15 Best Culinary Schools in Tampa | Cost, Requirements, How to Apply

There are a plethora of Culinary schools in Tampa.

Tampa is the third-largest city in the state of Florida. Due to its rich cultural past and Gulf shoreline, culinary experts and chefs agree that Tampa is a culinary paradise. 

Attending the Culinary schools in Tampa exposes students to the culinary culture that characterizes area cuisine while providing them with the fundamental skills they need to flourish in any market.

Therefore, this article seeks to discuss the Culinary schools in Tampa, outlining the costs, requirements and how to apply.

Are there Culinary Schools in Tampa?

Yes there are Culinary schools in Tampa.

The Culinary schools in Tampa are outlined below;

  • Hillsborough Community College
  • Keiser University centre for Culinary Arts
  • Gulf Coast State College
  • Lincoln Culinary Institute 
  • Sheridan Technical College
  • Lake Technical College
  • McFatter Technical College
  • Suncoast Technical College
  • International Culinary Schools at the Arts institutes
  • Valencia College
  • Dade Culinary Institute 
  • Cozymeal
  • Publix Aprons Cooking Classes
  • Young chefs Academy
  • Sur la Table

How Much Does Culinary Schools Cost in Tampa?

Hillsborough Community College costs a net price of $2,406.

St. Petersburg College’s overall cost is pegged at $2,702

Pinellas Technical College costs $7,733 yearly.

In Erwin Technical Center, the total fees is $12,301.

What are the Requirements for Culinary Schools in Tampa?

The Requirements for Culinary schools in Tampa are a high school diploma or its equivalent, high school GPA,  SAT scores and the payment of an application fee. 

It should be noted that these requirements vary from school to school.

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What are the Best Culinary Schools in Tampa?

1. Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College offers cutting-edge culinary learning for students who desire to work in the restaurant or culinary industries. 

Students can enroll in this top-rated, accredited culinary school either full- or part-time to pursue their degree. 

Also, opportunities for internships give students the work experience they need to succeed in their industry. 

It is worthy to mention that Hillsborough’s hands-on learning environment fosters confidence and makes it the perfect venue for aspiring chefs with little to no prior culinary training. 

Lastly, its graduates are equipped to work as professional chefs or cooks or to run a dining establishment.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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2. Keiser University Center for Culinary Arts

At its campuses at Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tampa, Keiser University provides approved culinary programs for its students.

In a cutting-edge kitchen laboratory, students learn through practical application and real experience.

This esteemed culinary arts school has been accepted as a premier program by the World Association of Chef Societies (WACS). 

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Students can finish this 72-credit program in about 18 months. 

Also, Students can expand their experience and build their professional networks through the program’s 12-credit externship. 

Moreover,graduates are equipped to take on entry-level roles in the culinary arts to showcase their knowledge and skills.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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3. Gulf Coast State College

A two-year program at Gulf Coast State College can lead to a recognized AAS in culinary management (64 credit hours). 

The students complete two practicums—one in a restaurant and the other in the kitchen—as well as coursework in topics like banquet and convention management, food purchasing, and dining room operations. 

They also complete an externship within the stipulated time of their studies.

Twice a week, the student-run John Holley Dining Room serves a la carte lunch and a formal French supper. 

While using their culinary skills to make a range of delicacies, students have the chance to engage with dining guests. 

Furthermore, after completing this recognized program and gaining one year of work experience, graduates are qualified to become Certified Cooks or Certified Pastry Cooks.

This is one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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4. Lincoln Culinary Institute 

The Lincoln Culinary Institute offers culinary education with a global perspective. It is widely recognized as one of the culinary schools in Tampa.

This esteemed culinary institute provides practical instruction in French, Asian, and Mediterranean cooking. 

Also, In a cutting-edge kitchen laboratory outfitted with the most recent appliances and technology, students spend time honing their culinary talents. 

Furthermore, Students explore the science underlying taste, texture, and scent in addition to learning the newest cooking techniques including SousVide and thermal immersion. 

In conclusion , the American Culinary Federation has granted this program accreditation.

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5. Sheridan Technical College

People who enjoy cooking and wish to work in the food service business can enrol in Sheridan Technical College’s culinary certificate program. 

A Culinary Arts Management Degree from this college can be earned by completing the program in less than a year of full-time study. 

Also, the training and instruction that students get combine online, lab, and lecture formats. 

In addition to this, the certificate program at Sheridan is comprehensive and includes instruction in baking and dessert making, entrepreneurship, communication skills, and cost control. 

Lastly, the American Cooking Federation Education Foundation has given this esteemed culinary school the highest level of accreditation.

This makes it one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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6. Lake Technical College

This Culinary College offers the Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts certificate program. 

Prospective students who desire to work in the food service/hospitality industry can enroll in the program, which has been given exceptional status by the American Culinary Federation. 

Furthermore, the program may be finished in less than a year and teaches students the fundamentals of nutrition, monitoring, and cleanliness. 

Finally, by learning about ice carving and how to make exhibit pieces, students get the chance to exercise their creativity.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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7. McFatter Technical College

The American Culinary Federation of US has granted exceptional certification to the 12-month Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts certificate program offered by McFatter Technical College in Florida. 

Students in several categories, including sanitation and nutrition, can obtain the National Commercial Foods Certifications

Students at McFatter participate in interactive culinary lessons where they pick up tips and tricks from knowledgeable instructors. 

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Lectures, films, and online exercises also come in handy to teach students.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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8. Suncoast Technical College

Suncoast Technical College’s Certificate in Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts is certified by the American Culinary Federation and can be finished in less than a year. 

Also, the techniques and abilities needed to produce speciality and unusual dishes are practiced by students in a kitchen lab. 

