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What Jobs are Available to Culinary Institute Graduates

Aug 17, 2007
Most students judge the value of an education by the impact it will have on their future. In other words, before committing to a degree program, real people first want to know what kind of jobs this degree will help them obtain. Getting your education from a culinary institute opens the doors to a wide variety of jobs, several of which are listed below.

Fast food, short order, and other basic cook positions
There are an amazing number of cook positions available in the food service industry. These jobs range from, on the low end, cooks at fast food and low cost restaurants, to the high end, which includes the chefs at more prestigious establishments. Although many of the low end chef positions are available to unskilled laborers, the higher the quality of the food prepared, and the higher the chef's income, the greater the demand for educated cooks. A degree from a culinary institute can help you meet that demand, and help you land a higher end job.

Head chef
The position of head chef is a perfect place for someone with leadership skills, who enjoys having a little more responsibility in the workplace. As head chef, you will have more control over menu selections, preparation styles and ingredients, and other aspects of the culinary arts.

Private chef
Many people find working as a private chef to an individual family or a small institution is preferable in several different ways. First, the atmosphere a private chef encounters is typically very different than an employee in a bustling commercial kitchen. Also, private chefs tend to have an easier time selecting food choices, as they have the needs and preferences of only a few people to consider.

Menu planners and test kitchen chefs
Menus don't make themselves up. A lot of preparation goes into planning even the simplest of menus, and many culinary businesses hire specialists to handle the job. Menu planners do exactly what you might think, which is to plan out a menu. Test kitchen chefs come up with the recipes for dishes the restaurant will offer.

Food marketing
Advertising requires yet another food specialist, in this case, a person known as a food stylist. A food stylist is responsible for preparing photogenic food, meals and desserts that will photograph well and entice customers to buy them. Other positions in food advertising may require the food marketer to design visual advertising layouts, prepare slogans and jingles, and handle other steps of the marketing process.

Management of the culinary arts
If you consider yourself to be extremely ambitious, this might be just the job for you. Look for a culinary institute that offers a bachelor's program in management of a culinary business; such a program will combine the typical associate's degree in the culinary arts with a curriculum that teaches upper level management skills.

Food writer
Not all jobs in the culinary arts have to do with the preparation of the food. Some culinary careers deal with other aspects of the field. A good example is a food writer. Food writers come in many varieties: some review restaurants or write about different cuisines, while others write recipe or how to books. Regardless of what facet of food a writer specializes in, an education from a culinary institute helps by verifying that the writer really knows what he or she is talking about.

These are only a few of the most common positions available to graduates of a culinary institute. A culinary degree allows career goers plenty of flexibility when entering the work force or changing careers, making a cooking school an ideal place to start from when seeking a new or improved career.
About the Author
Andy West is a freelance writer for The Culinary Institute of Virginia College. Culinard offers two outstanding culinary arts programs. For more information on one of the most prestigious culinary schools in the U.S., please visit http://www.culinard.com .
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