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Culinary Arts Schools in North Carolina

Inland from the vast coastal plain over the Piedmont and to the Blue Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains, North Carolina has a lot of culinary offerings. Native scuppernong grapes, baked oysters, shrimp and grits, Hatteras chowder, okra, peaches, biscuits and black-eyed peas, succulent fried chicken and pig-pickin' barbecue are only a few of the culinary delights in the Tar Heel State. Not all of North Carolina's delicacies were born there, but generations of hometown chefs have taken each notable dish and worked to make it their own.

The Advantages of Culinary Arts Schools in North Carolina

There's no mistake that North Carolina's resident chefs and diners have an uncommon passion for food, from ingredients and preparation to presentation and atmosphere. Proper food served in a proper way is ingrained deeply in the culture of the state, and the education available at North Carolina culinary schools may help transmit the region's thoughtful enthusiasm into the working process of aspiring chefs.

What's more, North Carolina has by no means fallen behind the cutting edge of today's commitment to healthful meals, sound nutrition and farm to fork sensibilities. Seasonal, regional ingredients are all the rage, and population centers like Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill still have plenty of room for more dietetically inclined bakeries, groceries, restaurants and other establishments that focus on organic and specialty foods.

North Carolina Culinary Employment Outlook

The heavy focus on food in the culture of North Carolina is reflected in the state's job market, where nearly one out of every 100 residents makes his or her living in food preparation and serving-related occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, restaurant cooks make up a substantial portion of the more than 361,000 food preparation and serving jobs in the state, second only to waiters and waitresses among non-managerial roles (bls.gov/oes, 2013).

Job prospects may be especially bright for students at culinary schools in North Carolina, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), because many restaurants are expected to adjust to current economic circumstances by asking lower-level chefs to perform duties formerly reserved for head cooks. The National Restaurant Association also reports that nationally, nutritional concerns are neck-and-neck with locally sourced ingredients as the hottest menu trends for 2013, so aspiring chefs and restaurateurs with nutritional training may be in even higher demand than their counterparts with only culinary arts training (restaurant.org).

North Carolina Culinary Wages

Graduates of North Carolina culinary arts schools might work in a wide range of career environments, from a lunch counter to a hotel banquet hall, or an intimate, 20-seat dining room. Here are some May 2012 salary estimates for a variety of occupations in the food and restaurant industry, taken from a Bureau of Labor Statistics report (bls.gov/oes, 2013):

North Carolina Culinary Professions
Annual Mean Wages (2012)
Chefs and head cooks
$47,990
Cooks, Restaurant
$21,190
Cooks, Short Order
$19,170
Bartenders
$21,700
First-line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers
$30,870
Food Service Managers
$56,040

Chefs with particular nutritional or dietetic training may also be hired to work in private residences. These jobs tend to be less prominent in the career market than those listed above, due in part to the narrow range of qualifications usually requested, and the working conditions can vary from position to position. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the mean annual wage for personal chefs nationwide was $31,080 in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).

Sources

North Carolina Museum of History, "North Carolina: A Culinary Crossroads," Amy Rogers, 2007, http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/collateral/articles/S07.culinary.crossroads.pdf
NCpedia, "State Fruit: Scuppernong Grape," Steven Case, Government & Heritage Library, 2007, http://ncpedia.org/symbols/fruit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Chefs and Head Cooks," Occupational Outlook Handbook, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/food-preparation-and-serving/chefs-and-head-cooks.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, "North Carolina," May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_NC.htm#35-0000
National Restaurant Association, "Local Sourcing and Healthful Kids' Meals Top National Restaurant Association's 'What's Hot in 2013' Culinary Forecast," Annika Stensson, NRA Pressroom, December 4, 2012, http://www.restaurant.org/Pressroom/Press-Releases/Whats-Hot-in-2013-Chef-Survey
Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Cooks, Private Household," Occupational Employment and Wages, March 27, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2011/may/oes352013.htm

Culinary Schools in North Carolina

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