Top 5 Culinary Schools in the State of Florida

Best Cooking Schools in Florida

The Sunshine State has a wide variety of quality culinary institutes to choose from. You can enjoy the warm climate and proximity to some of the best beaches in America. The cost of living in the state of Florida is generally low, so housing can be very affordable depending on location. The price of tuition in Florida is generally low, although tuition for private institutions varies greatly.

As one of the largest and most visited states, Florida has some of the top locations in the south for fine dining. Upon graduating from one of Florida’s many culinary schools, you will have a very wide range of options to apply to. You’ll also have the benefit of already being located near many theme parks including Disney World, Universal Studies, and Six Flags. Florida is also home to the country’s highest concentration of swimming holes as well as the Florida Everglades.

Florida is home to a mix of styles ranging from soul food and deep south favorites, to Cuban and “Floribbean” dishes. As can be expected, many local recipes incorporate seafood and fish.

Below is a list of the top culinary schools in Florida and a brief summary of each of them. These are the best options that Florida has to offer aspiring chefs.

Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts

Keiser University Center for Culinary ArtsHaving recently taken a step up from vocational college to fully accredited university, Keiser University (formally known as Keiser College) has state of the art facilities in all three of its campuses, Tallahassee, Melbourne, and Sarasota. Keiser is a member of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), it’s accredited by the American Culinary Federation and is a highly respected name in the Florida culinary community. Keiser has garnered much acclaim nationwide for its thoroughness and quality of instruction. It’s widely considered to be one of the best culinary institutes in America.

Offering a 72 credit hour course in 18 months, this intensive program is designed to condition each student for the workplace by maximizing class time. The program also includes a 12 credit hour externship for hands on experience outside of the classroom. With day or night class schedules available and small class sizes, Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts is an excellent choice.

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community CollegeLocated in Tampa, Hillsborough Community College offers a wide selection of programs for not just aspiring chefs but also business positions in the culinary industry. With state of the art facilities and experienced educators, HCC has been accredited with exemplary status by the American Culinary Federation. HCC also has its own onsite training restaurant, the Gourmet Room, which is operated by Culinary, Hospitality, and Restaurant Management trainees. It serves lunch and dinner on select days of the week and hosts special events regularly.

Culinary students at HCC must do five hands-on experience sessions over the course of 16 weeks for a total of 125 hours. With plenty of real life experience integrated into the curriculum and a helpful career center that offers connections to numerous job venues and direct openings, Hillsborough Community College is one of the finest and most comprehensive options available.

AS programs in

  • Culinary Management
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Restaurant Management
  • Dietetic Technician

Certificate programs

  • Culinary Arts
  • Event Planning Management
  • Food and Beverage Operations
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Apprentice Certificate

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at JacksonvilleAt Florida State College at Jacksonville, you’ll have the opportunity to gain real hands on experience at the Mallard Room, their on site restaurant. FSCJ has been acclaimed by The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission for its Culinary Management program. For its variety of high quality training and education options, Florida State College at Jacksonville is one of the best cooking schools in the state.

AS degrees in

  • Culinary Management
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management

Certificates in

  • Culinary Arts
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Guest Services Specialist
  • Rooms Division Specialist
  • Commercial Foods

Lincoln Culinary Institute

Lincoln Culinary InstituteThe Lincoln Culinary Institute is located in West Palm Beach, but also has a campus in Shelton, CT. The Lincoln Culinary Institute has an excellent International Baking and Pastry program, which is run by expert bakers with years of professional experience. The Culinary Arts certificate program is also led by highly experienced and knowledgeable chefs with an effective approach to culinary instruction. An onsite café, CP Express, provides hands on experience to supplement coursework.

AS degrees in

  • Culinary Arts
  • International Baking and Pastry

BS Degree in

  • Culinary Management

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Ft. LauderdaleFocusing on international cuisines, the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale is an excellent place to gain skills in a number of areas. Curriculum includes Latin, Asian, African, European, and local cooking traditions and techniques. The institute makes it a point to simulate the work environment as realistically as possible. Students learn topics related to the culinary industry as well as thorough cooking instruction for qualified experts.

The campus’s highly regarded restaurant run by trainees, Chef’s Palette Café and Grill, offers students the opportunity to gain firsthand experience. In six 11 week semesters, you can learn to be a pastry chef, assistant pastry chef, cake decorator, or baker.

AS Degree in

  • Baking and Pastry
  • Culinary Arts

BS in

  • Culinary Management
  • Culinary Arts Diploma
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