Being a cook doesn’t mean just flipping burgers anymore. Culinary careers experienced massive progress in the past couple of decades, and are rapidly becoming one of the most desirable professions. Beside traditional jobs like chefs, sous chefs, and bakers, numerous other employment opportunities emerged that made cooking one of the top developed industries in the world. Promising job outlook and a ton of benefits made the students line up for culinary schools. If you are a natural-born foodie check out some of the career options in the food industry and see if any of these is right for you.
Traditional Culinary Careers
You’ll always recognize this guy in the kitchen first, wearing a tall hat passionately bossing around. Being a chef means finding inspiration in everyday circumstances, and bringing them to the plate. To be successful, like in any other career, you have to be passionate and, sometimes, a risk-taker. Be brazen to try out unusual spices, locally grown produce, and various food combinations if you want to be seen on the food industry map. There are many ways you can express your creativity, from food trucks to being an executive chef.
If you have a knack for playing with pastry dough and sweet fondue, pastry chef might be a good career move for you. It’s almost a form of art with some real science behind it that requires precision and patience more than in any other profession in the food industry. It takes years, many years, to perfect this form of culinary skill. Culinary schools, like CulinaryLab, can give you a great foundation for future success.
Restaurant and hospitality manager
Managerial positions in the culinary world are aimed towards people who, besides their love for food, have an extraordinary talent for entrepreneurship. Having a successful business in a food-related field takes more than just a good cook. Finding a way to present your work to the customers is sometimes the focal point, regardless of the skills of the chef. This is where restaurant managers come in with their impeccable social skills acting like pathfinders for their eateries. The hospitality manager is just a broader version of the restaurant manager, having to take care of the accommodations of the customers, and not just the restaurant. If you can see yourself managing hotels’ daily activities on all levels, you should consider taking this road.
Food enthusiasts that are always in search of new flavors, willing to combine incompatible ingredients, then you should take on a career of being a food entrepreneur. Fearless masters of diverse flavors put themselves on display to be judged by many all the time. With self-esteem through the roof, capable of taking punches left and right, especially from food critics, they present the pioneers of the food industry. Furthermore, with their marketing skills, they have the ability to present their products to the world. If you have an idea for a new sauce or a dressing, this is your chance to shine.
Research chefs all started as traditional chefs in the restaurant industry. They slowly graduated finding themselves being a part of corporate America and coming up with new, profitable, food combinations for mass production. They are a little bit of everything: scientists, chefs, and business people. Their job is to come up with new flavors that will find their way to the majority of consumers that will generate huge profits for their base companies. On one hand, they are chefs with a passion for cooking, and on the other, they need to suppress their creativity to some degree and adjust to the expectations of the ordinary folk. It’s one of the careers in the industry that is partially inspirational and also highly profitable.
Alternative Culinary Careers
With the food industry booming, many not-so-traditional careers emerged that are closely connected to culinary professions. If you’re up for a unique culinary career, the possibilities are endless.
Does the food taste as good as it looks? For food stylists, that’s not important. The looks of the food presented is the main focus. Sure, it’s probably tasty, but they are selling the visual experience to the end consumers. This is a job for highly creative people with numerous job opportunities, from fast-food commercials to high-end restaurants.
The job title says it all. Needless to say, the most important thing in the restaurant is still the menu. However, customers in recent years have become super-picky, wanting that their night-out be a memorable experience. So, when a pizza joint doesn’t cut it, people search (and pick!) eateries that have inviting atmosphere and subtle lighting, alongside with meal choices. The restaurant designer’s job is to make sure that these demands are fulfilled, acting as a food professional and as an architect. If you have a talent to put together an aesthetically pleasing dining space, and you know your way around the kitchen, this is potentially your dream job.
Breweries used to be a families’ businesses up until recently. Many got interested in brewing their own beer or wine. Even though it takes years of experience and some real science to make a perfect lager, some creative minds jumped right in. It takes some fine-tunes skills and subtle taste to make your brew successful. It’s a life-long career with uncertain results, but if you like experimenting and have enough funds since it can be an expensive start-up, go for it.
A wide range of culinary careers came out recently that are interconnected with various industries, like fresh market managers and urban farmers. It’s a fertile ground for talented and creative people to come to light and be recognized as, not just chefs, but artists. New ideas are born constantly trying to find their way to consumers. It can be an uphill battle, but it’s well worth it. If you still can’t see yourself in the kitchen listening to clacking dishes all day long, there are other possibilities within the culinary world, like food lawyers. Whatever you decide, persistence and bold approach will eventually get you to the top of the food chain.