The Culinary Education in Montana

In Montana, the wildlife may outnumber people, but there are still plenty of hungry residents here who enjoy going out for great food with friends.

Added to this are the thousands of tourists who come to enjoy Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as Montana’s countless other seasonal recreational activities.

Montana receives visitors from all over the world, so it’s only natural that its restaurants serve a variety of cuisines to suit all palates.
Cracker Lake at Glacier National Park.

Places to Go

Aspiring caterers and restaurateurs may need to look a little bit harder for a school in Montana than in other states. There are just two accredited traditional-campus culinary school in the whole state of Montana. Fortunately for Montanans who hope for a career in the hospitality and food industry, there are online programs too. You may even be able to get personal cooking lessons from one of the many friendly neighborhood chefs who work in all corners of the state.

Formal, on-campus culinary training is available at the University of Montana College of Technology. The program at the University of Montana is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), and has both certificate and degree opportunities. The Culinary Arts Certificate program has a two-semester curriculum that focuses on culinary training essentials such as baking, patisserie, meat preparation, etc. The Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Hospitality Management is a four-semester program that incorporates the certificate program and additional business, economics, and marketing classes. Upon graduation, students will be qualified to become certified by the ACF.

The Culinary Arts faculty members at the University of Montana are professionals who work in the field, which affords students a contemporary perspective on the industry. An added feature at this program is the internship and work opportunities available at the campus dining room. Students can put their knowledge to work in the front, back, or catering operations of this restaurant.

In addition to text books, students will be responsible for purchasing their own supplies and uniforms. Supplies include such vital tools as a meat thermometer, knives, measuring spoons, spatula, calculator, and cake decorating kit.

Jobs in Montana

Luckily, the number of culinary schools in Montana is inversely related to the number of cafes, eateries, delis, restaurants, hotels, and resorts that are in constant need of qualified personnel. The local tourist industry is sustained by two world-renown destinations: Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. These two areas alone account for numerous hospitality and culinary jobs. The state’s major city centers of Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls also have their share of dining establishments, schools, and catering needs.

Graduates are likely to find a job they love in any of the thousands of restaurants, resorts, schools, and hotels in Montana. Typical food industry salaries in Montana range according to position, city, and experience. A waiter/waitress will earn an annual average salary of $21,900; a Registered Dietitian earns $52,030; a first-line supervisor will earn about $36,320; a head chef will earn approximately $52,340; and a restaurant cook earns an average salary of around $27,320.

2019 wage data sourced from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. Current wage conditions in your area may vary.

On-Campus Schools

University of Montana
909 S Avenue West
Missoula, MT 59801
Certificate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
Food Service Management AAS Degree
AFC & NWCCU Accredited

Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College
777 Grandview Drive
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 756-3862
Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
NWCCU Accredited

Online 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

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

Explore Local Schools Today

8 Responses to “The Culinary Education in Montana”

  1. Kim Barker Says:

    Hello. I’m inquiring about how to be listed among employers for your graduates of the cooking school. We own and operate a guest ranch and are looking for qualified candidates for out head cook and breakfast cook postions.

  2. MaeCile Brown Says:

    Our working ranch is looking for someone who is personable, organized and an all-around expert in the kitchen, including experience in prep, food procurement, menu planning, all areas of cooking (breakfast, lunch, supper, bread, deserts) and capable of managing kitchen assistants. We will be interviewing in March, so applications, resumes and references should be submitted ASAP.

  3. carmen pitti Says:

    i want more inmgortation for pastry

  4. Teresa Says:


    Outstanding opportunity for qualified chef/restaurateur looking to take on seasonal restaurant lease at lodging facility near Glacier National Park. Fully equipped kitchen and restaurant area. Prime location on US Highway 2, 8 miles west of Glacier National Park. Email on or call 406-387-4420 for an informal chat and further info.

  5. Karen Davison Says:

    Good Afternoon. I’m inquiring about how to be listed among employers for your graduates of the cooking school. Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp would like to partner with your college to provide an opportunity for one of your students or graduates. Every year from the first week of June until the first week of September, the Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp in Rollins Montana on the beautiful shores of Flathead Lake hosts multiple week-long camps. The Camp’s capacity is 180. We cook three meals a day and provide healthy nutritious snacks. I hire our three cooks and four-five cook’s assistants and three dishwashers. As Camp Manager and person in charge of facilities for the past three years I observed our Chefs create menus from scratch and food that was more appetizing than the typical camp meal of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. In fact, last year’s statistics show we are serving up to 30% special diet foods for campers that are gluten free, vegan, or dairy-free.

