Culinary Schools in Louisiana | LA Cooking Schools

Culinary Arts Schools in Louisiana

While known as the home of Cajun cuisine, Louisiana's culinary landscape represents a delicious range of influences. New Orleans alone boasts more than 1,300 restaurants and is famous for foods such as savory beignets, hearty jambalaya and meat-laden po'boys. And the capital of Baton Rouge was voted one of the Best Foodie Cities for Groups in 2013 and 2014 by ConventionSouth magazine. Culinary schools in Louisiana train students to prepare traditional Louisiana fare, as well as international and contemporary specialties.

Famous Louisiana restaurants and dishes

There is a lively food scene for students who choose culinary schools in Louisiana. The Small Town Chefs Award, presented by Country Roads Magazine, recognizes culinary experts who work outside the state's metropolitan areas. In the New Orleans area, the American Culinary Federation serves as a conduit of culinary education and professional development. Food festivals throughout the state offer a way for chefs to show their stuff; the Louisiana Oyster Jubilee, the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, and the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off are only a few of many food festivals in the state.

Numerous influences have shaped Louisiana's culinary scene. Cajun food was first introduced by the Acadians, French colonists who resettled in south Louisiana after being forced out of Canada in the 1700s. Creole food, on the other hand, comes from descendants of the Spanish and French upper class that ruled New Orleans in the 1800s. Generally, Creole cuisine uses tomatoes, while Cajun does not, and Creole food is generally thought of as richer and more sophisticated than Cajun.

Typical menu items in Louisiana include:

  • Gumbo - a dish made with okra simmered in stock, plumped up with various meats, onions, celery and bell peppers, and served over rice.
  • Jambalaya - which consists of sausage, vegetables and a variety of other meats and seafood. Long-grain race is added to make this a complete dish.
  • Andouille - a pork sausage that is heavily seasoned with salt, black pepper and garlic and is smoked over sugar cane and pecan wood for many hours.
  • Shrimp Creole - a low-fat dish that includes shrimp, onion, green pepper, green onion and tomato.
  • Muffuletta - a sandwich originating from Italian immigrants that includes provolone, ham, salami and a flavorful olive spread.
  • Po'boy - a sandwich served on long, crusty French bread and piled with meat and gravy.
  • Beignets - square-shaped pieces of dough that are deep fried and covered in powdered sugar.

Many famous chefs and their signature restaurants hail from Louisiana. Television personality Emeril Lagasse has been a mainstay of New Orleans' culinary life and is the chef-proprietor of 13 restaurants, including his flagship, Emeril's in New Orleans, which is known for its Cajun specialties and service.

Prior to opening his own restaurants, Lagasse was executive chef of Commander's Palace, a culinary landmark that has been operating in New Orleans since 1880, and boasts numerous James Beard awards. Its high-end cuisine includes traditional Creole dishes, as well as its famous turtle soup.

Commander's Palace touts another well-known alumnus, Chef Paul Prudhomme, who currently owns his own restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. The restaurant is unique because it has no freezers and uses only fresh ingredients, which means the menu changes daily.

Louisiana culinary arts schools & career outlook

Because of its cultural emphasis on food, New Orleans has a high concentration of employment in food preparation and serving, which could be good news for graduates of culinary colleges in Louisiana. The following tables shows career data for culinary professions in Louisiana and its metropolitan areas.

RegionCareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
LouisianaFirst-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers16,190$33,340
LouisianaFood Service Managers1,810$65,810
LouisianaChefs and Head Cooks1,610$55,160
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

RegionCareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
Baton Rouge, LAChefs and Head Cooks180$48,650
Baton Rouge, LABakers290$24,080
Baton Rouge, LAFood Service Managers410$51,580
Lafayette, LAChefs and Head CooksN/A$47,170
Lafayette, LABakers120$26,400
Lafayette, LAFood Service Managers160$62,020
Lake Charles, LAFood Service Managers70$61,170
Lake Charles, LABakers70$25,070
Lake Charles, LAChefs and Head Cooks150N/A
Monroe, LAChefs and Head CooksN/A$39,980
Monroe, LAFood Service Managers30$53,770
New Orleans-Metairie, LAFood Service Managers850$75,490
New Orleans-Metairie, LAChefs and Head Cooks710$51,330
New Orleans-Metairie, LABakersN/A$28,170
Shreveport-Bossier City, LABakers110$25,800
Shreveport-Bossier City, LAChefs and Head Cooks100$65,230
Shreveport-Bossier City, LAFood Service Managers120$64,550
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

For this, culinary schools in Louisiana and nearby offer a range of programs and degrees. Take the first step towards a career where you can fine tune your cooking skills and call upon your creativity.


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana, Occupational and Employment Wage Estimates,
  • 2014 Readers' Choice Awards For "The South's Best Foodie Cities For Groups,"
  • The Daily Meal, 101 Best Restaurants in America for 2014 Slideshow,
  • Louisiana Office of Tourism, Cajun vs. Creole Food - What is the Difference?
  • Emeril's, Chef Emeril Lagasse,
  • New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, Traditional New Orleans Foods
  • Nalini Raghavan , "A Foodie Mecca in Baton Rouge," Country Roads Magazine,
  • Chelsea Brastad, "5 Louisiana chefs honored with inaugural Small Town Chefs Awards," | The Times Picayune,
  • Judy Walker, "Louisiana festival guide 2013: Eating your way across state lines," | The Times-Picayune,
  • American Culinary Federation New Orleans,
  • USA Today, New Orleans Culinary Tours,
  • Projections Central, Louisiana,

Sponsored Schools

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Louisiana .