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Culinary Career Options

Updated on March 12, 2011

Would you like to apply your passion for cooking into a career? Why not pursue a career in the culinary arts field? There are many employment opportunities for people who enjoy cooking and who want to work in this profession.

Culinary Arts Employment Options

Cook Jobs - There are opportunities for people to work as cooks in all types of dining establishments, including fast food, diners, casual dining establishments, schools, hospitals, and many other types of businesses that prepare and serve food. Cooks are responsible for preparing food to serve to customers. In order to hold this type of job, you must have strong cooking skills and be able to follow many types of recipes accurately.

Chef Careers – Fine dining restaurants, private clubs, hotels, and other upscale foodservice operations employ chefs instead of or in addition to cooks. Professional chefs are responsible for overseeing cooks and other members of the kitchen staff at the facilities where they work. They also prepare food, select and develop recipes, handle purchasing and inventory duties, and various other related tasks. Some chefs specialize in a certain type of dish. For example, people who particularly enjoy baking and preparing desserts often seek opportunities to work as a pastry chef. If you would rather work as a chef than a cook, you'll need to complete a formal culinary arts training program. Contact the community colleges and career training centers near your home to find out what type of chef career training options are available in your area.

Catering Jobs – If you enjoy preparing food but are more interested in working special events than being a staff member in a dining establishment, you may want to consider going to work for a catering company. Caterers fulfill many of the same functions as cooks and chefs, but instead of preparing individual meals as customers order them, they focus on cooking various dishes for parties, weddings, business meetings, and other types of special events.

Food Preparation Management Positions – Every food service operation has individuals who hold managerial positions. Most food service establishments that have a team of people responsible for food preparation have a head cook or executive chef on staff. This individual is responsible for supervising other staff members responsible for food preparation. He or she typically reports to the general manager. Large organizations may have several managers, each of whom works with a particular team of employees. Managerial duties may be divided by shift or job function.

Other Culinary Arts Career Options

These are just a few of the many types of employment opportunities available to individuals interested in working in the culinary field. There are many positions available in this industry for people who want to work in the profession but don't want to cook. For example, there are culinary job opportunities for food servers, dieticians, restaurant managers, and more.


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