The Charlotte culinary scene joins classic Southern cooking with new ideas about sustainability, lighter cooking, and healthier eating. This culinary, business, and travel hub features established restaurants that serve fried chicken livers, biscuits, greens cooked with pork fat, and shrimp and grits, but diners can find upscale versions of these classics in this exciting city that hosted the Democratic National Convention of 2012. Culinary students have many opportunities to learn about international and regional cuisines, including the influence of Southern cooking on the American table.
Culinary Programs Offer Diverse Training Options
Charlotte offers something for everyone, from child-cooking classes to full culinary instruction to become master chefs. Community cooking classes, professional training, and job placement in the dynamic local restaurant scene offers students a wealth of opportunities to discover what the Democrats found: a southern city full of charm and dining sophistication.
Culinary Schools and Cooking Classes in Charlotte NC
1. International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Charlotte
This school features locations across the country and offers modern working kitchens and personal instruction in small groups. Students learn about taste, presentation, portion control, international cuisines, and many cooking techniques. Students earn associate degrees in applied science.
2. Johnson & Wales University
A four-year, liberal arts university, the school offers rounded culinary educations respected in the industry among restaurant professionals. Professional instructors offer training in all the latest techniques and teach students how to use equipment safely. Students get comprehensive educations that place them in good shape to become owner/chefs of their own restaurants.
3. Community Culinary School of Charlotte
The unique school offers adults education to advance their culinary careers to more challenging cooking jobs and includes life skills and culinary training.
- Training takes place in a 14-week program with 450 hours of instruction.
- Students learn about food safety, sanitation, and develop advanced culinary skills.
- The school offers job placement help after graduation in the diverse Charlotte restaurant industry.
4. Luna’s Living Kitchen
This school offers special training in organic foods and cooking, emphasizing plant-based foods and sustainability. Living foods include smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and organic foods from local farmers.
Famous Restaurants Offer Choices of Modern and Classic Southern Food
Johnson & Wales University’s relocation from Charleston to Charlotte and the local banking boom have sparked greater interest in fine dining spots, and the community responded with following old and new spots that join classic Southern cuisine with upscale menus.
- The Mimosa Grill uses wood-fired grills to create succulent offerings such as Carolina quail and Niman Ranch pork chops.
- Arpa Wine Bar offers evening tapas to go with wine-tasting of over 50 vintages.
- Emeril Lagasse opened e2 Emeril’s Eatery where guests can dine on oyster shooters, pork shank, and huckleberry upside down cake.
- The uptown Harvest Moon Grille sources all of its ingredients within 100 miles.
- Price’s Chicken Coop has offered Southern cuisine unchanged for 50 years including classic fried chicken, chicken livers, and other Southern dishes.
- Sonoma Modern emphasizes local sourcing and peak-season ingredients for the finest cuisine, and diners can meet suppliers at Matthews Community Farmers Market.