Whether you want to attend cooking school, become a part of the thriving hospitality business, find the perfect culinary school or dive straight into a career in culinary arts, Illinois is the perfect state for you.
Many people incorrectly believe that the culinary landscape of the state is less than impressive. However, this could not be further from the truth. From the fresh farms growing delicious produce to the modern trends in molecular gastronomy, the Prairie State of Illinois has it all.
There may not be a specific type of culinary style that is used across the entire state, but there are a handful of dishes that are truly unique to different cities in the area.
Chicago deep dish pizza is a quintessential dish attributed to the state. The crust of this style of pizza can be three inches deep, making the dish more like a bowl that a flat pizza. It holds a significant amount of cheese, a layer of meat above the bottom crust and a thick tomato sauce that is attributed specifically to the city of Chicago.
The horseshoe sandwich is a delicious creation that is consumed regularly by citizens living in the center of the state. The open-faced horseshoe sandwich consists of a piece of toast stacked with a hamburger patty, French fries and a thick cheese sauce.
Another city favorite is the Chicago-style hot dog. It features an all beef hot dog on a sesame seed bun and is topped with onions, relish, mustard, a pickle spear and sliced tomatoes.
A new kind of cuisine on the rise is that of molecular gastronomy. This style of cooking is part science and part culinary art. It may involve things like making flavored foams to serve along dishes, flash freezing liquids with nitrogen or using syringes to fill foods with unexpected fillings.
While molecular gastronomy is gaining awareness on both coasts of the United States, Chicago is also a leader in the field thanks to the work of Grant Achatz. Achatz is a leading molecular gastronomist who routinely wins awards ranking him among the best chefs in the world. He works in his Chicago restaurant and is a leading source of culinary knowledge in the state.
Although most of the commonly eaten foods in the Prairie state are typical Midwestern American fare, the city of Chicago in particular has had several major influences from ethnic groups. Greektown is a large portion of the city and is believed to be the location where the flaming cheese dish saganaki was first invented.
To this day hundreds of Greek restaurants can be found throughout the state serving up dishes like shrimp tourkolimano and keftedakia meatballs. Polish favorites like the Maxwell Street Polish dog and the Italian dish shicken vesuvio are two more regional specialties that were created within the state.
Although Iowa is always considered to be the state that produces the most corn in the region, Illinois' corn production typically rivals that of Iowa year after year. In addition, the state grows a large amount of both wheat and soybeans. While the majority of these crops are exported around the country and even the world, they are each also staples to a native diet in the region.
The Midwestern state of Illinois is a diverse and interesting destination. While most of the state is flat farmland there are also a number of cities like Peoria, Springfield and Chicago. Whether you have an interest in American history, urban diversity, agriculture or just delicious food, the Prairie State is a wonderful place to live and visit.
This list also contains online schools that accept students from Illinois.
You can fire up a new career with help from Auguste Escoffier Schools of Culinary Arts . We offer three programs for careers in the culinary industry, including culinary arts, pastry arts, as well as a chef track.
Your creativity is a big part of who you are and where you're going. To take it, and your future, as far as you want, you need an education that's focused on developing your talents and putting you on the path toward the creative career that stirs your imagination.
Get hands-on training with Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America. We offer programs in culinary arts, pastry and baking, and hospitality and restaurant management at campuses across the United States.
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*