From Creole and Cajun to French and Southern, there are a whole lot of delicacies that New Orleans is popular for.
In this article, we look at the top culinary schools in New Orleans. From local dishes to international cuisines, there is a lot anyone can learn from the culinary schools in New Orleans I have listed in this article.
The average salary of a chef in New Orleans is around $50,000 yearly. This can either be higher or lower, depending on your location, type of restaurant, and experience as a chef. Chefs working in fine dining restaurants earn higher compared to their counterparts working in regular restaurants.
Before we dive right into the list of culinary schools in New Orleans, let us look at some of the topics you may cover in your culinary program at any of these schools and places that can hire you when you are done with your program.
Topics Covered at Culinary School
There are several topics that are covered at culinary schools, while what is listed below may not be exact with what you are taught, this list kind of gives you an introduction to what you should expect from these culinary schools.
Also, you might just see a skill here that you want to learn, and you might want to ask the culinary school if they offer training in that area. Below is a general overview of topics that you might learn at your culinary school.
Baking and Pastry Arts:
Under this topic, several skills you might learn include bread making, chocolate and sugar work, dessert production (cookies, pastries, cakes, etc.), pastry dough and batters, and general baking techniques and principles.
Culinary Arts and Cuisine
Under this topic, several skills you will be introduced to include plate presentation and garnishing, sauce and stock presentation, menu planning and development, classical cooking techniques, and regional and international cuisines like French, Italian, and Asian cuisines.
Culinary Techniques and Fundamentals
Under this topic, some of the skills you may learn include food safety and sanitation, culinary terminology and measurements, flavor profiles and seasoning, cooking methods like sautéing, roasting, grilling, etc., and knife skills and safety.
Culinary Science and Food Chemistry
Under this topic, several skills will be introduced to you like understanding flavor interactions, food preservation and fermentation, molecular gastronomy and modern cooking techniques, and food science and chemistry.
Nutrition and Dietary Considerations
Under this topic, skills you may learn include menu modifications for dietary restrictions, health, and wellness in cooking, special dietary needs, and basic nutrition principles.
Food and Beverage Management
Under this topic, several skills you will gain include customer service and communication skills, inventory control and procurement, food service operations, menu costing and pricing, and hospitality and restaurant management.
Under this, you will learn the practical application of learned techniques, carry out cooking demonstrations and workshops, and you will handle culinary labs and kitchen sessions.
Under this, the skills you will learn include resume writing and interview skills, career planning and job search strategies, and networking within the culinary industry.
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Kitchen Management and Organization
Under this, skills to be learned include workstation setup and workflow, culinary math and measurements, time management and organization, and kitchen equipment and tools.
Most culinary schools would require students to undertake an internship program with the same institution or at an external site. This would help to build experience as you would work with other professionals in a real-life setting.
Places You Can Work as a Culinary Expert
One important thing with choosing a career path like culinary is being aware of all the employment opportunities that are available in this field. Below are some of the places you can work with your culinary certification.
There are lots of festivals, events, and celebrations hosted in New Orleans every year, which means there is a regular demand for catering services at these events.
You could get a job with a catering company where you’d be involved in the preparation and serving of meals at private parties, weddings, corporate events, etc.
There are several hotels in New Orleans, and they all have kitchens that prepare meals for customers that are lodged in the hotels. From daily dining services to banquets and events, hotel kitchens present a unique opportunity to those who finish culinary school.
Restaurants and Cafés
There are several culinary offerings available in New Orleans, ranging from modern fusion dishes to Creole and Cajun cuisine. There are several roles in regular eateries and fine dining restaurants like sous chef, pastry chef, line cook, etc. that you can work in upon finishing from a culinary school.
When you finish your training at a culinary institute, you may decide you want to become a trainer yourself. This would be easy for you since you already have the skills and knowledge from your program and if teaching others is a passion that you have.
Food Trucks and Pop-ups
There is an increasing number of food trucks in New Orleans. Now that you are a certified culinary expert, this may be your very own business. If you have the money to get a food truck of your own, then you can apply to get your license, but if you do not, then I am pretty sure there are food trucks that will be happy to hire a person with your skills and talent.
Bakeries and Pastry Shops
Cooking meals may not be your passion, you may be into pastry and baking. If this is you, then applying to patisseries, specialty dessert shops, and bakeries may be the best option for you.
Cruise Ships and Resorts
If you do not have a problem with traveling on the job, working at resorts or a cruise ship is an option you can explore when you finish from your culinary school.
Event Venues and Convention Centers
There are lots of opportunities for a chef in events, conferences, and conventions hosted in New Orleans every year.
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Some rich families employ the services of a skilled chef to prepare their meals. This may be because they are busy, or they are very rich and can simply afford it. Either way, this is a great chance to earn while doing what you enjoy.
Other places you can work as a culinary expert include:
- Farm-to-table establishments
- Food media and content creation
- Research and development (R&D) for food companies
The List of Culinary Schools in New Orleans
Below are some of the best culinary schools in New Orleans, it is always advisable to research the school, visit the location, and talk to the trainers before signing up for the lessons.
Delgado Community College – Culinary Arts Program
This is an open-enrollment college but offers limited enrollment. You must have passed certain courses before you will be eligible to apply. Ensure you visit their page to find out more. Find more information here.
Nunez Community College – Culinary Arts Program
They offer programs that will earn you a certificate as a baker, cook, food services manager, culinary art expert, and culinary entrepreneur. The first three are career and technical certificates and are for absolute beginners.
The culinary art certificate offers specialized coursework that enables people with beginner experience to move into middle management roles, while the culinary entrepreneur certificate is for those that want to run their own food business. Find more information here.
John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University
This is the only post-secondary institution that offers a culinary bachelor’s degree in Louisiana.
They offer top-notch education to those who wish to work in the food and service industries, and they have a 16:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Find more information here.
Louisiana Culinary Institute
The new semester at this school begins on August 31st. They won the best college for culinary arts by university magazine in 2023. Find more information here.
Crescent City Cooks Culinary School
This school started in 2009 and they offer a classroom that is open and has flexible space to allow them to teach and transform into several workstations for hands-on classes. Find more information here.
New Orleans School of Cooking
This is one of the top culinary schools in New Orleans, they offer daily open demonstration classes and daily open hands-on classes. Find more information here.
NOCHI (New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute)
This school accepts applications to their certificate programs on a rolling basis, and new cohorts begin every 3 months. Although not mandatory, having 3 months of prior experience in the hospitality industry is highly recommended. Find more information here.
Bossier Parish Community College – Culinary Arts Program
The culinary program offered by this school provides laboratory and classroom instruction an experience to students who are passionate about starting a career as a chef. Applicants must satisfy all college entrance requirements. Find more information here.
Tulane University – Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine
This school started in 2012 and it is the first school started with a medical school, thus establishing itself as a leader in the culinary medicine movement. Find more information here.
Baton Rouge Community College
This school offers a technical diploma in culinary arts and occupations. It is designed for freshers who are new in the food service industry to gain entry-level jobs. Find more information here.