Maine Culinary Schools
The northernmost state in the entire country, Maine may well be the culinary centerpiece of New England. Known for its fresh seafood, particularly lobster, diners can go to a variety of different restaurants in Maine and get fresh, delicious seafood. While there are only 1.3 million people in Maine, there are lots more people during tourist season.
The cost of living in Maine is only 5% above the national average, making it one of the more affordable states in New England. Many of the finest restaurants in Maine are located in urban centers like Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor. Some of the highest-rated restaurants in Maine are 76 Pleasant St, the Black Birch, and Calola's.
There are five highly-acclaimed culinary programs in Maine, dispersed evenly throughout the state. With an average tuition cost of $3,434, it can be very affordable to get your culinary degree or certificate. Tuition can be even more inexpensive with the average scholarship award of $930. Maine schools have an average acceptance rate of 53%, so make sure to submit the strongest application you can.
Maine schools offer a mix of Associate's degree programs and certificate programs. An Associate's degree is the more comprehensive option, since it covers two years of full-time coursework. A certificate can be earned in one year or less, so it may be less in-depth than a degree program. You can look at the courses involved in each type of program and decide which one is best for you.
There are a few main components to any culinary program: food preparation, food safety, and food presentation. Food preparation involves the actual prep work and cooking involved with food. You may learn skills that seem simple, such as how to cut and prep vegetables and how to filet different cuts of beef.
Food safety is an incredibly important part of any culinary program. You can expect to learn how to store food, state regulations that dictate how you can serve food, and what you need to do to keep your customers from getting sick.
Food presentation is the very important skill of preparing food in an aesthetically appealing way. It is said that you eat with your eyes first, and food presentation plays to that.
In Maine, there are a variety of career paths you can pursue as a new chef. The most popular option may be restaurant work, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants. Other popular options include working for a catering company or working as a private chef. These careers may require more varied hours than restaurant work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also indicate that 13% of chefs are self-employed. You can take advantage of this opportunity by opening a catering company or restaurant of your own.
Some of the largest culinary employers in Maine include Panda Restaurant Group, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Chipotle.
Maine is one of many states in the country that does not have any licensing requirements for chefs and cooks. This means that you don't have to worry about getting licensed or certified before starting your culinary career. While certification is not required, you may choose to pursue American Culinary Federation certification. This optional certification can prove your skills to potential employers.
Salaries for chefs depend on a variety of factors, including your experience level and how much seniority you have. In general, executive chefs in restaurants are paid the highest salaries. They are followed by sous chefs and line chefs.
In general, the demand for chefs and cooks is increasing. The demand for cooks is expected to increase by 9% between 2010 and 2020, leading to 150 new jobs per year in that time frame (O*Net, 2010). Job openings for chefs are not expected to change significantly in that time frame.