Culinary Arts Schools in Minnesota

Students at culinary arts schools in Minnesota will quickly discover the state has a unique food culture. Drawing from the heritage of its Scandinavian settlers, lutefisk, lefse and krumkake are a few of the more unusual foods to be encountered in this upper Midwest state. In addition, Minnesota is well known for its supposed affinity for tater tots and hot dish, which is more commonly known as a casserole.

Culinary Arts

Whether they're interested in cooking up classic dishes or looking to create a fine dining experience, graduates of culinary schools in Minnesota can look to the state's nearly 10,000 eating and drinking establishments for a number of different employment opportunities. The National Restaurant Association notes the state's restaurants employed more than 265,000 Minnesotans in 2015 and that number is expected to grow 7.1 percent through 2025.

Famous restaurants in Minnesota

The food scene in Minnesota is centered in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This is where award-winning chefs craft innovative and indulgent meals, and there is no shortage of fine dining opportunities to be found. In 2015, six Twin Cities chefs were semi-finalists for the honor of being named Best Chef: Midwest by the James Beard Foundation. Other Minnesota restaurants were in the running for national honors as the best restaurant, best new restaurant and best service, among other categories.

Elsewhere in the state, good food can be found in diners and restaurants tucked away in St. Cloud, Duluth, Moorhead and Rochester, among other communities. Here's a look at a few of the notable eating establishments in Minnesota.

  • La Belle Vie (Minneapolis): Recognized by Zagat and Wine Spectator Magazine, La Belle Vie serves up what it calls a "fresh interpretation" of traditional French and Mediterranean cuisine. It's also a semifinalist for the 2015 Outstanding Restaurant honor from the James Beard Foundation.
  • Birchwood Cafe (Minneapolis): The Birchwood Café is another Minneapolis establishment worth visiting. It's one of the Twin Cities 50 best restaurants according to Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and features simple, seasonal food and has a commitment to developing partnerships with the local community.
  • Zeitgeist Arts Café (Duluth): Outside the Twin Cities, you can still get a big city feel at Zeitgeist Arts Café. Featuring trendy décor and a well-stocked bar, this Duluth restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner and is operated by the Zeitgeist Center for Arts & Community.
  • Pescara (Rochester): Minnesota may not be near the ocean, but that doesn't stop Pescara from serving up fresh fish and seafood daily. The restaurant has regularly been honored as a top pick by Rochester Magazine.

Minnesota culinary schools & career outlook

As the data from the National Restaurant Association suggests, jobs in the culinary arts should continue to increase in Minnesota during the next few years. While not all of these jobs will require a college degree or formal education, students may find that a degree from culinary arts schools in Minnesota could help them stand out during the hiring process.

After attending the culinary schools in Minnesota, culinary arts students may pursue a number of different career paths. Some may prefer to stay in the kitchen and work as a head chef, private cook or caterer. Others may find the business side of the hospitality industry interests them and move into management. The following chart offers a look at a few of the common occupations pursued by graduates of culinary arts programs in Minnesota.

OccupationTotal Employment in Minnesota (2013)Average Salary in Minnesota (2013)% Job Growth in Minnesota (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 1,960 $47,790 2.1%
Bakers 2,540 $27,520 3.4%
Food Service Managers 4,130 $50,680 0.2%

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

Not surprisingly, the majority of these jobs are located in and around the Twin Cities metro area. The chart below shows employment and salaries for professionals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area and those for workers in the Rochester metro area.

LocationOccupationsTotal Employed (2013)Average Salary (2013)
Twin Cities Food Service Managers 3,040 $52,830
Chefs and Head Cooks 1,350 $50,230
Bakers 1,640 $28,660
Rochester Food Service Managers 130 $48,850
Chefs and Head Cooks 70 $42,040
Bakers 70 $27,570

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

Despite the fact so many jobs are concentrated in the Twin Cities, there are certainly employment opportunities throughout the state for those who prefer small town living to the big city. Culinary arts schools in Minnesota can tell you more about the job opportunities that await their graduates. Find out what's available by contacting the schools below for additional information.


  • National Restaurant Association, Minnesota http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/minnesota
  • Projections Central, Minnesota, projectionscentral.com
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minnesota, Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Area, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33460.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Rochester, MN Metropolitan Area http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_40340.htm
  • The 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists, James Beard Foundation, http://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/2015-restaurant-and-chef-award-semifinalists
  • 50 best restaurants, Mpls St. Paul, http://mspmag.com/Eat-And-Drink/Articles/Best-Restaurants/50-Best-Restaurants/
  • The 13 Best Only-In-Minnesota Foods, Thrillist, http://www.thrillist.com/eat/minneapolis/only-in-minnesota-foods
  • Minnesota's 10 Best Restaurants Outside the Twin Cities, Thrillist, http://www.thrillist.com/eat/minneapolis/best-restaurants-in-minnesota-outside-the-twin-cities

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