famous saffron-scented seafood stew.
  • Vin 909: This Annapolis restaurant is home to chef Justin Moore, whose reputation for crab-and-seafood mastery precedes him.
  • Volt: This is Top Chef contestant Bryan Voltaggio's flagship restaurant. Its menu features a diversity of unique cuisine.
  • The Classics: Formerly known as Ray's The Classics, it caters to serious steak lovers, and it has the supersize, expertly trimmed cowboy cuts of Angus beef to prove it.

This list features just a sliver of Maryland's top restaurants, but even a comprehensive list would not do the state's culinary scene justice. Food events such as the Maryland Seafood Festival, Farm to Chef Maryland, and the National Harbor Food and Wine Festival can help fill the gaps.

Maryland culinary schools & career outlook

Maryland is a prime tourist destination, with a myriad of top restaurants, chefs and hotels to prove it. Students attending hospitality and cooking schools in Maryland will find plenty of opportunity in the tourism industry there. This chart highlights several culinary and hospitality careers in Maryland, their typical salaries and their projected outlooks.

Culinary CareersTotal Employment in Maryland (2013)Average Salary in Maryland (2013)% Job Growth in Maryland (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 2,340 $46,620 4.1%
First-Line Food Supervisors 15,270 $36,180 12.7%
Restaurant Cooks 14,030 $25,100 15.1%
Bakers 3,110 $26,360 3.9%
Food Service Managers 2,390 $60,960 -0.2%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2013, and Projections Central

Culinary schools in Maryland can give future professionals the skills they need to succeed in the field, but education and experience are not the only factors to affect their success. Location makes a big difference in Maryland. The Washington, D.C., metro spans four states and is home to more than 5 million people, nearly half of whom live in Maryland. Salaries tend to be higher in the Washington DC metro, as the table below shows.

Culinary CareersAverage Salaries in the Washington DC Metro (2013)
Chefs and Head Cooks $56,920
First-Line Food Supervisors $37,110
Restaurant Cooks $26,140
Bakers $29,570
Food Service Managers $69,480
Lodging Managers $79,460

Students researching hospitality and cooking schools in Maryland have plenty of options, and it pays to research several culinary schools before applying to any program. Keep in mind that many culinary and pastry arts programs require students to complete externships in area restaurants. This additional training doubles as a valuable networking opportunity, not to mention a valuable resume booster.


  • "Maryland Food at a Glance," Maryland State Archives, State of Maryland, http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/food.html
  • "Maryland Seafood," Maryland State Archives, State of Maryland, http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/seafood.html
  • "Pictures: Traditional Maryland and regional dishes," Food & Dining, Entertainment, The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/bal-regional-food-favorites-pictures-photogallery.html
  • "Best Celebrity Chefs in Maryland," CBS Baltimore, April 10, 2012, http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-celebrity-chefs-in-maryland/
  • Restaurant Association of Maryland, http://www.marylandrestaurants.com/
  • "101 Best Restaurants in America," The Daily Meal, February 20, 2014, Arthur Bovino, http://www.thedailymeal.com/101-best-restaurants-america
  • "100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Maryland Restaurants," Washingtonian, http://www.washingtonian.com/gallery/food-drink/100-very-best-restaurants-2013-maryland-restaurants.php
  • "The 20 Most Iconic Food Destinations Across America," Smithsonian Magazine, August 6, 2013, Marina Koren, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/the-20-most-iconic-food-destinations-across-america-24768503/?no-ist
  • "100 Best Restaurants in Maryland," Food & Drink, Washingtonian, January 31, 2009, http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/food-dining/100-best-restaurants-in-maryland/
  • "May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Maryland," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 1, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_md.htm
  • Projections Central, Maryland, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

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            Other Maryland Culinary Schools

            School Name City or Town Programs Offered
            Baltimore International College Baltimore Baker/Pastry Chef