For Pennsylvania, food might be second only to the pride of having been one of the original founding states. Combining your passion for cooking and your national pride in delightful Pennsylvania might just be a smart educational move, as the career outlook is as bright as the Liberty Bell was loud.
The Pennsylvania culinary scene: diverse, tasty, and plentiful
When talking about the Pennsylvania food world, we have to start with the Philly cheesesteak. Stunningly simple in its perfection, this meat and cheese sandwich has ignited debates for decades: who serves the best one? With dishes such as chicken potpie, Amish wedding chicken, pickled beets and eggs, potato bread and the sinfully tasty fasnachts (deep-fried potato dough), the Pennsylvania Dutch undoubtedly left their mark on the state's cuisine. We might also have Pennsylvania to thank for our nation's greatest snack food: the potato chip, which started started production here in 1921. Lancaster County is known for its German-style pretzels, and the country's oldest brewery, D. G. Yuengling & Son has been operating in Pottsville since 1829 (yuengling.com). Pittsburgh is a true heaven for meat lovers, as kielbasas and meat-filled pierogies abound. Wash it down with one of the city's famous beers and try a fish fry on Fridays.
Thanks to its agricultural bounty, the state has had a long tradition of farmer's markets. Local growers and foodies alike celebrate the state's locally produced foods, making them easy to find and enjoy (buylocalpa.org). The official state fish, the brook trout, is often prepared by Philly celebrity chefs, such as Marc Vetri at his eponymous restaurant, which only serves his famous tasting menu on Fridays and Saturdays.
Attending culinary school in Pennsylvania
Now, what about career outlook for graduates of culinary schools in Pennsylvania? According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics head cooks and chefs in Pennsylvania earned a mean annual wage of $42,990 in 2011 (bls.gov/oes, 2012). Actually, Pennsylvania is in the top five nationwide in terms of employment in the food and beverage sector, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, data from the National Restaurant Association projects a five percent job growth rate between 2013 and 2023 - that's a total of 26,700 new jobs in the sector (restaurant.org).
Get ready to surround yourself with shiny pots and pans and begin your cooking career at one of Pennsylvania's culinary schools.
"Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_pa.htm#35-0000
"A Look at Pennsylvvania Agriculture," Agriculture in the Classroom, 2010, http://www.agclassroom.org/kids/stats/pennsylvania.pdf
"Pennsylvania restaurant industry at a glance," National Restaurant Association, 2013, http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/State-Statistics/pennsylvania
"Top Celebrity Chef Restaurants In Philadelphia," CBS Philly, November 18, 2010, http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-celebrity-chef-restaurants-in-philadelphia
"Traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Foods," Lancaster County.com, 2013, http://www.welcome-to-lancaster-county.com/pennsylvania-dutch-food.html
For information on Cooking and Culinary Schools in Pennsylvania, please visit any school below and request more information.