Culinary Schools in Richmond, VA: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Richmond

Richmond, Virginia is a city whose restaurants collectively supply the population with expert renditions of regional favorites, as well as completely unexpected and one-of-a-kind creations. You might call it a haven for foodies. If you happen to be on the Eastern Seaboard and have a knack for cooking, you may want to consider culinary schools in Richmond.

With a population of less than 220,000, Richmond's food scene is much smaller than a San Francisco or New York, but it's as passionate as they come. Like any good foodie city, Richmond makes use of what's available nearby and relishes the journey from farm to table. For example, the Sub Rosa Bakery mills its own grain, and bakes all its bread and pastries in a wood-fired oven that's built into the back of the shop. You'll also find award-winning Richmond chefs like Jason Alley and Peter Chang giving local ingredients an exotic treatment, a trend that has become so celebrated that Richmond now hosts an annual international food festival.

Famous restaurants in Richmond

With its bevy of decorated chefs and fresh ingredients from both land and sea, Richmond is a foodie destination that should be on the radar of every aspiring chef. Simply put, students who attend culinary schools in Richmond will find themselves surrounded by fantastic ingredients, inventive cuisine, and experienced mentors.

Here are some of the notable establishments that students should try, or maybe even seek employment.

  • Comfort: Diners looking for a taste of the South should consider making Comfort their first stop. Chef Jason Alley, a native of rural Appalachia, strives to create comforting, unpretentious food that reflects a childhood steeped in good country living. Southern classics like fried catfish and the pimento cheese appetizer anchor Chef Alley's menu in tradition, while creative sides like the squash casserole end up being unexpected standouts.
  • Chef Mamusu's Africanne: The food at Chef Mamusu is an edible education in the history of soul food. Now in its third decade of operation, this popular Richmond mainstay features a fusion of Caribbean, West African (Chef Ida Daniels hails from Liberia) and Southern soul food. Menus change daily, but house specials to keep an eye out for include jollof rice, curry-fried lake trout with plantains and greens, and the refreshing, homemade ginger tea.
  • Rappahannock: Although Richmond is rightly known for its seafood, until as recently 2001, almost all the oysters in Chesapeake Bay were being trucked in from the Gulf of Mexico, and local harvests were at their lowest in recorded history. Thanks to a small band of committed aquaculturists who stepped in before it was too late, the native oysters were eventually revived and are now kept thriving by chefs like Rappahannock's Dylan Fultineer. Fultineer maintains that, just like wine, good oysters perfectly capture a sense of place, which makes Rappahannock's farm-to-table ethos as logical as it is delightful. Four varieties of Chesapeake oysters feature prominently on Fultineer's seasonal menu, which is also happy to accommodate other, equally wonderful items like braised lamb and yellowfin tuna tartare.
  • Peter Chang China Cafe: For whatever reason, much of the best Asian food in America can be found hidden away in unassuming strip malls. Peter Chang China Cafe is no exception. The modest suburban exterior belies the high-quality Sichuan dishes served within, dishes so earthy, spicy and exotic that they earned Chang a nomination for the James Beard Award in 2012. Diners are advised to order family-style, as this is one of those places where you'll want to try everything. Can't-miss highlights include scallion bubble pancakes, dry-fried eggplant, and the Golden Mountain Chicken.

Richmond culinary salary and career outlook

Chefs in Richmond enjoy a seemingly endless array of high-quality culinary offerings, but they also face intense competition for jobs. Students who attend culinary schools in Richmond receive invaluable hands-on training while forging connections with some of the best chefs, cooks in bakers in the area.

The data below illustrates the career outlook for a few common food-related occupations in Richmond.

OccupationTotal Employment in RichmondAverage Salary in Richmond% Job Growth in Virginia (2012-2022)
Chefs and Head Cooks500$39,7708.4%
Restaurant Cooks4,780$22,89019.7%


  • Bakers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014,
  • Chefs and Head Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014,
  • Chef Mamusu's Africanne, 2012,
  • Comfort Restaurant, 2007,
  • Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014,
  • Peter Chang China Cafe, 2012,
  • Rappahannock Oyster Co., 2015,
  • Richmond, VA - May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Our Partner Listings

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Richmond