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Culinary Schools in Montana

Vegetarians might have a difficult time in Montana, as cattle reigns supreme here - this is the land of cattle and beef, and nowhere does a hearty diet of meat and potatoes make sense more than in this rugged state. Montana seems like a million miles away from molecular gastronomy, but that doesn't mean that food isn't serious business here: the state is home to top-notch chefs and outstanding restaurants, especially in resort areas such as Big Sky or Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Those looking for exotic meats won't be disappointed, as the state is famous for its bison and elk. Most bison are grass-fed and free-range.

The Advantages of Culinary Arts Schools in Montana

While the growing season is relatively short in Montana, students can expect to work with plenty of fresh produce and fruit, especially cherries and huckleberries, which Montana is quite well-known for. Many home cooks have elevated pickling to an art form, and students at culinary schools in Montana might just learn that craft as well. Trout, another Montana delicacy, can be prepared in myriad ways. While Montana cuisine is true to its cowboy roots, international flavors are easy to find in the bigger cities, such as Billings, Missoula, and Bozeman.

A culinary education can serve as a solid basis for a number of careers that go beyond the traditional chef route. For instance, those with a degree from one of Montana's culinary arts schools might want to use their knowledge of nutrition to become dietitians or nutritionists, professions that might continue to be popular as America's battle against the collective waistline continues.

Montana Culinary Employment Outlook

There's no question that the world of food and consumer preferences is always changing and evolving, and according to a recent survey from the National Restaurant Association (restaurant.org), some of these trends seem tailor-made for Montana. More than 1,800 professional chefs determined that the latest trends were organic produce, free-range cattle, and pickling: Montana fits right in! While the recent economic downturn has been felt in every nook and cranny of the economy, including the restaurant business, the NRA projects a growth in restaurant employment in Montana of 6.2 percent by 2023 (restaurant.org).

Montana Culinary Wages

Restaurant-related positions include a variety of professions you may not have thought about, such as marketing manager for a restaurant chain or public relations coordinator for a university cafeteria system. In terms of earnings for food-related positions in Montana, have a look at the following data, which has been compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/oes, 2013):

Culinary Position in Montana
Mean Annual Wage (2012)
Dietitians and nutritionists
Food service managers
Chefs and head cooks
Waiters and waitresses

Just like in any profession, aspiring culinary professionals will have to put in hard work. In Montana, there are comfortable restaurants that serve hearty meat-based dishes from Billings to Whitefish to Great Falls and every place in between. Students might end up opening their own dream restaurant in Montana one day - or work their way up in the kitchen.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,Occupational Employment Statistics, Montana, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mt.htm#35-0000
National Restaurant Association, News & Research, "Montana restaurant industry at a glance," 2013, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/montana
National Restaurant Association, News & Research, "What's Hot in 2013," 2013, http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/What-s-Hot
State of Montana, Official State Travel Site, http://www.visitmt.com/

Culinary Schools in Montana

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