Many opportunities exist in the field of culinary careers. From pastry chef to executive chef and sushi chef to personal chef, the possibilities in food service are endless. In order to earn the title of chef, individuals must obtain an education in culinary arts. With sufficient training and experience, students gather knowledge and experience that can potentially launch them to the status of celebrity chef.
The explosion of cooking shows has ignited a growing interest in culinary careers. Shows such as ‘The Next Food Network Star’ provide ordinary people with the chance to showcase their talents and compete to earn their own TV series.
Executive chef, Gordon Ramsay hosts Hell’s Kitchen in an attempt to find chefs to manage world-class restaurants. Contestants range from prep chefs to Sous chefs and executive chefs to catering chefs as they compete in a highly charged environment where Ramsay rants, raves, and frequently tell competitors to “piss off.”
But, what if chefs aren’t looking for celebrity status nor have no desire to work for tyrannical chefs such as Ramsay? Plenty of options exist. Every restaurant needs a chef. So do hospitals, nursing homes, country clubs, resorts, caterers, bakeries and hotels.
The first step to determine which type of culinary career is best suited is to know your cooking passion. Do you love to bake? If so, consider a career as a pastry chef. Do you enjoy creating menus and preparing a variety of foods, but don’t want the responsibility of managing a kitchen staff? If so, you might be suited as a Sous chef. Do you love all facets of cooking and possess the ability to multi-task and manage people? If so, you might want to strive for the position of Executive chef.
Education requirements vary depending on the type of chef you want to be. Those who want to work in the field of catering or as a personal chef might be able to achieve their goals by obtaining a cooking diploma or certificate.
One of the most popular culinary diploma programs is offered through Le Cordon Bleu. Students can obtain degrees in cuisine and patisserie by attending classes within the US or overseas. International campuses include Tokyo, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Paris, Seoul, Ottawa and Kobe.
Le Cordon Bleu diploma culinary programs can be completed in less than a year and provide an overview of food safety, basic cooking skills, kitchen operations, and commercial cookery.
Associates degrees are two year culinary programs that provide students with essential kitchen skills such as menu development, food safety, cooking techniques, food preparation and presentation, along with knife and kitchen equipment skills.
Obtaining a culinary associates degree can help students land a job at upscale restaurants, hotels, bakeries and caterers. On average, chefs with Associates degrees earn $30,000 to $50,000 per year.
Earning a Bachelor’s degree requires four years of intense culinary education. Students learn about all types of cuisine and cooking styles, menu development, food sanitation, cutlery and kitchen equipment techniques, how to select and purchase ingredients, inventory control, hospitality and restaurant management.
Bachelor degree programs are available for culinary arts or bakery and pastry arts. Culinary arts are taught at community colleges, vocational and technical schools, liberal arts colleges, and culinary schools such as Le Cordon Bleu, French Culinary Institute, and Kitchen Academy; a branch of the California School of Culinary Arts.
Chefs that desire to work in management positions should strive to obtain a Masters degree in culinary arts. Masters degree programs encompass nutrition and food science, human resource management, quality improvement, cost control, and financial and growth strategies.
A culinary Masters degree can help chefs obtain employment in high-end resorts and hotels. The average salary for Executive Chefs with a Masters degree ranges between $50,000 and $80,000 per year.
Whether you want to work as a Sous Chef or obtain the status of celebrity chef, education is the key to achieving your goals. One of the most trusted sources for locating information about chef careers and culinary schools is CulinarySchools.org.
Visitors can locate U.S. and International culinary training, compare culinary degrees, obtain detailed information on types of chefs, compare salaries, and obtain job-hunting tips.
There has never been a better time to enter the world of culinary careers. The possibilities are endless and the job market is strong. If you have a love of cooking, now is the time to explore available options!