Culinary Schools in Mississippi
With a rich history of Creole and Cajun foods, Mississippi has a culinary flavor very distinct from the rest of the country. French influences and a love of spicy seasonings and herbs round out the state's palate. The official state foods include such common delights as milk and largemouth bass, but also included are wood duck, oyster and alligator. Despite the delicious stews and honey-touched desserts served up in the Magnolia State, those who seek a true Mississippi culinary experience will ask the locals for directions to the closest place that serves up fried catfish and hushpuppies, all washed down with sweet iced tea.
The Advantages of Culinary Arts Schools in Mississippi
Those who attend culinary schools in Mississippi should be prepared to learn about a wide variety of foods. The French settlers embraced native foods in their early cooking, including redfish, green peppers, okra, onions and a wide variety of herbs. The rich farmland served up a host of vegetables, including turnip greens and beans. The fertile Delta area is home to many varieties of fish, which are served in a multitude of ways. Simple fare reigns supreme in the state, and that gives students of Mississippi culinary arts schools a chance to get creative with the foods, spices and drinks so popular in the state.
Good cooking can often be equated with good nutrition, and studies show that Mississippi needs healthier foods. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Mississippi has the highest rates of obesity in the nation, with almost 35 percent of all residents carrying an extra 30 pounds or more. Culinary students who want to work in Mississippi might be able to help fellow residents by keeping an eye on nutrition as they study for their career, including low-fat and low-sugar options.
Mississippi Culinary Employment Outlook
The state of Mississippi is home to 4,304 locations for eating and drinking, and many of those establishments will be increasing their employment over the next several years. The National Restaurant Association projects job growth of 10.4 percent, or an additional 11,300 jobs added by 2023. The Mississippi Department of Employment Security projects job growth of 8 percent for head cooks and chefs, 16 percent for restaurant cooks, and 14.9 percent for first-line supervisors and managers from 2008 to 2018. Bartenders should see strong job growth of 16.5 percent during that time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that those who show an eagerness to learn and are able to handle more refined tasks might have the best job opportunities in upscale restaurants, chains and hotels (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). Those who seek full-time work in upscale establishments might face stiff competition.
Mississippi Culinary Wages
The average annual wage for head cooks and chefs in Mississippi was $41,120 in 2012. Other professions in the culinary world included first-line supervisors at $27,220, bartenders at $19,140, restaurant cooks at $19,980, and institution and cafeteria cooks at $18,900. Higher levels of experience, the ability to employ many culinary styles, and a certificate or degree from Mississippi culinary schools might offer an extra boost in salary.
From paper plates filled with catfish to French cuisine presented on fine ceramic dishware, there is something for every palate in the Magnolia State. Mississippi culinary arts schools can be the first step into that world of savory and sweet.