To most people, South Dakota is a hotspot for thrill seekers. It is home to the country’s biggest tourist destinations like the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. This state attracts thousands of visitors, from bikers to curious geologists. With so much traffic going in and out of the state, culinary students have a diverse audience to cook for. If you’ve always wanted to become a chef or work in the food industry, there are great South Dakota cooking schools that can jump start your career.
Finding a Cooking School in South Dakota
Although the state is not flooded with culinary schools, it does boast a few that can provide exceptional training. The most prominent South Dakota cooking schools are universities, which offer comprehensive programs. You can enroll for a 4-year bachelor or 2-year associate degrees. The benefit of degrees is that you are educated on a variety of subjects, including nutrition, food technology and hospitality management.
On the other hand, if you cannot afford to earn a degree financially or time-wise, you can always apply for a more technical program. Technical skill programs are shorter and can equip you with the kitchen skills you need to start working in months. Students can train in various areas, like sanitation, food service and food preparation.
Regardless of the South Dakota cooking schools you choose, ensure that they have necessary facilities to propel your career. Good schools often have job placement services, ongoing career support and kitchen facilities where you can sharpen your culinary skills.
South Dakota Local Scene and Cuisine
South Dakota does not have a set preference for specific cuisines and tastes. This is an advantage for culinary students, because it allows you to create and experiment with dishes. Whether you are a meat enthusiast or love working with fresh ingredients, aspiring chefs are free to set their own trends and test them on an eager, adventurous audience.
To improve your odds of landing a great position, make time to meet the local chefs and restaurant owners in as many establishments as possible. You should also aim to attend the food festivals and take part in local cooking contests. Local events and festivals include:
- The Festival of Nations
- The Taste of Brookings
Job Opportunities in South Dakota
In addition to education, hands-on experience is valuable to employers in this state. This is why you should take advantage of any externships, internships, volunteer jobs, contests and apprenticeships offers at South Dakota cooking schools. It is also wise to join the American Culinary Federation, which provides information and resources to new graduates.
The best place to look for culinary employment opportunities is in the larger cities of the state. Not only do these cities invite travelling visitors, but they are also populated by local residents. Restaurants, hotels, casinos and other hospitality establishments in these areas have a solid customer base and steady job opportunities.
Best South Dakota Cooking Schools
- National American University: combines culinary programs with business training
- Black Hills State University
- South Dakota State University in Brookings
- Sinte Gleska University
- Mitchell Technical Institute: offers a variety of qualification including degrees, certificates, diplomas and short courses