When we think of culinary school or culinary arts the first thing that comes to our mind is cooking. We think of chefs making fancy dishes and desserts at five-star hotels and restaurants. Learning how to cook is a major part of a culinary arts program, but there is so much more to culinary school than just cooking.
Enrolling in a culinary arts program opens up a whole world of career options. You don’t have to be restricted to sending your resume to restaurants alone. Here are a few of the many options that a culinary arts program provides:
The first and most obvious career path for a culinary arts major is that of a chef. As a chef, one can work in a restaurant, a hotel or even work as a private or executive chef. If you find yourself leaning towards baking, taking up a career as a pastry chef would probably prove to be very rewarding.
When we see pictures of food that make us salivate, in magazines and recipe books we have food stylists to thank for that. These pictures are carefully designed to make the food look more appealing. Presentation of meals in restaurants is also something that a food stylist would do.
It is the job of a food stylist to play around with ingredients to enhance the color of the food, make it look good longer or create special effects while presenting the food. Dry ice is often used to make deserts look appealing or to make dishes look mysterious. Serving food or drinks that are actually on fire is also another trick that is often used. To sum up, the food stylist is concerned with making the food look good. They can be considered the beauticians of the culinary world.
Caterers mainly provide a food service to private events and parties. They take care of everything from making the food, to organizing the seating arrangement, to serving the food. Caterers don’t work alone. They have teams of chefs and a staff of waiters and waitresses at their disposal. The caterer supervises the staff and does his/her best to make sure all the events go off smoothly.
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Nutritionists are more concerned with the diet aspect of food. They scientifically study the impact of each food on the body and offer advice as to which foods should be taken in certain quantities and in combination with other foods. Nutritionists can be hired privately for recovering patients and elderly folk or anyone with dietary restraints. Some also write books on nutrition and publish them.
Cooking instructors usually work as trainers at culinary schools or as private instructors. This is basically a teaching job. So if you love sharing new tricks and recipes, a cooking instructor’s career is just the way to go.
Restaurant Manager/Hospitality Manager
As the name suggests, a restaurant manager manages the workings of a restaurant. He/she is in charge of all the staff including the waiters and the chefs. He/she also deals with any complaints from guests and customers. The main duty of a manager is to assign shifts to his/her staff and monitor schedules.
A hospitality manager has slightly different responsibilities. Hospitality managers usually work in hotels and are concerned with the comfort and well being of the guests. Managers also sometimes conduct training for new employees.
Research chef/food scientist
Research chefs are the people responsible for making pizza flavored bread sticks or Doritos that taste like cheeseburgers. They experiment with food to create new and interesting products and their work is often of a scientific nature.
A food scientist studies the chemical reactions in food. They study food processing, packaging and preservation. They typically work for manufacture laboratories and research facilities.
So there you have it. The numerous career options you can pursue after enrolling in a culinary arts program.