Culinary Schools in Miami, FL: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Miami

With Miami's reputation for fun and flair, it may be surprising to hear its food scene wasn't always exceptional. It wasn't until the 1990s that the city began to stake its claim as a foodie destination. By the middle of the last decade, big names and celebrity chefs were flocking to the tip of Florida.

Today, traditional Cuban and Latin influences are prominent in many Miami restaurants. However, they have been joined by Italian, Greek and contemporary menus. Overall, it's an eclectic scene in which to study and work. Culinary arts schools in Miami offer a number of programs that can help students build upon the excitement and innovation already found in the city. Keep reading to learn more about why Miami is a hot city for foodies and what jobs are available for culinary professionals.

Celebrity chefs in Miami

There is no shortage of big names working in restaurants across Miami. Some of these cooks are celebrities who have been featured on TV and in magazines whiles others have won awards from the nation's most prestigious culinary organizations. For inspiration, students at culinary schools in Miami may want to take the time to sample food created by the following chefs who are among the city's movers and shakers.

  • Michael Schwartz: Michael Schwartz played an instrumental role in revitalizing the Miami food scene. He is a chef and restaurateur who co-founded The Genuine Hospitality Group and is responsible for the Design District. He is also a James Beard Foundation award-winner.
  • Giorgio Rapicavoli: He's been featured on the TV show Chopped and is the chef behind the good food at the Eating House and Taperia Raca. Giorgio Rapicavoli was previously nominated for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation.
  • Gaston Acurio: Coming from Peru, Gaston Acurio isn't just a U.S. celebrity chef; he's an international superstar. With 40 restaurants in 12 countries and 20 bestselling books, Acurio has been lauded as an outstanding chef and businessman. In Miami, diners can enjoy his take on Peruvian cuisine at La Mar.

Whether students are hoping to become a star or work quietly behind the scenes, culinary arts schools in Miami may be able to provide the skills needed to join the ranks of these talented chefs.

Famous restaurants in Miami

Some restaurants are popular because of the chef in the kitchen. Others are garnering attention because they provide a package deal of excellence, with everything from the kitchen to the wait staff to the ambience blending together for a seamless experience. Many of the restaurants headed by the celebrity chefs above fall into this category, as do the following establishments.

  • Azul: Azul is owned by Mandarin Oriental, the same company that operates Gaston Acurio's La Mar. With an extensive wine list and an intimate waterfront locale, the fine dining establishment is first on the 2015 list of essential Miami restaurants according to the foodie website Eater.
  • Pubbelly: In neighboring Miami Beach, Pubbelly was named one of the 101 best restaurants in America for 2015 by The Daily Meal. Its rotating menu takes its cues from Asian, Latin and European experiences, and chef Jose Mendin was a semifinalist for the 2015 Best Chef: South award from the James Beard Foundation.
  • Zuma: Diners should be ready to open their wallet at Zuma, as it isn't cheap. However, it provides a world class experience with internationally acclaimed modern Japanese fare. What's more, the restaurant gets top honors as the best restaurant in Miami, according to Zagat.

Miami culinary schools & career outlook

Culinary jobs are part of the larger leisure and hospitality industry, a sector of the Miami economy that has seen steady growth. In March 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 137,100 people were employed by the industry in the greater Miami-Miami Beach metro area. That number is a 4.7 percent increase from the year before.

The Miami job market reflects the overall job growth of many culinary occupations in the state. Government data finds many jobs pursued by graduates of culinary schools in Miami will see double-digit job growth. The following chart highlights the employment, income and job growth for some of these positions.

OccupationTotal Employment in Miami (2014)Average Salary in Miami (2014)% Job Growth in Florida (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks1,040$57,29014.4%
Food Service Managers1,060$75,25013.6%
First-Line Supervisors of Food Prep and Service6,360$33,40019.2%

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

Culinary arts schools in Miami can prepare students for these and other careers. Some programs may focus on the business side of the hospitality industry and may be suitable for careers as managers or used as the starting point for further education. Other schools may provide hands-on instruction for those who want to work as chefs, bakers, bartenders, caterers or other cooks.

You can learn more about culinary schools in Miami by requesting information from the institutions listed below.


  • Projections Central, Florida,
  • Economy at a Glance, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
  • May 2014 Occupational Employment Statistics, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
  • Miami Top 50 Restaurants, Zagat,
  • 101 Best Restaurants in America for 2015, The Daily Meal,
  • The 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists, James Beard Foundation,
  • Pubbelly,
  • The 38 Essential Miami Restaurants, April 2015, Miami Eater,
  • South Florida 50: Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine, Miami Herald,
  • Giorgio Rapicavoli Wins Chopped, Again, Carla Torres, August 27, 2014, Miami New Times,
  • Miami's Great Chef Invasion, Lee Klein, Ocean Drive Magazine,
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This list also contains online schools that accept students from Miami

Other Miami, Florida Culinary Schools

School Name Programs Offered
Miami Dade College Culinary Arts Program Associate in Science Degree