Choose a New York Cooking School
Take your cooking passion to the ultimate culinary proving ground—New York. New York City boasts a full representation of the best culinary schools operating on the modern educational scene. The city holds a special place in American culinary lore, with a long history of unique gastronomy. The multicultural nature of the city is reflected in a pooling of food influences that overflows with ethnic fusion, and authentic national traditions.
To the delight of their Food Network indoctrinated TV followings, famous restaurateurs like Bobby Flay and Mario Batali operate in the big city, but names like Delmonico’s and The Russian Tea Room pre-date these culinary young lions outings – by a lifetime.
As a culinary student, there is no limit to the off campus learning that awaits you in The Big Apple, so it pays to distill your culinary dreams to a manageable scope of consideration, before getting carried away on an epicurean tangent. Are you an Italian-American eager to promulgate your love for your ancestral cuisine? Or are your progressive chef’s ambitions linked to one of a kind creations that bear allegiance to nothing more than your own passion and creativity? Perhaps you just want to bake good pies.
Wherever you fall on the gastronomic spectrum, there is a place for you in New York, and a school to propel your career down your chosen path. The industry promotes from within, so whatever your entry point, you can be sure that a solid culinary education will advance your cause.
Choosing a Culinary School in New York
For chefs, New York City is one of THE most competitive markets on the planet; still, the sheer number of restaurants operating in the city makes for a culinary employment scene that is rich with opportunities - at all levels. If you want a program that’s affordable, accelerated and job-driven, focus on technical and community college options. The two-year Associate’s degree programs offered by such vocational schools fulfill your learning needs for rapid job placement, in professional kitchens.
If your goal is an advanced degree at the Baccalaureate level, consider a four-year business driven hospitality degree from one of the state’s universities. For prestigious world-class curriculums, taught by renowned chefs, go for the gusto at the French Culinary Institute or the Culinary Institute of America-Hyde Park, where the alumni list reads like a Who’s Who of contemporary chefs.
Choose a school that is armed with the tools to successfully propel you down your chosen career path. Don’t lose sight of the finish line, meaningful employment upon graduation. Hallmarks of schools dedicated to moving your career forward include:
- Internships/externships in local, national and international kitchens
- Apprenticeship connections with respected chefs
- State-of-the-art kitchens and baking facilities
- Professional chef/instructors who bring varied backgrounds to their teaching kitchens
- Student run restaurants that are open to the public
- Career guidance and continuing education opportunities
- Catering operations that mimic commercial enterprises
- On campus clubs and organizations, to supplement your classroom experiences
- Job boards and placement assistance
Compete for a Chef’s Job in New York
Job opportunities for culinary professionals in New York fall across a wide range of placements, from entry-level prep cook, to seasoned sous chef. Career paths for Culinary Arts graduates might include stops at restaurants, hotels, resorts, spas, hospital kitchens, corporate banquet kitchens, catering companies and even personal chef enterprises. Salaries for kitchen staffers in New York are generally higher, across the board, due to higher cost of living. Other factors influence starting pay, and salary mobility, within the industry. Consider your education, professional experience, type of employment, location - and even reputation, when gauging your salary expectations. The industry promotes from within, so for rapid advancement, always put your professionalism on display. Average salaries for sous chefs in Manhattan generally fall between $43,000 and $53,000.
List of New York Cooking Schools
French Culinary Institute in New York City dishes up a consummate classical French curriculum, with several concentrated areas of study to choose from. 600 hours of training advances your skills through the rigors of the entire series of kitchen stations and techniques required for employment across the industry. A Wine Intensive option is offered alongside Technology Concentration, which evokes futuristic culinary scenarios in the present day. The school caters to professional chefs, but offers an impressive course catalog for serious amateurs. Programs: Classic Culinary Arts, Classic Pastry Arts, and the Art of International Bread Baking.
The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park is the alma mater of some of today’s best and brightest chef stars. Iron Chef Michael Symon is an alum, as are Anthony Bourdain and Cat Cora. Julia Child called it the Harvard of culinary schools. Your education at CIA sets the industry standard for comprehensive culinary competence. Count them: 5 student-run restaurants that let you work and learn in high-volume professional environments. Programs of study include: Bachelor's Culinary Arts Management, Associate’s Culinary Arts, Bachelor’s Baking and Pastry Arts Management, and Associate’s Baking and Pastry Arts.
Institute of Culinary Education in New York City delivers top of the line world-class culinary education in as little as 6 to 11 months. Curriculums are developed to consistently turn out the best chefs possible, and prepare them to hit the ground running in any of the best NYC restaurants. Schedules accommodate full-time and part-time students – an important feature for working professionals. Required externships and extensive financial aid offerings offer added appeal for committed gourmands. Programs include: Diplomas in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Culinary Management.
Culinary Academy of Long Island in Syosset is one of a pair of local culinary program locations. Curriculums exist for professionals as well as amateurs. The Commercial Cooking program is specifically designed for evening learning, to accommodate working students. The 900 hour career program in an all encompassing progression that starts with basics like knife skills, before advancing to other areas of kitchen competence. The Pastry and Baking program focuses on classical pastry techniques and bread making, in a 600 hours degree program. Career coursework includes: Professional Cooking, Commercial Cooking, Professional Pastry and Baking, and Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Career Academy of New York is the partner school to the Culinary Academy of Long Island. 9 month degree curriculums unfold as career-driven commercial programs, designed to impart the required skills for entry-level employment: Commercial Cooking and Catering, Commercial Cooking (evening only program), and Hotel and Restaurant Management.
State University of New York administers a wide variety of programs at two and four-year institutions across the state. Associate’s in Culinary Arts can be obtained at these campuses:
- Erie –City
New York State Colleges, Community and Technical Colleges Offering Culinary, Restaurant Management, and/or Hospitality Degrees
- Broome Community College – Binghamton
- Bryant and Stratton Business Institute - Lackawanna-Rochester-Syracuse-Williamsville
- Buffalo State College – Buffalo
- Cornell University – Ithaca
- Delhi College of Technology – Delhi
- D’Youville College – Buffalo
- Erie Community College - Buffalo-Orchard Park-Williamsville
- Finger Lakes Community College – Canandaigua
- Genesee Community College – Batavia
- Hunter College - New York
- Katharine Gibbs School – Melville
- Kingsborough Community College – Brooklyn
- Keuka College - Keuka Park
- La Guardia Community College/CUNY - Long Island City
- Mohawk Valley Community College – Utica
- Monroe College – Bronx
- Monroe Community College – Rochester
- Nassau Community College - Garden City
- Natural Gourmet Institute - Manhattan
- New York City Technical College – Brooklyn
- New York Institute of Technology - Central Islip-New York-Old Westbury
- New York University - New York
- Niagara County Community College – Sanborn
- Niagara University - Niagara University
- North Country Community College - Saranac Lake
- Onondaga Community College – Syracuse
- Orange County Community College – Middletown
- Pace University - New York
- Paul Smiths College - Paul Smiths
- Rochester Institute of Technology – Rochester
- Saint Johns University – Jamaica
- Schenectady County Community College – Schenectady
- Suffolk County Community College – Riverhead
- Sullivan County Community College - Loch Sheldrake
- Suny College of Agriculture and Technology - Cobleskill-Morrisville
- Suny College at Cortland - Cortland
- Suny College at Oneonta – Oneonta
- Suny Plattsburgh – Plattsburgh
- Syracuse University – Syracuse
- The New School - New York
- Tompkins-Cortland Community College – Dryden
- Trocaire College – Buffalo
- Villa Maria College - Buffalo
- Westchester Community College – Valhalla