Fabulous culinary program; garden and fish farm
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 School, Facing 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.
ADMISSIONS: Citywide. Students are admitted according to the educational option formula, designed to ensure a mix of students of different abilities. (Isabel Corpus, web reports and interview, June 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
PhysicsNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign LanguageNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Food and Finance High School
Focuses on Culinary Arts in cooking and baking and the financial aspects related to the industry.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP United States History, AP English Literature and Composition
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Contact & Location
525 West 50th Street
Manhattan NY 10019
Trains: , to 50th St
Buses: M104, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34A-SBS, M42, M50, M57, X12, X14, X30, X42
This school shares the Park West Educational Campus with four other schools