culinary schools in kentucky

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The culinary industry in Kentucky is comprised of over 7,500 different eating and drinking establishments. Currently, over 203,000 people are employed in the industry, making up around 12% of the entire workforce of the state. An additional 24,800 jobs are expected to be added by 2026 and educated culinary professionals will be in demand. Earning a culinary credential or degree is a step in the right direction toward a rewarding career, with job security, in the culinary industry.

We created a list of the top 10 best culinary schools in Kentucky. Schools selected for our list offer hands-on culinary training, experienced faculty, and a variety of culinary courses. We looked at a wide variety of schools offering vocational programs, degree programs, diploma programs, and certificate programs. Several schools on our list have received accreditation by the American Culinary Federation. All programs in our list have a positive reputation in the community based on our research.

Top 10 Best Culinary Schools in Kansas 2016 - 2017

 

#10. Henderson County High School 

Henderson

The Career and Technical Education program at Henderson County High School features a top culinary program designed for students who want to get a head start on their career in the culinary arts. Students have the opportunity to complete both classroom and laboratory courses that cover a variety of areas from nutrition to culinary preparation techniques. Students also complete on the job training through a workforce development opportunity in their community. This arrangement allows the students to receive professional instruction in a real world culinary environment, as well as the opportunity to network and explore the different job roles in the industry.

#9. Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond

Those who are interested in earning a full bachelor’s degree would do well to consider Eastern Kentucky University. The Richmond-based college offers a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition with a concentration in Culinary Nutrition and Food Management. One hundred twenty units are required to complete the degree program. Classes include Nutrition in the Life Cycle, Quantity Food Production, and Food Hygiene, to name but three.

#8. Austin Peay State University

Fort Campbell

Austin Peay State University offers a unique Certificate in Accelerated Culinary Arts. The program is offered at the Fort Campbell, Kentucky campus and is open to military service persons, veterans, and civilians. This 12-credit hour program features courses in fundamentals of baking, nutrition, and purchasing and cost control. An associate’s degree in Management Technology with a concentration in Restaurant Management is also available.

#7. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is a top culinary school featuring a variety of culinary degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Students can earn their AAS in Culinary Arts and may select a concentration in either Food and Beverage Management or the Catering and Personal Chef track. Associate degree programs require students to complete either a practicum experience or a cooperative education experience to gain professional experience. Diploma programs are slightly shorter and require students to complete courses directly related to the culinary arts, in addition to technical or support courses which also include a practicum or cooperative education experience. Certificate programs can be completed in about a year and can be earned while the student works on the more advanced degree. Certificate options including advanced catering, culinary arts, catering, food and beverage management, and advanced food and beverage management. Certificates are also a great option for students who need a program that covers the basics to jump start their professional career.

#6. Ashland Community and Technical College

Ashland

Ashland Community and Technical College is a top culinary school with an extensive offering of culinary programs. Associate degree programs can be completed in about two years and students are able to earn certificates along the way. Students have access to a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen/laboratory where they receive hands-on instruction from experienced faculty. The curriculum is broad, covering everything from catering to cost control to basic sanitation. Students graduate with the experience needed to be successful in entry level culinary positions in a variety of venues including resorts, health care facilities, school cafeterias, and restaurants.

#5. Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Bowling Green

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College offers a variety of culinary programs that work together like a career ladder. Students can earn their certificate and decide to continue on to earn their diploma and then finally to their AAS degree. By taking this approach, students are more marketable and have specific skills that are desirable in the workforce. Coursework covers a wide array of coursework such as nutrition, sanitation, cost control, and purchasing. Students have access to a state-of-the-art culinary lab with the latest in modern kitchen equipment, similar to what they will find out in the field. Throughout the program students have the opportunity to work both in a dining room environment and a commercial kitchen.

#4. West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Paducah

West Kentucky Community and Technical College is a top accredited culinary school featuring a variety of culinary programs. Students learn in a hands-on environment in kitchen labs that mimic an actual commercial kitchen. A low student-faculty ratio ensures students receive individualized attention. Instructors are experienced culinary professionals who have worked in a variety of settings including some of the finest restaurants in Paducah. Graduates are prepared to work in entry level positions in a variety of settings including hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, resorts, and commercial kitchens.

#3. Sullivan University

Lexington

The Lexington campus of Sullivan University features an AS Degree in Culinary Arts that has received exemplary status from the American Culinary Federation. The program features expert faculty and state-of-the-art facilities that are similar to what students will encounter in the real world. Hands-on learning is a key component of this program and students spend the majority of their time immersed in the kitchen lab. Externship and practicum opportunities are available at some of the finest restaurants in Lexington. A variety of other certificates, associate’s degrees, and bachelor degrees are also offered.

