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Best Culinary Schools In Maine | Cost, Requirement & How To Apply

Culinary schools in Maine are intentionally located around culinary destinations that have been featured in movies and magazines. The culinary heritage is legendary and the local culture is rampant.


However, before you fill out the application form, it’s a good idea to know which schools are the best and which ones will best help you achieve your career goals.

Be careful when applying to unaccredited Maine culinary schools. You should always make sure that you are enrolling to receive quality training, and any school that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission of the American Culinary Federation is worth considering.

Are There Culinary Schools in Maine? 

YES. Culinary schools in Maine offer a combination of associate degree and certificate programs. An associate’s degree is a more comprehensive option as it covers two years of full-time work.

A certificate can be earned in one year or less, so it can be less in-depth than a degree program. You can view the courses included in each program type and decide which one is best for you.

There are several basic components to any cooking program: food preparation, food safety, and food presentation. Food preparation involves the actual preparation and preparation of food.

You can learn skills that seem simple, like how to cut and cook vegetables and how to fillet different cuts of beef.

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How Much Do Culinary Schools Cost in Maine? 

There are five major culinary programs in Maine, spread evenly across the state. With an average tuition of $3,434, earning a culinary degree or certificate can be very affordable.

Tuition can be even cheaper with an average scholarship of $930. Maine schools have an average acceptance rate of 53%, so make sure you submit your strongest application.

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What Are The Requirements For Culinary Schools In Maine? 

In most culinary schools, a high school diploma is a prerequisite for enrollment in programs. If for any reason you can’t get one, a GED or equivalent can get you access. Read each school’s requirements carefully before applying.

For intensive training, students can apply for a 4-year bachelor’s degree or a 2-year associate’s degree. If you need basic skills to qualify for a job, certified programs are best. It is advisable to choose schools that offer either internships or employment services.

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What Are The Best Culinary Schools In Maine? 

Central Maine Community College – Auburn, Maine

Central Maine Community College’s Culinary Arts Certificate program includes a diverse curriculum with classroom instruction, dining room training, and hands-on training in a state-of-the-art kitchen laboratory.

 Coursework covers areas such as menu planning, sanitation, food preparation, food serving and food storage. Students can gain professional experience while working toward their degree through dining experience.

Graduates are prepared to work as chefs, chef assistants or bakers’ assistants in a variety of culinary settings, including restaurants, schools, hospitals and commercial kitchens.


Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor, Maine

Eastern Maine Community College is a top culinary school that offers both an AAS in Culinary Arts and a Certificate in Food Service. Students study in a modern commercial class kitchen, undergoing individual training.

The AAS degree program includes training in a variety of cuisines, including French, international, and American regional cuisines. Students also study pastry arts, buffet catering, garden nursery and cooking.

Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles, including entry-level and mid-level chef positions and management positions. The certificate program provides training in basic cooking skills and techniques that allow students to succeed in entry-level positions.


York-Wells County Community College, Maine

York County Community College is a top culinary school offering an AAS in Culinary Arts and a new AAS in Baking and Pastry. Students are encouraged to be creative in the kitchen and explore the importance of taste, aroma and presentation in their work.

A state-of-the-art culinary lab doubles as a classroom, giving students access to hands-on instruction every day. Both programs emphasize the use of fresh, local ingredients and teach students the principles of sustainable food sourcing.

Management concepts are taught throughout the program, preparing students for management positions or bakery/restaurant ownership.

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Kennebec Valley Community College-Fairfield, Maine

Kennebec Valley Community College has an AAS in Culinary Arts with a farm-to-table focus. Students learn farming practices, including using sustainable and ethical ingredients in their creations.

Coursework also covers menu planning, sanitation practices, food purchasing, and food service. Most students can complete the program in just two years and are ready to work as chefs in professional kitchens.


Southern Maine Community College – Portland, Maine

Southern Maine Community College has an AAS degree in Culinary Arts that provides students with the opportunity to study abroad. Students can take international study tours in Austria or Italy that count towards their elective credits.

The program’s curriculum covers inventory control, culinary mathematics, business management, principles of accounting, bookkeeping and cooking.

Coursework includes buffet preparation techniques, dining room service, culinary skills, and basic/advanced pastry and baking. The 400-hour externship gives students the opportunity to apply their skills and learning in a real work environment before graduation.


How Much Do Chefs In Maine Earn?

Chefs in Maine can earn $45,680 per year or $21.96 per hour on average. With a shortage of food service workers and the recent boom in tourism, job prospects are good.

Aspiring chefs can work in any of Maine’s cities or can work in small resort communities with an award-winning farm-to-table chef.

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How Do I Become A Chef In Maine?

Education alone may not be enough to land you the job of your dreams, so it’s important to supplement your education with networking and make the most of opportunities offered by your school, local festivals and associations.

Visiting and participating in festivals such as the Yarmouth Clam Festival, Maine Lobster Festival, Annual Chili Festival, Harvest on the Harbor Food and Wine Festival, Maine State Fair and Maine Restaurant Week will increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time, with the right people.

By participating, you can improve your career prospects by interacting with local chefs, meeting clients, learning about opportunities and learning more about local and international cuisine from the best.

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What Are The Best Paying Culinary Arts Jobs in Maine

There are a variety of career paths you can pursue as a new chef in Maine. The most popular option may be working in a restaurant, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 46% of chefs work in restaurants.

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Other popular options include working for a catering company or working as a private chef. These careers may require more varied hours than working in a restaurant.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also indicates that 13% of chefs are self-employed. You can take advantage of this opportunity by opening your own catering company or restaurant.

Some of the largest culinary employers in Maine include Panda Restaurant Group, Longhorn Steakhouse and Chipotle.

Best Culinary Schools In Maine FAQs

Why Study Culinary Arts In Maine?

Given the shortage of hospitality workers in general and food service workers in particular, Maine’s launch of an apprenticeship program means it’s open to new ideas about training and retaining food service workers. Employers may well be willing to help employees obtain American Culinary Federation certification and other continuing education, even though the state has no certification or licensing requirements for its chefs.

Do You Need A Degree To Work As A Chef In Maine?

You don’t need any formal education or training to become a chef in Maine. But with paid apprenticeships and many educational options, from certificate to associate’s and bachelor’s programs, some formal education will certainly make you a more attractive prospect to restaurants looking to hire and can help you move up the ranks faster.

Are Chefs In Demand In Maine?

There are nearly 64,000 restaurant and food service workers in the state, and an additional 4,300 jobs are expected to be created by 2029. The demand for professional chefs is on the rise, and earning a certificate, diploma or degree in culinary arts is a great thing to do. a way to advance on the career ladder.


There are more options for culinary arts and hospitality schools in Maine than you might think. Most of the schools are located in the southern half of the state from Portland to Bangor and south. This is beautiful coastal New England country. If you’ve never had a real Maine lobster, here’s your chance to strap on your bib and tear into that tender meat.

We’ve compiled a list of the 5 best culinary schools in Maine for 2021. A quality culinary school offers a variety of coursework, professional staff, an individual approach, a modern culinary laboratory, and professional development opportunities. Our list includes schools that offer a variety of programs that have a positive reputation in the industry based on our research.

References – Top 5 Best Culinary Schools in Maine 2021



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