Vermont Culinary Schools & Institutes
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Vermont's culinary tradition is the state treasure: maple syrup. However, this New England state has more to offer in addition to this liquid delicacy. With its more than 100 covered bridges dating back to the 19th century and its heavily forested landscape, Vermont is a unique and enchanting place. Even though the state has had limited natural resources at times, Vermonters have forged ahead and created a nice economy that's partially based on wonderful food items.
If students are looking for a quiet and naturally spectacular state in which to attend culinary school, Vermont might fit the bill. Montpelier, the state capital, is the smallest capital in the country with just under 8,000 inhabitants, while the Burlington metropolitan area is the state's largest population center, which some 214,000 residents call home. However, Vermont is bordered by several other states, including New York, and it is within easy driving (or train) distance of big metropolitan areas.
Famous Vermont food and restaurants
As you may have guessed, maple syrup is quite an institution in Vermont. And the maple specialties are not limited to syrup alone, as there's maple taffy, maple cream, maple sugar and other sweet delicacies made from the unique sugar maple forests. Anyone who has experienced real Vermont maple syrup will be hard-pressed to settle for anything less. The best way to get started might be to head to the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend (usually held in March), which allows visitors to stop by dozens of sugarhouses throughout the state. Don't miss the maple donuts and the sugar on snow.
To get a better sense of the food culture in Vermont, culinary students should try some of the following local favorites.
- The Common Man (Warren): A perfect mix of fine-dining and rustic simplicity, The Common Man is located in a 19th century barn and serves up a variety of dishes, from buttermilk fried turkey wings to pea ravioli.
- Hen of the Wood (Waterbury/Burlington): While this newer restaurant is all about simplicity and down-to-earth ambiance, its menu is packed with a complex array of flavors, such as grilled octopus, brown butter crepes, and fresh local cheeses from sheep, goats and cows.
- Osteria Pane e Salute (Woodstock): This home-grown restaurant follows the Italian tradition of cucina casareccia, also known as Italian "farmhouse" cooking. They have their own restaurant garden, and also work with local farms to provide the freshest ingredients possible.
As you can see, a food trend that's quite strong in Vermont is the "localvore" (a twist on the traditional "locavore" term) movement, meaning that many Vermonters prefer to consume produce that's been grown close to home. The food industry has followed suit, leading a number of restaurants, retailers and farmers market across the state to feature products grown or cultivated within the state borders.
Lastly, Vermont is also well-known for its dairy, especially milk, cheese, and ice cream. And speaking of ice cream, famed ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is based in Waterbury, Vermont. Guided factory tours are available and are a must for those of us who are a little obsessed with the quirky ice cream flavors that Ben & Jerry's is famous for.
Vermont culinary schools & career outlook
To launch a career in the F&B industry, it's only natural to want to know what can be earned in these professions. The National Restaurant Association forecasts good things for the future of the industry in Vermont, as it predicts 6.9% job growth between 2013 and 2023. In total, there are 1,346 eateries in this small state, and 24,700 Vermonters worked in the restaurant industry as of 2013. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports some solid growth numbers, which we have detailed for you below:
|Occupation||Total Employment in Vermont (2014)||Average Salary in Vermont (2014)||% Job Growth in Vermont (2012-2022)|
|Chefs and Head Cooks||310||$43,150||24.8%|
|Food Service Managers||340||$54,720||11.6%|
|Butchers and meat cutters||270||$31,370||17.8%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Vermont is one of the smallest states in the country, but students might still want to know what kind of earnings they can expect in the state's largest metropolitan area. We have listed that data below:
|Location||Occupations||Total Employed (2014)||Average Salary (2014)|
|Butchers and meat cutters||120||$31,350|
|Food Service Managers||140||$58,550|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Are you ready to take the first step in your culinary career? If you are, you might want to consider heading to one of the culinary arts schools in Vermont. To make it easier to find the right school, we have included some handy links below.
- Ben and Jerry's Factory Tour: http://www.benjerry.com/about-us/factory-tours
- Classic Foods of Vermont: http://www.visit-vermont.com/state/classic-foods-of-vermont/
- May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Vermont: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_vt.htm
- May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Burlington-South Burlington, VT: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_72400.htm
- Open House Weekend 2015 http://vermontmaple.org/ai1ec_event/1642/?instance_id=
- The Mad River Localvores: http://madriverlocalvores.org/
- Vermont restaurant industry at a glance: https://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/vermont
- The Common Man Restaurant, http://www.commonmanrestaurant.com/
- Hen of the Wood, http://henofthewood.com/
- Osteria Pan e Salute Enoteca, http://www.osteriapaneesalute.com/