Want to learn how to become a chef & get professional training at a great culinary school?
There are only a few steps involved to become a great chef – and our site is here to help you along the way, not only to some training but to a great culinary career. In general, there are four main venues that culinary arts graduates work in. When you want to become a chef, it’s important to keep in mind that these are the places you’ll most likely get work.
Restaurants – Working in restaurants is exhausting, often thankless work. The key to success here is to be organized, able to deal with crisis situations and willing to work for little or no money while on your way. Pros: Creativity is often encouraged, especially in independent, fine-dining restaurants.
You learn a lot about food, organization, and cleanliness quickly, as most restaurants with up to 75 seats have a kitchen about the size of yours at home. Cons: This is not big money unless you own it. Even then, you might need to work about 60-80 hours a week for it to pay off. Check out these culinary arts programs to get started right away.
Hotels – Whether working in the restaurant kitchen or the catering end or both, you have to be willing to put up with temperamental chefs and customers even more finicky than in restaurants. Be ready to sacrifice your pride and start at the bottom. Pros: Learning is maximized here, and many hotels are union. You can get a decent wage and even benefits.
If you’re in a hotel chain, you often get discounts at the other locations. Cons: The downside of unions is that promotions are often based on time spent rather than talent … so, if you’re good, it’s difficult to rise as fast as you might like.
Sounds exciting, huh? We think so, too. Read about some great programs here to get you started on your hospitality career!
Institutions – Here we’re talking about hospitals and big companies that have cafeteria contracts with huge office buildings and the like. They are most often unionized (see hotels) but rarely do anything exciting. Pros: 9-5, M-F. Cons: It’s just a job.
Institutional Cooking might not be glamorous, but the benefits can be great. Think about it. Look here for degrees that will get you in the door for these jobs.
Catering – Catering is probably the wackiest cooking job you’ll ever have. You’ll be doing everything from weddings to office parties, events big and small. You may be barbecuing right out there with the clients, working on a truck in the film industry, or creating a lifetime memorable event for your client. Tip: to set yourself apart as a caterer of class, you might study at one of these baking & pastry schools.
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