Culinary Schools in Buffalo, NY: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Buffalo Cooking & Culinary Schools

If you want to study in a city with a colorful food history, it might be time to consider culinary schools in Buffalo. The city may be best known as the birthplace of buffalo wings, but they aren't the only distinctly Buffalo food found in western New York. There's beef on weck: steak piled high on a kummelweck roll that's been generously salted. Meanwhile, Chiavetta's serves up barbecue chicken that rivals buffalo wings as the city's most popular chicken dish. Then, you can have sponge candy for dessert and wash it all down with loganberry juice.

Buffalo culinary schools offer a number of programs that can help students build upon the city's culinary traditions, as well as break ground on new techniques and cuisines.

Famous Buffalo chefs

If you plan to attend one of the Buffalo culinary schools, you should be familiar with the big names on the food scene. Here are a few from both the past and present.

  • Teressa Bellissimo: Although there is some disagreement on the details, virtually everyone agrees Teressa Bellissimo is the creator of buffalo wings. Her inspiration came in 1964 at the Anchor Bar, which she and her husband owned.
  • Steven Gerda: A trend-setter in the Buffalo food scene, Steven Gerda tied for the best chef honor in Buffalo Spree's 2014 Best of WNY. His restaurant, The Black Sheep, operates on a farm-to-table philosophy and features house-made foods.
  • Fred Daniel: Fred Daniel has been called one of the most engaging chefs in the region by Buffalo Magazine. Although his restaurant is called Freddy J's BBQ, don't expect to see a smoker or deep-fryer at work. Despite its name, the establishment's menu is focused on diverse Southern cuisine, rather than traditional barbecue.

Other culinary professionals in the city have worked with some of the country's most renowned chefs and are creating new and vibrant dining experiences that are making Buffalo a foodie destination.

Where to eat in Buffalo

Students at Buffalo cooking and culinary schools need to know more than the names of the famous cooks who came before them. They should also take the opportunity to immerse themselves in the city's food scene. Throughout the year, students and residents can enjoy the following food-centric activities.

  • Food Truck Tuesdays at Larkin Square
  • Taste of Buffalo
  • Local Restaurant Week
  • Buffalo Brewfest

Plus, there are numerous events dedicated to specific cuisines such as Greek, German, Polish and Caribbean festivals.

Students may also want to make time to visit the following restaurants which have helped put Buffalo on the foodie map.

  • Anchor Bar: While some say other restaurants sell better-tasting buffalo wings, students at culinary schools in Buffalo may want to see for themselves where the chicken wing craze began.
  • Bar Bill Tavern: If you want to try the region's best beef on weck, the readers of Buffalo Spree think you should head to Bar Bill Tavern. The saloon was voted as having the best sandwich as part of Buffalo Spree's 2014 Best of WNY.
  • Hutch's: For an upscale dining experience, Hutch's has cocktails, small plates, large plates and decadent desserts. It is one of the top-rated establishments in Buffalo according to TripAdvisor visitors.

Buffalo culinary schools & career outlook

While the Buffalo culinary scene is interesting, students may be wondering about the job market. Fortunately, employment seems to be as robust as the area's restaurants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 550,000 people were employed in the hospitality and leisure industry in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro as of January 2015. That number represents a 5.8 percent increase from the previous year.

Individuals working in the industry may have jobs in the kitchen, in management or at resorts. Others may choose to be self-employed and start their own business as a caterer, personal chef or food shop owner. Below is a closer look at some of the jobs frequently held by graduates of culinary schools in Buffalo.

OccupationTotal Employment (2014)2014 Annual Mean WageJob Growth in New York (2012-22)
Chefs and Head Cooks600$40,78015.8%
Food Service Managers630$53,8408.9%
First-Line Supervisors of Food Prep and Service3,340$32,07026.2%

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

Although some of these jobs may not require a formal education, employers may prefer job candidates who have attended Buffalo cooking and culinary schools or who have similar training. In addition, a culinary program may provide connections with industry professionals who could provide valuable guidance for those new to the field. Buffalo culinary schools can be a starting point for students who wish to further their education and move into more advanced management or leadership positions.

For more information, you can contact the Buffalo cooking and culinary schools below for details.


  • Projections Central, New York,
  • Economy at a Glance, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
  • May 2014 Occupational Employment Statistics, Buffalo-Niagara Falls NY, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
  • Famous Buffalo Foods, Buffalo Chow,
  • Buffalo's Other Claim to Fame, Lynn Case Ekfelt, The Journal of New York Folklore, Spring-Summer 2003,
  • A Brief History of the Buffalo Chicken Wing, Joseph Stromberg, Smithsonian, February 1, 2013,
  • Food and Drink Events in Western New York, Buffalo Eats,
  • Buffalo Spree's 2014 Best of WNY, July 2014,
  • The people behind the plates: Meet three of WNY's most engaging chefs, Emeri Krawczyk, March 23, 2015, Buffalo Magazine,
  • Freddy J - The "Godfather" of Southern Cuisine, May 14, 2014, Buffalo Rising,
  • Best Restaurants in Buffalo, NY, TripAdvisor,
Our Partner Listings

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Buffalo