Start Your Culinary Education at a Tennessee College

If you want to become a part of the hospitality industry, what better place to get your education than a state that’s known for its hospitality? Tennessee is known for its rich Southern traditions and its hearty cuisine. New York and L.A. may be known for pushing the edge and setting trends on their menus, but Tennessee kitchens offer rich, home-cooked style steeped in basic skills and techniques.

Starting your Education

The best way to learn is to do, and the best programs are going to emphasize hands-on training. Quality programs should offer a professional student run kitchen that is fully stocked and fully equipped. Often, these programs will let students try out their skills on the public through gourmet-dinner nights, competitions and other events. Top programs will also be run by experienced chefs and professors, and will offer support for job placement and training through a career-services office or through help in finding internships and apprenticeships. Any experience earned in school will only help to find better jobs and command higher salaries at graduation.
Memphis Skyline.
Getting into the program usually only requires completion of high school or a GED, though some more competitive program may test for knowledge of basic kitchen and recipe techniques. Any work experience or other training such as attendance at workshops or seminars can also be helpful in getting into a program.

Finishing Your Degree

Tennessee cuisine may be slow cooking, but that doesn’t mean that finishing your degree also has to be a lengthy affair. Most programs can be completed in only two years or less, half the time of a traditional degree. Some programs even have options to finish in a year or less, offering a diploma or other certificate. Part-time programs, night classes and online programs provide even more options for busy professionals.

Online programs can even offer virtual options for would-be chefs, with some video instruction available online. More generally, online programs often complement kitchen work already completed to finish up a degree, or they focus exclusively on hotel and tourism management tracks.

Putting Your Skills to Use

The National Restaurant Association predicts modest job growth across the industry over the next 10 years. Graduates are likely to find a job they love in any of the thousands of restaurants, resorts, schools, and hotels in Tennessee. Typical food industry salaries in Tennessee range according to position, city, and experience. A waiter/waitress will earn an annual average salary of $20,020; a Registered Dietitian earns $55,180; a first-line supervisor will earn about $33,360; a head chef will earn approximately $48,830; and a restaurant cook earns an average salary of around $25,430.

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

Nashville Skyline.
Of course, experience is always key in finding a good position and in commanding higher salaries. Internships and apprenticeships are important for increasing marketability and establishing valuable connections. But statewide food and wine festivals such as the Iron Fork or Wine Over Water also opportunities to rub elbows with local celebrity chefs, as well as to showcase skills through competitions.

Campus-based Schools

Austin Peay State University
601 College Street
Clarksville, TN 37044
Food Technology
CCSACS Accredited

L’ecole Culinaire
1245 N. Germantown Parkway
Cordova, TN 38016
Culinary Arts
THEC Accredited

Lambuth University
705 Lambuth Blvd.
Jackson, TN 38301-5296
SACSCC Accredited

Nashville State Community College
120 White Bridge Rd.
Nashville, TN 37209
Culinary Arts
SACS Accredited

Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road
Knoxville, TN 37933-0990
SACS Accredited

Southwest Tennessee Community College
P.O. Box 780
Memphis, TN 38101-0780
Culinary Arts
Food and Beverage Management
Hotel/Motel Management
CCSACS Accredited

The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institute of Tennessee – Nashville
100 Centerview Drive, Suite 250
Nashville, TN 37214-3439
Culinary Arts
Culinary Arts – Baking and Pastry
Culinary Arts Management
CCSACS & ACF Accredited

University of Memphis
3720 Alumni Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
Hospitality and Resort Management
SACS Accredited

University of Tennessee
719 Andy Holt Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0170
Food Science and Technology
Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management
CCSACS Accredited

Volunteer State Community College
1480 Nashville Pike
Gallatin, TN 37066
Hotel and Restaurant Management
CCSACS Accredited

Online-based Instruction Available Nationwide

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

One Response to “Start Your Culinary Education at a Tennessee College”

  1. Bob LaPointe Says:

    Looking to tweak my talent & improve my skills. I enjoy cooking as a young teen I worked as a chiefs assistant. Now that I’m retired I would really enjoy fine tuning my passion

Have Questions or Feedback?