Michigan may be the birthplace of the auto industry, Motown and the home of the Detroit Lions, but Michigan also means interesting regional cuisine. Although the state doesn't have any Michelin-ranked restaurants, it is currently exploding with sophisticated and diverse restaurants and restaurateurs exploring both traditional and modern food trends. 

Unlike other established foodie cities, Michigan is not dominated by iconic restaurants. 

Instead, the state, and Detroit in particular, is a place of local haunts and familiar favorites. New restaurants are finding their way into empty buildings throughout economic strapped towns dotting the state landscape, attracting investments from investors eager to help rebuild the region. According to the Michigan Restaurant Association, there are nearly 421,000 individuals across the state, employed at more than 15,900 restaurants. Michigan restaurants produce $14 billion in sales annually and currently 11% of the jobs in Michigan are people employed in restaurants and food service.

According to the National Restaurant Association, the culinary industry in Michigan is still recovering from the economic downturn, meaning the state is experiencing only 5.8% job growth and overall, individual career growth is expected to be somewhat muted into 2022. However, one of the culinary careers projected to have the largest increase, estimated at 7% according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, are food service managers. Statewide the numbers for those in the culinary industry are good: Chefs and head cooks average $43,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Bakers and pastry workers average $25,000 and food service managers average $50,000 annual salary.

There are multiple avenues to becoming a chef: working abroad in culinary hotspots like France; apprentice under a culinary tutor, or attending a culinary school in Michigan. 

There are 16 culinary programs in Michigan and the Culinary Institute of Michigan is one of the largest. For those seeking a culinary degree in the Auto State you can select from one of four subject paths at various Michigan culinary schools: Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinary Management, and Hospitality Management. Training at a culinary institute can prepare any graduate to pursue a variety of careers, including chefs, private chefs, caterers, restaurant managers, pastry chefs, sous chefs and more and the Michigan culinary scene is a viable consideration.

With an economic recovery taking place in Detroit and throughout Michigan, coupled with emerging food scenes in multiple locations across the state is poised to be an attractive possibility for students considering a culinary education. And consider this -  Michigan produces a broader variety of produce than any state in the nation except California. This in no way is meant to indicate that a startup restaurant operation in Michigan would be easy, only that the state has immense possibilities for those willing to work hard and take risks.

Culinary Schools in Michigan by City

Detroit Michigan

Dorsey Business Schools-Roseville

Roseville MI


Dorsey Business Schools-Waterford Pontiac

Pontiac MI


Henry Ford Community College

Dearborn MI


Macomb Community College

Warren MI


Oakland Community College

Bloomfield Hills MI


Schoolcraft College

Livonia MI


The Art Institute of Michigan

Novi MI


Grand Rapids Michigan

Baker College of Muskegon

Muskegon MI - Grand Rapids


Grand Rapids Community College

Grand Rapids MI


Flint Michigan

Mott Community College

Flint MI


Other Cities

Ferris State University

Big Rapids MI


Jackson College

Jackson MI


Monroe County Community College

Monroe MI


Northwestern Michigan College

Traverse City MI


Washtenaw Community College

Ann Arbor MI


Detroit Michigan
Flint Michigan
Grand Rapids Michigan