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One of the top agricultural states in the country, Oklahoma supports the sustainable food movement and shows it through the avid use of local ingredients in restaurants and by cooks across the state. This unique approach serves as a great resource for students who are looking to enter culinary programs and support this healthy movement toward all - natural cuisine.
With heavily populated areas in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, combined with a booming tourism sector, this state provides excellent opportunities in the food industry job market. To get started in this market, a culinary education is a great tool. Local community colleges, such as Tulsa Community College and Platt College, offer hospitality programs that teach not only culinary arts but also offer a unique business aspect, setting students up for future success managing or owning their own restaurants. The average salary of an executive chef in Oklahoma is $47,000 - under the national average.
It is a good idea to check out local foodie events to get started networking and help build resources for future jobs. Some of the top-rated events in the area include Tulsa's Oktoberfest and the Frederick's Fantastic Oyster Fry Festival. For aspiring pastry chefs, be sure to check out the Chocolate Festival in Norman or the Stilwell Strawberry Festival. Students should also visit local restaurants and learn from well-known chefs, such as Jeff Denton, the host of the TV show "The Okie Chef."
When starting your culinary career in Oklahoma, check out the local culinary schools to find the right place to get your education.