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Culinary Careers: A Guide to the Different Paths and Skills Needed

Culinary Careers: A Guide to the Different Paths and Skills Needed

Cooking is not the only occupation in the culinary industry, as many people consider it to be. The culinary industry itself is distinctly wide-ranging, including a number of professional routes in varied sectors, like beverage, wine, mixology, food writing, events management, food styling, catering, product development and sourcing, research and development, corporate dining, public relations and much more.

Overview of Occupational Options in the Culinary Industry

You can find different career paths in culinary fields, like cooking & pastry, management and speciality preparations. Employment opportunities in cooking and pastry include:

  • Executive Chef: These professionals use their organization, creativity and technical cooking skills to create menus, operate kitchens and direct staff. They take care of every element of kitchen operations, including ordering supplies; choosing ingredients; scheduling staff, and ensuring the kitchen meets sanitary and health guidelines. These professionals may also get to the position of sous chef and chef de partie.
  • Chef de Partie: They follow set instructions and recipes to assemble and prepare dishes in commercial kitchens. These professionals may handle just one specific area of the kitchen, like sautéed items and sauces, fish, cold items and grilled foods.
  • Bakers: These chefs use their innovative ideas to make different baked treats, from pastries and bread, sold at grocers, wholesalers and restaurants. While retail bakers offer their services in small pastry shops and grocery stores, commercial bakers work in manufacturing concerns to produce large quantities of baked products.

Management of bars, restaurants, food trucks, luxury resorts, hotels, food manufacturing units and retail stores requires an organized procedure around price negotiation, ingredient sourcing, purchasing, accounting, marketing, events and staff management. Positions in this sector include:

  • Restaurant Manager: They take care of different aspects of a company’s operations, from coordinating different business activities, like marketing and budgeting, to housekeeping and front-of-the-house operations, like customer service and staff scheduling.
  • Lodging Manager: They work in different settings across the hospitality industry, like motels, resorts and hotels. They look after regular operations and manage individual departments, like maintenance, housekeeping, training and organizing events.
  • Food and Beverage Director: They use their food planning skills to create and manage different menus, supervise staff, organize events and manage food inventory and costs.

Culinary is a diverse industry offering opportunities in traditional, emerging and related areas. These include catering, mobile food, public relation, and food writing.

Skills and Attributes Required to Work in the Culinary Field

Chefs in professional commercial kitchens need to work in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment with strict deadline requirements. They need to work in a team and share responsibilities while having the willingness to work rosters and flexible hours. A few essential qualities and skills required to serve the culinary industry include:

  • Proper knowledge of preparing and presenting dishes using varied ingredients and cooking techniques.
  • Understanding of special diets, nutrition and allergen and lifestyle choices.
  • Knowledge of kitchen and personal hygiene and safe kitchen practices.
  • Potential to work quickly and calmly under pressure in a loud, fast-paced, crowded environment.
  • Active focus in different kitchen areas.
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills.
  • Knowledge of food costing and factors influencing kitchen profitability.
  • Desire to learn, handle criticism and follow instructions.
  • Attention to detail to ensure consistency.
  • Organizational skills with the potential to delegate and prioritize.

So, if you are all set to take that next step in education, attending culinary classes may be the right choice. At Tedco Goodrich Chefs Academy, you can find career-focused bakery programs taught by celebrity chefs and instructors with good industry knowledge and experience.

For more details about our culinary school and study programs, visit TGCA

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School of Bakery Arts


School of Culinary Arts