Indiana Culinary Schools
Although Indiana is best known for its capital city of Indianapolis, there is lot to enjoy about this state of 6.5 million people. Located near states that focus on farming, chefs in this state have access to the best fresh produce and meat that the Midwest has to offer. In addition to Indianapolis, Indiana is home to large cities like Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend.
Because of Indiana's access to great meat and produce, there are tons of great restaurants in the state. Some of the highest ranked restaurants in Indiana are Napolese, St. Elmo Steak House, and Indigo Duck.
Indiana is home to six culinary schools, most of which are located in or near Indiana. The average tuition cost in Indiana is $11,535, although many schools have much lower tuition costs. The average scholarship award in Indiana is $3,314.
As you prepare to start your culinary career, think about what type of degree you want to earn. A certificate is the shorter option; you can typically earn this degree in one year or less. An Associate's degree may be more widely accepted by employers, and it requires two years of full-time study.
Culinary courses aim to educate you in a few main subjects: food preparation, food safety, and time management. Food preparation includes the practical aspects of preparing food; you'll start out with these early on, since you need to develop speed and precision in order to work in a restaurant. Food safety ensures that you store and prepare food in a manner that is safe for human consumption. Programs tend to put a lot of emphasis in this area, since improper food safety techniques can lead to a restaurant being shut down.
At each stage of your education, you may be assessed and evaluated in different ways. You may have to demonstrate your food preparation skills with practical tests, while safety information may be tested by a written exam.
There are many ways you can use a culinary certificate or degree, making it one of the most versatile options available. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants, they also note that a significant proportion of chefs are self-employed. As a new graduate, you may find entry level work as a line chef or prep chef.
Some of the most important culinary employers in Indiana include Taher, Au Bon Pain, and Patrice & Associates. If you are ready to strike out on your own, you may find success as a restaurant owner or independent caterer.
Indiana is one of many states in the country that does not have any licensure or certification requirements in place for cooks and chefs. This means that your employers may give greater weight to your education and experience when deciding whether or not to hire you.
If you want to give prospective employers an idea of your skills, you may consider earning American Culinary Federation certification. You have to pick an area and then pass comprehensive tests in that area to get your certificate.
There are many different variables that affect a chef's salary in Indiana. Regardless of your level of experience, you will likely start out as a line chef. Your earning potential can increase as you move through the ranks of line chef, specialized chef, sous chef, and executive chef.
The job outlook for cooks and chefs in Indiana is almost completely in line with the national average. O*Net predicts that the demand for restaurant cooks will increase by 13% between 2010 and 2020, which is the same as the national average. Job openings for chefs are expected to stay the same in the time frame (O*Net, 2010).