    Our camp’s website is . We host both Methodist and non-Methodist camps, including the Missoula Children’s Theater, Flathead Lake Music Camp, Wilderness Dance Camp – the Oneness Project, and Tamarack Grief Support Camp. We host local Montana campers and International campers from as far away as China.Our mission is to create an environment where Christian camping can occur in a natural surrounding.

    Below is the job description for CHEF. We have two positions open. Last year, one Chef from the Culinary Institute of Denver assisted our camp with her expertise in culinary skills. We were also honored to have a Chef that had graduated from Anchorage, Alaska Culinary school. Both came to us for the summer and then we assisted Emily with employment in Bigfork Montana for a full time year round job and Justin’s return to Alaska. We hope this year, you might have a graduate or student that would like to work at our camp.

    Head Cook

    Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp
    Rollins, Montana

    Work and Live on the Beautiful Lake All Summer!

    Reports To: Camp Manager, Karen Davison
    (406)-844-3483) or
    Timeframe: Summer 2014 (June 3 – Labor Day)

    Work Hours: Either AM or PM shift. YOU are the Culinary Leadership for all kitchen staff. Morning shift 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. OR afternoon shift noon to 8 p.m. Schedule is subject to change. As a general practice, no more than 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week will be scheduled.

    Job Description:
    Food service and hospitality staff are primary to the quality of Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp. The Camp serves 3 meals a day, 5-7 days each week. We strive for quality while keeping costs reasonable. Groups vary in size from 50-130 people, changing from week to week. Our guest groups range from families and adults to teens, youth and children. Summer staff usually works either morning (6am – 2pm) or afternoon (12 noon – 8 pm) shift. It is the responsibility of all Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp employees to help provide a positive, safe experience for all of the Camp’s guests and campers. Part of providing Christian hospitality is through our excellent food service. Attention to the “little things” and friendly attitude make a great difference to the spirit of Camp.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
    • Primary responsibility is to prepare and serve tasty, healthy, adequately-portioned meals on time with minimal waste, responding to special dietary needs and guest’s requests.
    • Maintain kitchen equipment and food inventory, communicating needs to Camp Manager in a timely way.
    • Coordinate food orders on a bi-weekly basis with the Camp Manager; receive deliveries.
    • Coordinate with Camp Manager and Camp Host food inventory, ordering, and scheduling. Closely maintain food waste-management.
    • Use creativity and available resources to make improvements and maintain a standard of excellence in the Camp’s food service operation.
    • Maintain above-average standards for safety and cleanliness in the kitchen and dining hall, and inspire other staff to follow this example.
    • Delegate responsibilities to kitchen staff during your shift in a friendly and fair manner.
    • Assist in maintaining a positive and professional atmosphere in the Camp’s food service area.
    • Experience cooking special foods for persons requiring gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan meals.

    • All candidates will complete a basic background check.
    • Commercial or large quantity or food service experience.
    • Knowledge of preparing special diets foods is preferred.
    • Complete ServSafe or other food safety training, be able to learn this information and demonstrate knowledge of food safety.
    • Complete First Aid and CPR training.
    • Ability to anticipate food order needs, adapt recipes, and train others to safely operate all kitchen tools and equipment.
    • Good communication skills, a warm, Christian manner, a mature ability to listen and respond to problems that may arise, attentiveness to detail, and a sense of humor.

    Physical Demands:
    Must have the ability to lift up to 30 pounds, and team-lift heavier items, and be on your feet for 8 hours at a time. Must have hand and finger dexterity to operate kitchen equipment and utensils.

    Work Environment:
    Camp maintains a commercial kitchen with a modern dining hall. Housing and meals are provided on site for employees.

    Special Requirements:
    Camp has a no alcohol, no drug (including medical marijuana, and bully-free environment. There is a very limited designated smoking area.

    Dress Code:
    Clothing as required to maintain food safety and employee safety. Other requirements are detailed in the employee handbook.

  6. Gina Says:

    Looking for someone to take a lead role in management of a European style pizzeria in Gardiner for the summer 2015. Housing is provided. Call Gina 406-848-9178

  7. Emily Wallis- KBARL Says:

    We are looking for a chef/culinary student from June, July, and August to join our team at the KBARL. Contact Emily at 314-803-9367 if you have any interest. Thanks

  8. Katelin Says:

    I am only 16 years old but I am looking into different colleges in Montana. I am currently a junior at Fleming County High School located in Kentucky. How much would it cost for classes for people out of state? I am looking to go into baking and pastry arts.

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