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

Culinary Schools in Rochester

From bistros featuring American fare to coffee shops, hip breweries, fine dining establishments and more, Rochester, New York offers a diverse culinary scene in which many different types of palettes can be quenched. Restaurants in Rochester help to support the state's overall culinary economy, which accounts for 796,000 jobs in all in New York. This is nine percent of the overall New York employment, according to the National Restaurant Association. And the culinary field in the state is expected to grow by 2025, when it could potentially employ 851,500 people. Students who enroll in Rochester culinary schools could find unique opportunities locally or elsewhere when finishing their education.

Famous Restaurants in Rochester

Rochester may not quite be New York City in terms of style and couture, but it certainly does a good job holding its own as the third largest city in the state, and as home to a variety of restaurants ranging from classic American to French, Chinese, Italian and even Mediterranean. While many new restaurants focus on locally-sourced food, others are offering up 'extras,' such as live music, specialized tastings and various culinary events. Also, it doesn't hurt that many Rochester establishments feature wines coming from nearby Finger Lake wineries. Some of the top-notch restaurants to explore in this city of more than 210,000 include:

  • Good Luck Restaurant: From white pizza to pan-roasted cod, chestnut gnocchi, and the Good Luck burger, the entrée choices at the Good Luck Restaurant are delectable. Established in 2008, Good Luck extends its culinary reach to include its 'Inspired Table' series, which features unique story-telling through one-of-a kind meals.
  • Tapas 177 Lounge: Yes, restaurant-goers can find happy hour offered at this restaurant, but also live music, deejays, and even the chance to learn salsa dancing. Diversity is a hotspot on its menu, which features entrees such as beef empanadas, Sher Ping pancakes (Chinese-style inspired dumplings) and a Bifteki Burger Slider (featuring house chips and a tzatziki dipping sauce.) Wine tastings, $5 valet parking on some evenings, and a Ladies Night are among other offerings.
  • Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: From live events to catering and a menu boasting a variety of barbecue options and homemade sides (and that's 16 sides in all, including simmered turkey neck collared greens), this restaurant overlooks the Genesee River and is housed in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad Station, dating back to 1905. Good tastes, however, and not just history are a highlight at this restaurant, which also hosts live music on several nights.

There also are many other dining establishments featuring a broad variety of fare, from vegetarian to seafood, to check out in Rochester:

  • Grinnell's Restaurant
  • Restaurant 2 Vine
  • Tavern58 at Gibbs
  • The Elmwood Inn
  • The Owl House

Rochester culinary salary and career info

Rochester culinary schools can help interested students learn many of their kitchen basics, whether that's baking principles, knife skills, equipment use, or sanitation. Classwork in menu planning, hospitality service, and basic nutrition also can be learned at many of the Rochester cooking schools.

Of course, true culinary skills can be put to the test at local events like the "Rochester Chef of the Year Competition and Tasting Event" or the "Dish It Out" Celebrity Chef Gourmet Challenge. Even high schoolers get involved in the culinary world -- at East High School, in Rochester, for example, an Iron Chef Competition usually occurs annually, with funds going back into the school's culinary arts program. There can be plenty of ways to enter the culinary field in Rochester, including:


Total Employment in Rochester (2014)

Average Salary in Rochester (2014)




Chefs and Head Cooks



Food Service Managers



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Ever more individuals are employed in the culinary field throughout the state, which could provide opportunities for graduates of Rochester culinary schools not just in Rochester, but in New York City, Buffalo, Syracuse and beyond.


Total Employment in New York (2014)

Average Salary in New York (2014)

% Job Growth in New York (2012-2022)





Chefs and Head Cooks




Food Service Managers




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

Culinary schools in the Rochester area can help students to build networking opportunities and gain hands-on skills close to home. Of course, online learning programs are available too, but to learn more about the culinary programs that can be found in Rochester, check out the listings below.


  • "2015 East High School Iron Chef Competition Comes Back on April 12th," April 7, 2015, Latinas Unidas,
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Rochester, New York, Occupational Outlook Handbook,
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York, Occupational Outlook Handbook,
  • Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
  • Good Luck.
  • "Lento Chef Art Rogers Up For James Beard Award," Feb.19, 2015.
  • Lento Restaurant.
  • National Restaurant Association, New York.
  • Projections Central, New York,
  • Tapas 177 Lounge.
  • Visit Rochester NY, Visit Rochester,
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This list also contains online schools that accept students from Rochester