A Career in the Culinary Arts

Are you a person who loves to be in the kitchen? Do you love to cook for friends and family? How about experiment with new dishes? If this is something that you enjoy then a career in culinary arts might be just right for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

A renewed interest in culinary arts has been sparked lately through popular televisions shows and networks. Although not every chef has his or her own show, many do own restaurants. The culinary arts span a large segment of the restaurant industry, from food preps at a salad bar to chefs that own five-star restaurants. Of the almost two million food service positions added over the next ten years, 150,000 will be chefs, head cooks, and other supervisory openings.

More than half and almost all of the corporate/chain restaurants and resorts require a formal education in the culinary arts for these well sough after positions. Chefs do more than just cook food. They are directors of the entire kitchen, determining serving sizes, ingredients and the organization of the kitchen.

Now on to the education aspect of culinary arts. Career training programs , culinary arts schools and independent cooking schools offer a variety of courses towards chef training, from basic training, advanced certificates, and for those already in the profession, to bachelor’s degree programs. More than half of the chefs in the country hold a formal diploma or degree or degree from a university, college, or technical school. Some restaurants and chains have their own training programs, but these programs generally recruit those with experience and/or some formal training. Most programs offer apprenticeships or internships to give students on-the-job training before they graduate.

So, who is right for a career in culinary arts? Chefs need organizational skills, imagination, vision, a keen sense of taste and smell, and must be able to lead teams. Because of the varied backgrounds of food preparation techniques and cooking styles, knowledge of other cultures, traditions, and foreign languages is helpful. A passion for cooking is also key in making a successful chef.

And finally if this is all sounding great to you so far you will want to know what kind of jobs and salaries are possible for culinary arts. An executive chef may be in charge of several kitchens; such as at a casino, or hotel, or simply one restaurant. Personal chefs plan and prepare meals in private homes, order groceries and supplies, tailoring their offerings to their clients’ tastes.

Many of the larger corporate offices have more than one chef, (one for each banquet hall). Research chefs develop recipes for large-scale distributors, restaurant chains, and test new products and equipment for manufacturers. Chefs and head cooks earn an average of $30,680 per year, but that rate can vary based on the industry. Those at full service restaurants earned just over $28,000 while those working at hotels and resorts made about $10,000 more. Working in recreational facilities such as theme parks topped the $40,000 mark.

Now that you know all the details of a career in culinary arts you can decide if it the right direction for you!