Culinary Arts Schools in North and South Dakota
North and South Dakota trace their culinary roots to the Native Americans who relied on bison, corn, melons, beans, and squash, all of which still appear in the states' cuisines today. Scottish settlers in the late 1800s brought Angus and Hereford cattle, while Scandinavians introduced rutabagas, almond cakes, and a preserved cod dish called lutefisk. Germans and Russians also contributed hearty dumplings, dumpling soups, and pastries that still help Dakotans withstand heavy winters. North Dakota is the most rural of the 50 states, consisting of more than 90 percent farmland, and both Dakotas are leading producers of sunflowers and grains, including durum and spring wheat, barley, rye, oats, and flaxseed. Fishing and hunting are popular pastimes in the region, and the products of these sports, including pike, walleye, Chinook salmon, elk, pheasant, and deer, make frequent appearances in local cuisine.
The Advantages of Culinary Arts Schools in North and South Dakota
The cuisine of North and South Dakota paint a rich picture of the region's history, from the natives who made use of the land's natural resources, to the European settlers who established the area's agricultural identity, relying on simple, hearty foods helped them cope with harsh winters. A culinary education in North or South Dakota may allow students to draw on the rich cultural heritage of the region, learning from the strong Scandinavian, German, and Russian influences that continue to define the area's cuisine. Agriculture's large presence in the region can provide students with plenty of opportunities for locally-sourced ingredients, and can teach them to cook with local products to increase sustainability, honor the region's culinary traditions and support the local economy.
Whether or not students aspire to careers as chefs, North and South Dakota culinary schools can offer an extensive education in food, nutrition, and health that might enrich students, regardless of the career path they choose. A culinary graduate may decide to open her own specialty restaurant or small bakery, or put his knowledge to use as a nutritionist or dietician. Nutritionists and dietitians advise and educate others about diet choices, nutrition, and health.
North and South Dakota Culinary Employment Outlook
According to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for chefs and head cooks will remain constant between 2010 and 2020 (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). While there will continue to be chef positions available, the highest-paying jobs at upscale restaurants, casinos, and hotels will remain competitive. However, certain sectors of the culinary industry may be growing. The National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot in 2013" forecast report named "locally sourced meat and seafood" and "locally grown produce" as its top two menu trends for 2013 (restaurant.org). Also ranked high on its list were "environmental sustainability as a culinary theme," children's nutrition, new cuts of meat, and hyper-local sourcing. If chefs or culinary school graduates can take advantage of the trends towards local foods and sustainability, they might find successful opportunities in the culinary job market.
North and South Dakota Culinary Wages
The following are annual mean wage statistics for May 2012 for culinary jobs in South Dakota and North Dakota (bls.gov/oes, 2013):