Defining a great culinary destination takes many factors into account, and Philadelphia offers some stunning advantages for aspiring chefs: local sources of produce, meats, eggs and cheeses from surrounding countryside farms and a metropolitan clientele that appreciates exciting new culinary innovations. Americans often consign the Philadelphia culinary cheese steak sandwich, a hoagie made from sliced steak and Cheez Whiz. However, slow-roasted pork sandwiches characterize South Philadelphia, and food lovers can find Cuban sandwiches or slow-roasted pork sandwiches with sautéed spinach, slices of provolone cheese and natural au jus.
Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite farmers produce rich local produce and flavorful meats and dairy products that talented chefs transform into creative dishes, and the city offers everything from fresh seafood and falafel to pickled watermelon rinds. Fresh apple ciders, preserves, apple butters and racks of ribs make the Terminal Market a great foodie destination. The converted railway terminal features more than 80 food stands and restaurants offering incredible culinary creations.
The Art Institute of Philadelphia
The Art Institute of Philadelphia offers culinary and baking programs designed to train students for entry-level positions as assistant kitchen managers, line cooks, prep cooks and pastry assistants. School life balances applied arts technologies with practical business techniques and general educations.
- The school offers Culinary Management Bachelor of Science degrees and Associates of Science in Culinary Arts.
- Students can study for a diploma in Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry.
- The school provides assistance for finding housing, maintaining wellness and participating in student clubs and activities.
The School Of Culinary Arts at Yorktown Business Institute
The School of Culinary Arts at Yorktown Business Institute trains students in core competencies as defined by the American Culinary Foundation. Students can train for certifications in nutrition, dining room services, American regional cuisines and international cooking techniques. Graduates qualify for jobs as chefs, sous chefs, cooks, food service managers and restaurant owners.
- Students participate in running a restaurant that is open to the public.
- Six-week externships offer job placements in local tourist and restaurant destinations.
The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College
The school operates four restaurants in a romantic setting of cobblestone paths, terrace dining spots and charming storefronts, capturing the appeal of French villages. Students can compare these restaurants with the real thing because tuition includes a week-long gastronomic tour of France. Students learn the latest culinary techniques and classic skills including menu development, recipe creation, wine selection and human resource management.
Majors include the basics and advanced classes in management techniques:
1. Pastry Arts
2. Culinary Arts
3. Hotel Management
4. Restaurant Management
5. Extended Program of Career Development
Students get hands-on training at four restaurants at the European Village Square in University City, Philadelphia:
- Great Chefs of Philadelphia—This restaurant features cuisine inspired by celebrity chefs.
- The Italian Trattoria — The restaurant showcases casual Italian dining choices and regional pasta specialties.
- The International Bistro — This restaurant resembles a public square with paths, storefronts and terraces.
- The American Heartland — Students learn about the bounty of local food sources, sustainability issues and contemporary approaches to American fare.
JNA Institute of Culinary Arts in Philadelphia
The JNA Institute offers in-person and online courses to qualify for ServSafe® certification, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and recognized by more local, state and federal jurisdictions than any other training or certification program. Students work in a restaurant that serves the public, so they get practical hands-on experience applying their knowledge and culinary skills.
Students Enjoy Metropolitan Advantages with Lower Living Costs
The Philadelphia food scene offers many cooking schools, local breweries, nearby farms and passionate food lovers. The costs of living and training run less than comparable metropolitan areas, and culinary students have easy access to New York City and other East Coast cities. Locally, a thriving tourist industry helps to spotlight the local food industry, and the city offers ethnic restaurants, sidewalk cafés, and creative chef-driven restaurants that feature local artisan breads and Amish cheeses.