Growth Trends for Related Jobs

The History of the Culinary Arts Industry

careertrend article image
Tanes Ngamsom/iStock/GettyImages

Before culinary schools were created, professional cooks acted as the teachers for individual students, which provided an atmosphere for chefs to learn in apprenticeship programs. The first school was founded and dedicated to culinary art in the late 1800s. Not until the 1940s did the concept of culinary education make it to mass audiences. Enrollment in culinary schools increased after the post-war period due to a booming economy and has remained popular ever since.

Early Culinary Education

Apprenticeship was first used when one cook wanted to learn more about the tricks of the trade. The first culinary arts instruction in a classroom took place at Boston Cooking School. Fannie Farmer attended the school first as a student and then later became the instructor and principal of the school in 1877. She then published the Boston Cooking School Cookbook in 1896, and began teaching the importance of using exact measurements while cooking.

American Culinary Federation

The American Culinary Federation was founded in 1929 and became an assemblage of a United States Chef Club. The mission of the federation was to make a positive difference for culinary students through education, apprenticeship and certifications. That mission has remained the same over the years.

Televised Culinary Arts and Schools

James Beard, began teaching culinary arts through television broadcasts in 1946. Yale University provided the New Haven Restaurant Institute in 1946, which was later renamed in 1951 to the Culinary Institute of America. It eventually relocated to Hyde Park in New York and added an additional campus in California. The second culinary school, Johnson & Wales University, opened its College of Culinary Arts in 1973.

American Culinary Federation Educational Institute

The American Culinary Federation Educational Institute began coordinating apprenticeship programs in 1976 with the assistance of a government grant. Since then it has grown to be the seventh largest apprenticeship program in the United States providing culinary students with the opportunity to participate in a three-year program that provides a paid on-the-job experience.

Career Paths

Those who seek the culinary arts career path typically become involved in catering, work as a chef or restaurant manager. Caterers tend to prepare food for parties, weddings and corporate gatherings and have knowledge in the food industry. A chef typically is required to prepare a menu and manage the kitchen staff. Restaurant Managers oversee and coordinate restaurant functions.


Meghan McCoy began her journalism career in 2007, covering topics such as education, fitness entertainment and the arts. Her articles have appeared in "The Scottsdale Times," "The Apache Junction News," "The Cape Coral Daily Breeze" and "Charlotte Woman." McCoy received a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in mass Communication and sociology from Arizona State University.

Photo Credits

Tanes Ngamsom/iStock/GettyImages