Furthermore, graduates of the certificate program are eligible to transfer credits toward a higher level of education at Johnson and Wales University, State College of Florida, or University of South Florida.

This college is widely renowned as one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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9. Florida Technical College

A culinary arts diploma program is also available at Florida Technical College and it is one of the best Culinary Schools in Tampa, Florida.

Its hands-on courses cover subjects like kitchen safety and sauces. 

Also, a total of 420 hours in the kitchen, 460 hours of lectures, and 125 hours of an externship are needed to finish the degree, which entails 71 quarter credits. 

In addition, the diploma can usually be earned in just 12 months by the majority of students.

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10. International Culinary Schools at the Arts institutes

This Culinary School is where you want to be whether you are only looking at culinary schools in Tampa or are interested in other states as well. 

The institution teaches amazing culinary arts in various settings throughout various states. 

Programs in baking and pastry, culinary arts, and culinary administration are available at the Art Institute of Tampa. 

Culinary classes in this Institute put a strong emphasis on fostering student’s creativity in the kitchen while teaching them the core abilities they need to succeed in the food service sector. 

Therefore, you will undoubtedly be able to become the chef you’ve always wanted to be with a degree from this globally renowned institution.

This is a good reason why it is one of the beat Culinary schools in Tampa.

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11. Valencia College

The hospitality and culinary curriculum at Valencia College places a strong emphasis on practical training. 

Its students learn everything they need to know to have a wonderful career in the hospitality industry, from menu planning to cooking for huge crowds. 

In addition, students will take part in internships together with on-campus courses in modern teaching kitchens to enable them obtain additional real-world experience. 

Furthermore, Valencia College provides a simple continuing education course, several certificate programs, an associate’s degree program, and more. 

This is also one of the top Culinary Schools in Tampa.

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12. Dade Culinary Institute

Prospective students will have an amazing educational experience at the Dade Culinary Institute that will equip them for success in the real world. 

You can earn an associate’s degree through the Culinary Arts Management program, which will also assist you in finding employment after graduation. 

Notedly, the top-notch amenities at MCI offer the ideal setting for fostering passion for food. 

Also, both traditional culinary techniques and cutting-edge, modern cooking methods will be taught by brilliant instructors.

The program also emphasizes broad culinary knowledge, sustainable foods, and nutrition.

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13. Cozymeal

Through cooking courses, food tours, and culinary team building activities, Cozymeal offers the best culinary experiences by connecting regional customers and businesses with some of the country’s top chefs. 

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Additionally, from family and friend festivities to team building activities to workplace food delivery, consumers and large businesses frequently contact this Culinary School for all of their culinary needs.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best culinary schools in Tampa.

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14. Publix Aprons Cooking Classes

Publix Aprons Cooking Schools aims to provide their clients with a kitchen to learn, practice, and have fun. 

One of their aims is for students to leave their classes feeling inspired, amused, and confident about whatever they are cooking up. 

Also, they feature guest appearances by celebrity chefs, cookbook authors, and local restaurateurs. 

In addition,their classes cover a wide range of cuisines and trendy topics, a baker’s dozen of techniques, unique seasonal topics, and even a baker’s dozen of guest chefs.

This is a good reason why it is one of the best culinary schools in Tampa.

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15. Sur la Table

Sur La Table is one of those culinary schools in Tampa that newcomers and seasoned cooks should consider enrolling with.

With everything from fundamental knife skills to more sophisticated methods, Sur La Table offers an astonishing assortment of items and seminars based on individual preferences. 

Additionally, they offer a range of cooking classes, so whether you’re interested in learning how to bake or use a knife, there’s something for everyone.

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How Much Do Cooks Make in Tampa?

A cook’s average salary is $35,697 yearly in Tampa.

How Do I Become a Cook in Tampa?

There are no standard or traditional steps to becoming a cook in Tampa, but rather there are various ways and the best path may vary from person to person. 

Thus, formal education, apprenticeship, on-the-job training, working your way up the culinary ladder, or a combination of these, are all paths to becoming a cook in Tampa.

Best Paying Culinary Jobs in  Tampa with Salary

A prep cook in Tampa makes an estimated $26,000-34,000 yearly

A marine cook earns $40,000 a year in Tampa.

Line cooks and sous chefs get paid an estimated $30,000 – $37,000 per annum.

A manager of food services role in Tampa collects a salary between $47,000- $65,000 a year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I join a culinary school with no experience?

You can be successful if you go to culinary school without experience. All you have to do is come ready to learn. But if you want to become a chef or cook, it is still a good idea to spend a little time in or around a professional kitchen before committing to culinary school.

What is the difference between a cook and a chef?

Equally, the title ‘chef’ derives from the French phrase Chef de Cuisine, literally meaning ‘Chief of the Kitchen’, whereas ‘cook’ usually refers to a more domestic setting, and historically means someone who was employed to prepare the food in a grand house.

What qualifies you to be called a chef?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, a cook is ‘someone who prepares and cooks food’, while a chef is ‘a skilled and trained cook who works in a hotel or restaurant’. These definitions imply that a chef is a type of cook, but they differ in that a chef has developed learned skills, and has undergone training.

Can you be called a chef without going to culinary school?

Yes. You can become a successful chef without going to culinary school. There is no special degree or certification that makes someone a chef. The title is earned through hard work and experience.

How much is the tuition fee for culinary?

Tuition Rates for Culinary Schools
In addition to traditionally high tuition rates, the costs of culinary schools are also rapidly rising. Currently, culinary school tuition typically costs over $30,000. That’s a steep price for most students to consider, forcing many students to utilize financial aid.


This article has succeeded in analyzing the top culinary schools in Tampa. All that’s left is to start sending in applications to these Culinary schools so your culinary career can kick-off in style!


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