Culinary Arts Schools in Missouri

Kansas City barbecue and St. Louis ribs are two of the reasons why foodies love Missouri. However, even those who don't eat meat can find a reason to love the state's culinary scene. The diversity of restaurants available in cities such as Jefferson City, Springfield and Branson may also be why students choose to attend one of the culinary arts schools in Missouri.

Culinary Arts

From fine dining to roadside diners, Missouri establishments can satisfy almost any taste. The state also has a robust collection of wineries and breweries. In the area surrounding Ste. Genevieve, wineries flourish while Anheuser-Busch is located in St. Louis. Meanwhile, at least two dozen microbreweries are located throughout the state.

While most agree Missouri is home to good food, culinary arts students may also be wondering if it's home to good jobs. The National Restaurant Association says there were nearly 11,000 eating and drinking establishments in the state in 2013. In 2015, they are expected to employ 10 percent of the Missouri workforce and bring in $9.6 billion in sales.

Famous restaurants in Missouri

Beer and barbecue may be two of the most recognizable parts of the Missouri culinary scene. The Missouri Department of Economic Development notes visitors can take the I-70 Tour De BBQ and travel the interstate to hit some of the state's most popular BBQ restaurants in St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City.

Here are two of the stops on the BBQ tour, as well as two other top choices for restaurants in Missouri.

  • Arthur Bryant's Barbeque Restaurant (Kansas City): Renowned as one of the best spots to enjoy Kansas City BBQ, Arthur Bryant's has been perfecting its recipe since the 1920s. The restaurant has two locations and is a regular stop for major league baseball players and visiting celebrities among others.
  • Pappy's Smokehouse (St. Louis): Visitors to Pappy's Smokehouse will likely have to stand in line for their food, but it's worth it. Its dry-rub ribs are considered some of the best in the city, and the restaurant has received accolades from a variety of food commentators, including St. Louis Magazine, Yelp and USA Today.
  • Madison's Café (Jefferson City): Madison's Café was selected as the best restaurant in the city in 2014 according to readers of Jefferson City Magazine. It's just one of the many honors bestowed upon the Italian restaurant which offers a casual yet elegant dining experience.
  • Catalpa (Arrow Rock): Head off the beaten path to find Catalpa, named the best restaurant in the state for 2012, 2013 and 2014 by Rural Missouri Magazine. With only 8 tables in the dining room, reservations are a must for anyone hoping to enjoy the locally sourced and seasonal meals served here.

Missouri culinary schools & career outlook

Whether they are hoping to cook up barbecue in the big city or create a fine dining experience in the countryside, students of culinary arts schools in Missouri may benefit from a growing job market. According to the National Restaurant Association, employment at Missouri establishments should increase by 7.7 percent from 2015-2025.

Those jobs may include positions in the kitchen, wait staff or management team. Although a formal education may not be required of all jobs, culinary arts programs can prepare students to specialize their skills and focus on an area of interest such as pastries, catering, restaurant management or even event planning.

Job growth and salaries may vary for each of these career paths. However, the following chart provides a look at some of the more common occupations pursued by graduates of culinary arts schools in Missouri.

OccupationTotal Employment in Missouri (2013)Average Salary in Missouri (2013)% Job Growth in Missouri (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 1,920 $43,250 3.8%
Bakers 2,510 $22,210 3.5%
Food Service Managers 2,360 $46,770 0.1%

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

To see how employment and salary breaks down in the major metropolitan areas, here is a look at employment and salaries in St. Louis and Kansas City.

LocationOccupationsTotal Employed (2013)Average Salary (2013)
Kansas City Food Service Managers 1,370 $49,240
Chefs and Head Cooks 690 $43,470
Bakers 730 $24,800
St. Louis Food Service Managers 1,300 $47,950
Chefs and Head Cooks 1,190 $43,710
Bakers 1,200 $23,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

Other job opportunities may be concentrated in cities such as Jefferson City, Joplin, Springfield and Columbia, but positions may be found throughout the state. Culinary arts schools in Missouri can be your first stop in learning more about available career paths in the state. Use the search tool below to find culinary schools of interest to you and request additional information to help you make the right education and career choice.


  • National Restaurant Association, Missouri http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/missouri
  • Projections Central, Minnesota, projectionscentral.com
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minnesota, Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mo.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Kansas City, MO-KS Metropolitan Area, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28140.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Area http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41180.htm
  • Food and Drink, Missouri Department of Economic Development, http://www.visitmo.com/2/brewery/food-and-drink.aspx#results
  • Madison's Café, http://www.madisonscafe.com/default.aspx
  • Pappy's Smokehouse, http://www.pappyssmokehouse.com/blog2-2/
  • Catalpa, http://www.catalparestaurant.com/about-us/

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

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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
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            • 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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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
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