Georgia stands on its own two feet against any southern food, and its current culinary awareness promotes an understanding of food that detours from well-established southern traditions. Sure, shrimp and grits is a classic Georgia dish but barbeque is equally as famous as well as Spanish tapas and nouvelle French food, soul food like collard greens and black-eyed peas and cornbread and biscuits. But to limit Georgia to these typical foods is to limit your own understanding of this state. The agricultural presence in the state boasts strong poultry, dairy and vegetable sectors that provide Georgia chefs with plenty of fresh ingredients to use.
Georgia is full of educational opportunities at cooking schools, universities and community colleges and jobs are available where ever food is prepared. In addition to all types of restaurants, other venues for culinary students after graduation include research and development, food artistry, the hospitality industry, large corporations, educational institutions, casinos, cruise ships, hospitals and assisted living facilities. There are nearly two-dozen accredited culinary schools throughout the state and its population of 10 million people. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) statewide bakers and pastry workers statewide receive an annual wage of about $22,500, of the 5,000 people employed in this segment. Food Service Managers, about 8,200 of them, can pocket $45,500. Interestingly both short order cooks and cooks in institutional/cafeteria segments are lower on the totem pole earning just under $21,000, but these positions are excellent stepping-stones.
From established schools like Le Cordon Blue, to the Atlanta Collaborative Kitchen, to the Savannah Technical College, there are all kinds of schools to fit your needs. You can find a variety of degrees offered including Certified Culinarian, Certified Sous Chef, Certified Chef de Cuisine, Certified Executive Chef, Certified Master Chef, and Personal Certified Chef. Additionally you can find culinary arts associate degrees; culinary baking and pastry arts associate degrees, diplomas in both these fields, and even technical certificates of credit for food production workers.
Where Georgia succeeds as a culinary capital is that there is a deep love of food, and not merely up and coming trends, but a reverence for old style cooking, even with new twists.
Georgia chefs can also test their creativity with interpretations of the classics, but there is a welcome attitude for innovative cuisine and an expectation that traditional ingredients, like okra, cornbread, barbecue, fried chicken and catfish, and even fried green tomatoes, and the Georgia peach, can get new life from well trained and experienced chefs and cooks.
List of Culinary Schools in Georgia by City
Gwinnett Technical College
Chattahoochee Technical College
Southern Crescent Technical College
Atlanta Technical College
The Art Institute of Atlanta
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-Atlanta
Augusta Technical College
Columbus Technical College
South Georgia Technical College
Central Georgia Technical College
Warner Robins GA
Savannah Technical College
Culinary Schools in Other Cities
Albany Technical College
Coastal Pines Technical College
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Ogeechee Technical College
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Athens Technical College
West Georgia Technical College
North Georgia Technical College