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Our Insights

What’s Special

Fabulous culinary program; garden and fish farm

The Downside

Limited art and music; few graduates receive Advanced Regents diploma

For students serious about learning to cook, Food and Finance High School offers a hands-on introduction to the restaurant business and food industry. The school, housed in the Park West Educational Complex in Hell’s Kitchen, receives many applicants for each seat.

Students grow fruits, vegetables, fish, shrimp and lobster in labs in the school set up by Cornell University's Cooperative Extension. The students use their homegrown products to make food used for catering special events.

Students have many real-world opportunities to learn about culinary careers through job shadowing experiences, summer jobs and scholarship opportunities. Seniors who have food handlers licenses intern in some 200 of the city’s top restaurants and businesses. After school, students can cook and bake for the school’s catering company or practice for cooking competitions. The school offers students the chance to earn three food-handling certifications (ServSafe, ProStart and NYC Food Handlers), which help students get jobs and count for credit at culinary schools.

Distinguished chefs come talk to students about their careers and give guest cooking lessons on dishes ranging from chicken tinga tamales to fried chicken and pommes dauphine.

In English class, students read Macbeth by Shakespeare and are asked such questions as “How can our study of Shakespeare teach us about ourselves and the world around us?” and “How does power corrupt people?” Teachers use the original text, graphic versions and film clips of Richard III and Macbeth to teach Shakespeare to students, according to the school’s quality review.

Students take at least one year of art and one year of music. The school holds several concerts, dance performances and film showings each year. While there is a designated music room, there is no art room.

Many graduates go on to work in culinary fields, notably Food and Finance alum Lazarus Lynch, a soul food chef who won Food Network’s Chopped competition, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

Although nearly all students graduate on time, only a small percentage receive an Advanced Regents diploma. Some graduates go on to attend culinary schools like the Culinary Institute of America.

Student wear uniforms of black or khaki bottoms and blue or white polos emblazoned with the school's name and matching chef's dress in the kitchen. Everyone must pass through a metal detector on the way in. Some students have lockers. No one may leave the building for lunch.

All schools on the Park West campus have access to shared cafeterias, gyms, auditorium and library. Students may take part in extracurricular activities such as dance or drama within Food and Finance, and may also join clubs from other schools within the complex, which include Manhattan Bridges High SchoolFacing History High School, The Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction and the High School of Hospitality Management. The campus also shares PSAL sports teams that students from any school may join.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: About 20 percent of students receive special education services. Special needs students may participate in the senior internship program and take AP classes. Some academic and cooking classes are co-taught, meaning those classes have two instructors, one certified in special education. The Park West building is wheelchair accessible. (Isabel Corpus, web reports and interview, June 2018)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 615


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report, and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science



Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by Visit Understanding FAFSA for help with the FAFSA and financial aid.
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Food and Finance High School (M34X)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Focuses on Culinary Arts in cooking and baking and the financial aspects related to the industry.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, AP Statistics, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Chemistry (Advanced Science), Other (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


525 West 50Th Street
Manhattan NY 10019

Trains: C Line, E Line to 50th St

Buses: M104, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34A-SBS, M42, M50, M57


Principal: Erika Hurtado

Parent Coordinator: Juan Lopez


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Park West Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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