Delaware Culinary Schools
With just under one million residents, Delaware is one of the least populated New England states. However, its restaurant scene is still eclectic and active. Delaware is home to popular restaurants like Green Room, Blue Moon, and Lupo di Mare. Restaurants in the state tackle ethnic cuisines, New American cuisine, and local seafood.
Overall, the cost of living in Delaware is 113% higher than the national average. This makes it one of the more affordable New England states to live and work in. Living costs tend to be higher in urban areas like Wilmington and Dover than in rural or suburban areas.
Delaware is home to two culinary schools, both of which are branches of Delaware Technical Community College. The average cost of tuition in this state is $3,242. By itself, that is very affordable. However, there is also an average scholarship award of $863, which can lower your tuition costs even more.
Both schools in Delaware offer a variety of degree and certificate options. Depending on which campus you attend, you can choose between a degree in culinary arts or baking studies and a certificate in cooking or pastry skills. While the field of culinary arts tends to focus on cooking savory foods and meals, the field of pastry arts tends to focus on desserts and baking.
Your culinary program should start out with basic culinary skills. Building a strong foundation of culinary skills early on gives you plenty of time to practice your skills and develop the skill you will need to work in a restaurant kitchen. You will need to know how to take orders, prepare food quickly and accurately, and prioritize different kitchen tasks.
In addition to preparing you for line chef duties, culinary programs give you the skills you need to develop attractive and unique menus. This can be especially beneficial if you ever work as an executive chef or plan on opening your own restaurant.
As a new chef or cook in Delaware, you have plenty of career paths to explore. Some chefs choose to work as a private chef. This involves working only for private clients, perhaps cooking for their parties or for their families on a regular basis. You can also go into catering, which puts you in contact with a variety of clients. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46% of chefs work in restaurants. Sous chef and executive chef positions are typically reserved for candidates with lots of experience, so you may start out as a line chef.
Some of the primary culinary employers in Delaware are DiFebo's Restaurant, Patrice & Associates, and Eat'n Park.
Delaware follows in the footsteps of most New England countries by not requiring certification or licensure for cooks and chefs. Employers are more inclined to look at your job and education history to make hiring decisions, rather than looking for certification.
While it is not required, American Culinary Federation certification can prove your skills to employers. To get your certificate, you must pass a challenging set of written and practical tests.
Salaries for culinary professionals in Delaware vary widely depending on experience and education. However, in general, cooks and chefs in Delaware earn average salaries that are higher than the national average. Cooks in Delaware earn, on average, $22,800 per year (O*Net, 2012). Chefs earn an average salary of $50,500 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Chefs and cooks in Delaware can anticipate a job outlook that is similar to the national average. O*Net predicts that the demand for restaurant cooks will increase by 13% between 2010 and 2020. This is expected to result in approximately 140 new jobs per year across the state (O*Net, 2010).