#2. Sullivan University

Louisville

The Louisville campus of Sullivan University offers a dynamic, hands-on culinary program that is very visible in the community. The Bakery at Sullivan University has produced cakes for celebrities such as Dannielynn Birkhead, and designs beautiful wedding cakes. The Louisville campus also features Winston’s Restaurant, a 3.5 star restaurant with lunch and dinner prepared by students in the Culinary Arts program. Professional Catering students have the opportunity to gain experience working for Juleps Catering, a fully operational catering company located on campus. Culinary instructors are well respected in the industry and several make public appearances during the week of the Kentucky Derby.

#1. Jefferson Community and Technical College

Louisville

Jefferson Community and Technical College is a top culinary school with programs accredited by the American Culinary Federation. Students are exposed to a wide variety of courses covering international cuisine, baking and pastry arts, purchasing, cost control, and special event planning. Throughout the duration of the program, students work in a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen/culinary lab and dining room to gain professional experience. Instructors are well respected in the field and come from a variety of backgrounds, lending their knowledge and expertise in multiple areas. This program follows the teaching philosophy of the American Culinary Federation, the National Restaurant Association, and the Academy of Chefs.

If you decide to live and study in Kentucky, you will get to experience a unique blend of southern and Midwestern food. Its proximity to the Midwest gives Kentucky chefs access to fresh meat and in-season produce. Many of the largest restaurants in Kentucky are located in its main cities of Louisville, Lexington, and Bowling Green. Some of the most popular restaurants in Kentucky include Seviche, Ghyslain Chocolate des Beaux Arts, and Holly Hill Inn.

When you live in Kentucky, you can take advantage of its low cost of living, which is about 12% below the national average. With almost 4.4 million people living in Kentucky that enjoy this benefit of Kentucky life.

School Information:
Are you ready to study culinary arts in Kentucky? If so, there are ten schools that can help you reach your goals. These schools offer a mix of certificate programs, Associate’s degree programs, Bachelor’s degree programs, and graduate programs. However, the overall average tuition rate of $4,992 is still very affordable. This is particularly true when you factor in the average scholarship award of $2,447.

Most culinary arts programs are laid out in roughly the same way. First, you build a strong foundation of cooking and baking skills. Topics covered include knife skills, protein preparation and cooking, food timing, and how to work in a kitchen. As you move through your culinary program, you’ll build on these skills while learning new ones. By the end of your program, you should be able to work efficiently and accurately in any kitchen you are put into.

Culinary Schools in Kentucky

Total Schools:10
Undergraduate Programs:10
Graduate Programs:1
Average Tuition Cost:$4,992
Average Loan Amount:$5,476
Average Scholarship Award:$2,447
Average Classroom Size:16 Students
One of the benefits of earning an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree is the possibility to take extra courses. If you are interested in owning a catering business or restaurant, you may want to take extra courses to prepare you for the business aspect of your career. In addition, you may be able to take elective courses in different cuisines and cooking methods that interest you.

Employment Information:
There are three main career paths you can pursue as a new chef: restaurant work, catering work, or private chef work. Restaurants are the most common workplaces for chefs, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants. Working for a catering company allows you to serve a wider variety of food to all sorts of clients. If you are a private chef, you may have to work on-call or late evening hours to serve your clients’ needs.

In Kentucky, some of the primary culinary employers are Jack Binion’s Steak House, A & M Events, and Adecco.

You do not need any special license or certificate to work as a chef in Kentucky, unless you plan on opening your own restaurant or catering company. This gives you the freedom to begin pursuing jobs as soon as you graduate. The American Culinary Federation has certification options that you can use to demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

Chef’s salaries fluctuate widely based on experience, education, and seniority. The best way to increase your earning potential is hard work, since seniority can qualify you for higher-ranking jobs like sous chef and executive chef.

In Kentucky, the average salary for a cook is $18,900 per year (ONet, 2012). Chefs in Kansas earn an average salary of $38,300 per year (ONet, 2012).

Job growth in Kentucky is not as fast-paced as it is in other parts of the country. The demand for chefs is not anticipated to change much between 2010 and 2020 (ONet, 2010). In that same time frame, cooks can expect job growth of 8% (ONet, 2010).

Culinary Schools in Kentucky
Ashland Community and Technical College
(Ashland,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $1,697 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
(Elizabethtown,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $1,890 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
Employment Solutions – College for Technical Education
(Lexington,KY)
• Culinary Food Preparation
• Urban Campus Setting
Jefferson Community and Technical College
(Louisville,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $3,490 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
Maysville Community and Technical College
(Maysville,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $2,235 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Rural Campus Setting
Owensboro Community and Technical College
(Owensboro,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $1,683 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Rural Campus Setting
Somerset Community College
(Somerset,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $1,818 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Rural Campus Setting
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College
(Bowling Green,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $4,000 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
Sullivan University
(Louisville,KY)
• Baking and Pastry Arts
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• Culinary Arts
• $17,520 Tuition Cost
• $1,731 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
West Kentucky Community and Technical College
(Paducah,KY)
• Culinary Arts and Chef Training
• $3,360 Tuition Cost
• $3,481 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Rural Campus Setting

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