Culinary Schools in Allentown
To say that the culinary scene in Allentown, PA boasts a diversity of flavors may be an understatement. Influenced by many unique cultures holding long-time ties, tastes like Italian, American, Dutch and even Jamaican can be found. Of course, more traditional and expected offerings still exist and remain strong, which is why it is not hard to find a cheesesteak or pizza nearby.
Food trucks are beginning to stir up the flavors in Lehigh Valley, where Allentown is found, bringing in newer tastes, such as Spanish fare that includes fried plantains and pastelillos (small pies or pastries). Also, the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market is another place to explore what's fresh and new. This indoor marketplace features more than 60 vendors that can be shopped year round, providing Amish pies, ready-made salads, Mediterranean foods, home-made potato chips, French olives and much more.
Famous Allentown Restaurants
Whether it's hitting a food truck in Lehigh Valley or heading to the farmers market in Allentown, there are a variety of tastes to be tried in the area and throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania. In fact, the National Restaurant Association reports that more than 25,100 eating and drinking restaurants operated in the Keystone state, as of 2014, accounting for about $18.8 billion in revenue the following year. Just as important, however, may be the employment numbers: some 557,100 people held restaurant jobs in the state as of 2014, and that number is expected to reach 579,600 by 2015. In Allentown, some of the more intriguing restaurants to check out might include:
- Henry's Salt of the Sea: This is a restaurant where the owner wears an apron, not a tie. Specializing in French-inspired seafood offerings, Henry's features signature dishes such as broiled fresh sea scallops, seafood scampi, and the Henry VIII-petite filet mignon with sautéed lump crabmeat. It also boasts a full-service bar and ample room for corporate events.
- Copperhead Grille: Started by two cousins with the same name (both named after their grandfather) in 2002, the Copperhead Grille is known as Lehigh Valley's main sports bar. It features specials throughout the week, including half-off late-night appetizers on Monday nights, and its menu is diverse, ranging from quesadillas to wings and burgers to salads (the latter listed under 'Fields of Green' on the menu).
- Island in the Sun: Not every city of 118,00 boasts a Jamaican restaurant, but Allentown certainly does. Not only does this restaurant allow you to bring your own beer, it hosts a variety of lunch specials as well as entrée options. Choose from a plate that is seafood, meat or vegetarian inspired, and then receive rice and peas, white rice, or steamed dumplings and green bananas as a side. Also, try out any of its various 'roti,' or flatbreads cooked on the griddle.
These are not the only places that diners can enjoy diverse tastes in Allentown. Some other enjoyable dining options could include the:
- Damascus Restaurant
- Hook Seafood and Grille
- Bay Leaf Restaurant
- Hummus House
Allentown culinary salary and career info
Students enrolled in Allentown cooking schools can take classes to learn about soups, breads, and sauces. They also may able to enroll in coursework focused on grains, beans and legumes or even learn how to make their own pasta. Online education is always an opportunity, but so are nearby culinary programs offered in community colleges. In fact, a community college education can enable students to complete an associate degree and to be prepared to seek employment as a chef, line chef, executive, pastry chef, caterer or more. Hands-on learning is almost always a part of community college education, and students also gain practice in classical methods that they can then put to use in practice.
Students attending Allentown culinary schools may be able to pursue different types of opportunities in Allentown or beyond, including Lehigh Valley, reported to be home to more than 658,000 people. As a testament to the rising interest in all-that-is-culinary, restaurant week in downtown Allentown has become an annual event. Chefs from restaurants such as Bay Leaf, Centro, The Dime, Hook, and Roar Social House all participate, offering gourmet options at standardized pricing. Some of the career opportunities that could be pursued in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ metro include:
Total Employment in Allentown (2014)
Average Salary in Allentown (2014)
Chefs and Head Cooks
Food Service Managers
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Even more people are employed in culinary occupations across the state. Below is a look at these occupations from a statewide perspective.
Total Employment in Pennsylvania (2014)
Average Salary in Pennsylvania (2014)
% Job Growth in Pennsylvania (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks
Food Service Managers
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014, and Projections Central
Allentown culinary schools can be important to obtaining helpful culinary knowledge, but training can also be found in the greater Lehigh Valley area. Check out the list of schools below to discover more about culinary opportunities in Allentown, PA and beyond.
- Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market. http://www.fairgroundfarmersmkt.com/
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/oes/
- Cooking and Baking Classes, Lehigh Valley Style. http://www.lehighvalleystyle.com/November-2013/Cooking-Baking-Classes/
- Copperhead Grille. http://copperheadgrille.com/about
- Culinary Arts. Northampton Community College. http://catalog.northampton.edu/programs-and-majors/culinary-arts.htm
- Food Trucks Added to Lehigh Valley Scene, Lehigh Valley Live. http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2013/10/food_trucks_two_more_added_to.html
- Henry's Salt of the Sea. http://henryssaltofthesea.com/
- Island in the Sun. http://islandinthesun.vpweb.com/
- Lehigh Valley Economic Data, Lehigh Valley Economic Development. http://www.lehighvalley.org/regional_data/lehigh-valley-economic-data/
- National Restaurant Association, Pennsylvania http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/2015/PA_Restaurants2015
- Projections Central, Pennsylvania, projectionscentral.com
- Restaurant Week. http://www.downtownallentown.com/events/restaurant-week