Choose a Culinary College in Missouri

A lot of notable people were from Missouri: Harry S. Truman, Ulysses S. Grant, Walt Disney. The next up-and-coming notable: You? Even if you weren’t born there, the culinary programs across the state offer the training for you to become the next celebrity chef in-the-making. Ok, so maybe you won’t see your face carved on the side of a mountain, but you could see it photographed on the side of your line of delicious gourmet dinner products.

Picking the School for You

Missouri is known as the “Show Me” state, and that’s the motto you need to keep in mind when you choose a culinary school. You should ask each program to show you some key components: a quality training kitchen that is run by students, experience professors, and services for job placement and internships. The kitchen should be well-stocked and used in conjunction with a student-run restaurant or public dinner nights. Instructors should be experienced, or should be industry professionals. Finally, career counseling and placement services should be available, and there should be opportunities for apprenticeships or internships.

Once you decide on the best program, the admissions process should be easy. Most schools have an open admission policy that only requires students to have a high-school diploma or GED. Some schools will consider work experience or other training such as attendance at workshops. And more competitive programs may ask that you take an assessment of basic kitchen skills and knowledge.

Fast-tracking Your Degree

You’ll be well on your way to earning your degree once you begin your studies. Most culinary programs can be completed in only two years or less – about half the time of a traditional degree. Some schools have options for accelerated certificate or diploma programs that can be finished in a little over a year or less. If you need more flexibility, there are options including night and weekend classes, summer session and online courses.

Typically, online culinary programs are offered to complement previous lab or kitchen work to finish a culinary degree. However, some programs do offer video instruction to learn the cooking techniques from your own kitchen. More commonly, online programs offer degrees in hotel and restaurant management or foodservice management.

The Start of a Notable Career?

Gateway Arch & Downtown St. Louis Skyline.

To improve your job chances – and lay the foundation for your legacy – start networking early in your career, even while you’re getting your education. Attend local food and wine festivals to meet local celebrity chefs and other industry professionals, and enter food competitions to showcase your talents and start making a name for yourself. Join professional networks like the Missouri Restaurant Association.

Once you get the job, how much you can expect to make will depend on a number of factors. Your ranking in the kitchen will be one of the biggest predictors, with head chefs and cooks making the most – about $41,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – followed by sous chefs, assistant chefs and line cooks. Where you work will also be significant. Hotels and resorts, spas and some personal-chef services will pay the best. Casual-dining and fast food will pay the lowest. Also important will be years of experience and geography.

Campus-based Programs

Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center
1080 South Silver Springs Road
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703-7511
Culinary Arts
NCACS Accredited

College of the Ozarks
P.O. Box 17
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Hotel and Restaurant Management
NCACS Accredited

East Central College
1964 Prairie Dell Road
Union, MO 63084
Culinary Arts
Hospitality Management
CCSACS Accredited

Gibson Technical Center
386 West Highway 76
Reeds Spring, MO 65737
Phone: 417-272-3271
Culinary Arts
DESE Accredited

Jefferson College
1000 Viking Drive
Hillsboro, MO 63050-2441
Culinary Arts
HLC Accredited

L’Ecole Culinaire
9811 South 40 Drive
Clayton, MO 63124-1188
Culinary Arts
Culinary Essentials
Culinary Management
ACCSCT Accredited

Metropolitan Community College
P.O. Box 3777
Omaha, NE 68103-0777
Culinary Arts and Management
Hospitality and Leadership
HLC Accredited

Mineral Area College
5270 Flat River Road
Park Hills, MO 63601
Culinary Arts
NCACS Accredited

Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468-6001
Restaurant and Food Service Management
HLC Accredited

Ozarks Technical Community College
903 E. Brower St.
Springfield, MO 65802-3675
Culinary Arts
Hospitality Management
NCACS Accredited

Saint Louis Community College
300 South Broadway
St. Louis, MO 63102
Food Service Management
Baking and Pastry Arts
Culinary Arts
Hotel and Restaurant Management
HLC Accredited

Southwest Missouri State University
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897
Hospitality and Restaurant Administration
HLC Accredited

Stevens Institute of Business and Arts
1521 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63103 
Tourism and Hospitality Management
ACICS Accredited

University of Central Missouri
P.O. Box 800
Warrensburg MO 64093
Hotel and Restaurant Administration
HLC Accredited

University of Missouri
1100 Carrie Francke Drive
Columbia, MO 65211-3020
Food Science and Nutrition
Hotel and Restaurant Management
HLC Accredited

Online-based programs

American Culinary Federation
The ACF has over 200 chapters in the United States; its main campus is located in Florida
180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL
Continuing Education
Chef Certification
Chef Educators
Food Safety Certification
ACFEFAC Accredited

The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh – Online Division
The Ai has over 40 campus locations across North America, plus this online campus
420 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Culinary Management
MSCHE Accredited

Ashworth College
430 Technology Pkwy
Norcross, GA
Professional Gourmet Cooking and Catering
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC Accredited

DeVry University
This University has 90 campus locations in 26 different states
One Tower Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Hospitality Management
HLC Accredited

eCornell is an online program and subsidiary of Cornell University, located in New York
950 Danby Road, Suite 150
Ithaca, NY
Leadership and Strategic Management
Project Leadership and Systems Design
Financial Management
Management Essentials
Human Resources Management
Hospitality and Foodservice Management
Certificate in plant-based nutrition
HRCI and PMI Approved

Johnson and Wales University
JWU has campuses in Providence, Charlotte, and North Miami; its largest campus is in Rhode Island
8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903
Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
NEASC Accredited

Le Cordon Bleu
The group of Le Cordon Bleu Schools have 17 campus locations in the United States
1 800 457-CHEF (2433)
B.A. Culinary Management
ACCSC, CCSC & ACICS Accredited

New England Culinary Institute
NECI has two campuses in Vermont; its main campus is in Montpelier
56 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Hospitality and Restaurant Management
ACCSC Accredited

Penn Foster Career School
925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC & CHEA Accredited

Sullivan University
SU has three campuses in Louisville, Lexington and Fort Knox. The main campus for its Global e-Learning program is located in Louisville
2100 Gardiner Lane
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
Beverage Management
CCSACS & ACF Accredited

University of Phoenix
This University has campuses in over 40 states, and two locations in Canada
4602 East Elwood Street
Phoenix, AZ
Hospitality, Travel and Tourism
HLC Accredited

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