Nevada Culinary Schools & Institutes

Nevada's culinary roots are steeped in history, and extend well before the age of pioneers, mining and expansion. There are influences from early Native tribes like the Shoshone, as well as French, European and Basque trappers, Chinese railway workers, Mormon settlers and an ever-growing set of international transplants that have each played a key role in Nevada's culinary evolution. When the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an article highlighting six dishes that deserve to be official Nevada state foods, Basque-style Chateaubriand, Thai food and sushi were among the top contenders.

Culinary Arts

When people consider Nevada's culinary prowess today, however, they likely envision the celebrity chefs and top-ranked restaurants lining the strips of Las Vegas and Reno, and not without reason. The National Restaurant Association reports Las Vegas' culinary market is growing so quickly it has helped make Nevada home to one of the nation's fastest growing restaurant markets. Graduates of culinary schools in Nevada may benefit even more from this booming market, particularly when it comes to landing positions in popular, and competitive, restaurants.

Famous Nevada Restaurants

There is a reason Las Vegas dominates most lists highlight Nevada's best restaurants. Tom Colicchi, Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck are just a few of famous chefs that have restaurants there, and when nominations were announced for the 2015 James Beard Awards seven nods went to Sin City chefs. Still, neither big name talent nor glitzy high-end Los Vegas restaurants could ever adequately define the state's unique culinary scene. The following highlight only a slice of Nevada's best loved restaurant

  • Spago: Founded by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, Spago is credited with launching Vegas's refined culinary revolution. Executive Chef Eric Klein's seasonal menu features classic American cuisine with global influences.
  • Joël Robuchon Restaurant: This upscale eatery in the MGM grand was launched by Joël Robuchon, who was once dubbed Chef of the Century in his native France. Guests can dine on multi-course tasting menus featuring fine foods and delicacies.
  • 4th St. Bistro: Fodor's Travel considers 4th St. Bistro one of the best restaurants in the picturesque Lake Tahoe region. It describes the space as simple and charming, and the food smart. Diners can enjoy organic produce and soulfully prepared meats.
  • The Golden Steer: When Zagat compiled a list of the country's 15 most iconic restaurants in 2013, Golden Steer was the only Nevada restaurant to make the cut. This vintage, west-of-the-Strip eatery is known for serving delicious steaks that veer toward expensive, but are priced much better than those served in newer, swankier steakhouses down the road.
  • Hiroba Sushi: Hiroba Sushi in Reno is consistently voted one of the best sushi restaurants in the region. It is known for its cool ambiance, fresh sushi and all-you-can-eat specials.

These restaurants offer a glimpse into the emerging culinary powerhouse that is Nevada. Fortunately for students Nevada culinary schools, the culinary job market here tells a similar story.

Nevada culinary schools & career outlook

Nevada's culinary jobs market was the fastest growing in the nation in 2013, and not for the first time. Major metro areas like Las Vegas have helped put the Silver State on the culinary map. In 2015, restaurants accounted for nearly 200,000 Nevada jobs, or about 16 percent of the state's total employment, and is expected to add another 25,500 by 2025. This table highlights key career trends for culinary professionals across Nevada.

OccupationTotal Employment in Nevada (2014)Average Salary in Nevada (2014)% Job Growth in Nevada (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 3,430 $50,890 9%
Bakers 2,390 $30,240 17.1%
Food Service Managers 2,540 $64,390 5.9%
Restaurant Cooks 18,890 $28,600 17.3%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and Projections Central

Career demand and earnings tend to be a regional affair, and Nevada is no exception. As the following tables show differences between Nevada's two largest metropolitan areas.

Las Vegas Metro

OccupationTotal Employment in Las Vegas (2014)Average Salary in Las Vegas (2014)% Job Growth in Las Vegas (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 2,820 $52,250 10.7%
Bakers 1,879 $31,260 19.9%
Food Service Managers 2,060 $66,860 7.0%
Restaurant Cooks 15,450 $29,570 19.7%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and Nevada Workforce

Reno-Sparks Metro

OccupationTotal Employment in Reno (2014)Average Salary in Reno (2014)% Job Growth in Reno (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks 440 $44,110 -0.8%
Bakers 350 $27,940 3%
Food Service Managers 300 $56,370 0%
Restaurant Cooks 2,200 $25,120 5.1%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and Nevada Workforce

The fact that statewide demand is high does not mean finding work will be easy. The formal training culinary schools in Nevada offer may give students an edge when vying for top positions. These programs offer certificates and degrees in several areas. Among them:

The first step toward formally learning and refining your culinary know-how is selecting the right program. Check out the Nevada culinary schools featured here to get started.


  • "6 things that could be Nevada's state food," Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 7, 2014, Kristen DeSilva, http://www.reviewjournal.com/trending/silver-state/6-things-could-be-nevada-s-state-food
  • "Meet the seven James Beard Foundation contenders in Las Vegas," The Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2015, Susan Stapleton, http://www.latimes.com/travel/lasvegas/lasvegasnow/la-tr-lvn-las-vegas-restaurants-jbf-awards-20150219-story.html
  • "Nevada, Texas and D.C. led job growth in 2013," News & Research, National Restaurant Association, April 23, 2014, http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Economist-s-Notebook-Nevada-Texas-and-D-C-led-res
  • "Nevada Restaurant Industry at a Glance," National Restaurant Association, 2015, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/2015/NV_Restaurants2015
  • "May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Nevada," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Marcy 25 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nv.htm
  • "Long Term Occupation Projections," Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  • "May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Las Vegas-Paradise, NV," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 25, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29820.htm
  • "Las Vegas MSA: 2012-2022 Long-Term Occupational Projections," Research & Analysis Bureau, Nevada Workforce, http://www.nevadaworkforce.com/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=197

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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
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