Culinary Schools in Louisville, KY: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Louisville

Louisville is a top-notch destination in the American South and beyond, and not just because it's home to one of the most legendary sporting events in the country, the Kentucky Derby horse race. It's also home to the storied University of Louisville and its standout basketball team as well as the headquarters of the Louisville Sluggers baseball bats. It's a friendly and vibrant town -- perfect for students who would like to attend one of the Louisville cooking schools.

Named as a runner-up for "foodiest" small town in America by Bon Appétit magazine in 2010, Louisville is quite a Southern foodie paradise. But it's not all about the bourbon, Kentucky ham, and standout Southern cooking here -- Louisville offers a very varied selection of cuisines and dishes.

Famous Louisville restaurants and festivals

There are many traditional Southern foods that are quite unique to Kentucky, making this state a foodie paradise.

  • Benedictine spread: Popular all around the state, it was invented at Benedictine's Restaurant in Louisville, and it consists of a blend of cream cheese, cucumber and scallions. It tastes great on bagels or fancy tea sandwiches (with a mint Julep, perhaps).
  • Burgoo: This delicious stew isn't technically from Kentucky, but it's very popular here. It is oftentimes made with mutton, but can also be prepared with chicken or pork.
  • Mutton barbecue: This has long been a staple of Kentucky cuisine. Slow-cooking the meant makes it tender and delicious.
  • Rolled oysters: In his Louisville saloon in the 19th century, Phillip Mazzoni breaded and fried oysters as a convenient snack, and it proved to be a wining and tasty combination.
  • Hot Brown: Here's another staple that dates back to a Louisville eatery. This open-faced turkey sandwich was invented at the Brown Hotel in the 1920 and it's topped with Béchamel sauce and bacon.

Louisville has something unique that other culinary destinations should have but don't: food tours. The Louisville Food Tour is perfect for those who travel to eat -- or those who cook for a living, such as a students at one of the Louisville culinary arts schools. This 2.5 hour tour includes six to nine stops at fantastic restaurants as well as in-depth information about the city's history, architecture, and culinary arts.

Feeling hungry yet? Culinary students should check out these must-see Louisville restaurants:

  • Magnolia 610: This beautiful restaurant in a quiet corner of historic Louisville serves up contemporary Southern cuisine and uses local seasonal produce and historic foodstuffs of the area.
  • The Oakroom: This Louisville institution has been in business since 1907, and it exudes old Southern elegance. It's a splurge, but Kentucky's only AAA Five Star Diamond restaurant is worth it. Expect gorgeous plating, top-notch service, and a gorgeous dining room. Try the seasonally available Kentucky fried rabbit.
  • The Mayan Café: This is what happens when you blend Mayan cuisine with Kentucky ingredients. The results are exotic, cutting-edge, and utterly delicious. This sustainable restaurant features monthly feature menus and a great drinks selection. Don't miss the cochinita pibil -- the cornerstone of Mayan cooking (slow-roasted pork in achiote sauce).

Louisville culinary salary and career info

Now, you might want us to show you the money, and we don't blame you. Let's have a look at food and beverage earnings data for the entire state of Kentucky to give you an idea of how much you could earn if you decide to attend one of the culinary arts schools in Kentucky:


Total Employment in Kentucky (2014)

Average Salary in Kentucky (2014)

% Job Growth (nationwide, 2012-2022)





Butchers and Meat Cutters




Chefs and Head Cooks




Food Service Managers




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

In terms of more specific data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles earnings information for both Louisville, the county capital, and all of Jefferson County, which is home to some 750,000 residents:



Total Employed (2014)

2014 Average Salary

Louisville-Jefferson County






Butchers and Meat Cutters



Chefs and Head Cooks



Food Service Managers



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Heading to culinary school is a wise decision, though it can be a challenge to narrow down the schools. Browse the list of schools below to get started. Be sure to celebrate your first day at a Kentucky culinary school with an ice-cold mint julep and get cooking.


  • America's Foodiest Small Town Runners-Up, Bon Appétit, Andrew Knowlton, September 2, 2009,
  • Bluegrass Bites: Traditional Cuisine From Kentucky,, Sara Yoo, May 3, 2014,
  • Magnolia 610,
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Kentucky, 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Louisville-Jefferson County, KY,
  • Louisville Food Tour, FAQ,
  • WorldFest,
  • The Mayan Café,
  • The Oakroom,
Our Partner Listings

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Louisville