When you decide to learn cooking from a top culinary school, you can do so for a variety of reasons. You have to decide if you are doing it because you want cooking to be your profession, or you simply want to learn more about your passion. Related: 5 Dynamic Ways To Reinvent Your Career Path There are several different reasons why you may choose to attend a culinary arts professional school. Here are some compelling reasons to attend culinary school:
If you truly love cooking, working towards a sous chef career may be an outstanding decision that rewards you with access to improved earning potential and plentiful job opportunities. Sous chefs are instrumental in the daily operations of restaurants, and they are in charge of food preparation at most eating establishments. While many sous chefs start as entry-level cooks, professionals can enjoy the bright future of a sous chef by attending classes at an accredited training program.
The Responsibilities Of A Sous ChefAn executive chef is usually in charge of daily operations at most restaurants, and the term sous is actually derived from a French word that means under. Sous chefs work under the executive chef as second-in-charge of a restaurant, and professionals may encounter a wide range of different duties during their work. Sous chef duties include mixing ingredients, planning meals, and preparing meats for dining customers. Sous chefs may find themselves making simple dishes, and they may also be responsible for making sure that the kitchen is fully stocked with the ingredients that are needed for daily operations.
The Future Of Sous Chef JobsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps detailed records for a wide variety of different industries. The BLS predicts that the median salary for people who land a sous chef career is about $40,630 per year. Since this is a median salary, several factors should be considered by potential sous chefs. Wages are usually higher in larger geographic areas, and professionals who work in exclusive establishments can expect to earn more money. Experience also plays a crucial factor in the future outlook of a sous chef, and professionals who have been working in the field for several years can expect higher salaries and more rewarding working conditions.
Training To Become A Sous ChefMost sous chefs enter the field when they are still young, and plenty of training programs are readily available. Culinary schools focus on teaching in a hands-on setting, and the leading programs often have their own restaurants that are fully staffed and operated by students of the program. This experience is essential for a successful career because employers usually expect results from their sous chefs.
Certifications Needed To Have A Sous Chef CareerIn the field, most sous chefs attend some type of formal program, and they may have an associate degree in the culinary arts. An associate degree usually requires two years of study at an accredited institution, and graduates will have earned a diploma that shows employers that they have the skills needed to work in a fast-paced, professional setting. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) also sponsors a variety of apprenticeship programs that combine classroom learning with on-the-job training. After you complete a program that is accredited but the ACF, you can boost your resume with a sous chef certification. The career of a sous chef is incredibly bright, and anyone can turn their passion for cooking into a rewarding career with two years of courses at an accredited culinary arts institution. Daily responsibilities include preparing meals in a restaurant or resort setting and ensuring that food is made to meet the demanding specifications of patrons. With plenty of opportunities for graduates of a program, students can turn their time and talent into a career that provides outstanding salaries and lots of chances for advancement. Often, an executive chef will start as a sous chef and work their way to higher wages as they add to their skill set. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles:
- 7 Essentials Of An Executive Chef Career
- The Inside View of a Restaurant Chef Job
- 7 Reasons To Attend Culinary School
An executive chef may also be known as the chef manager, and the person is responsible for the daily activities in their kitchen. For this reason, executive chef skills are leadership-oriented. An employer usually holds him or her to be in charge of the kitchen staff and to maintain complete control in a modern working atmosphere.
Executive Chef Job Description: AnalyticalExecutive chefs may find employment in a range of settings. Some work in smaller boutique restaurants. Others may be employed in the largest industrial kitchens that have a number of different managers working in various levels. What remains the same is that a professional must exhibit executive chef job skills that allow them to quickly note any problems and ensure that the issues are quickly resolved. A clear head is essential, and a professional working in a hectic restaurant needs to effectively delegate tasks to subordinates.
Executive Chef Skills: OrganizationSince the executive chef is responsible for maximizing the profitability and productivity of a particular establishment, they need to exhibit strong organizational skills. In the kitchen chain of command, the sous and pastry chefs are directly below the executive, so an executive must be able to communicate effectively while planning meals.
CommunicationAs an executive chef, a person is responsible for coordinating the duties of various personnel and must ensure that a kitchen works together in a harmonious fashion. The role of an executive chef is often as much managerial as it is creative cooking, and a prospective chef should like working with people on a daily basis.
Role Of An Executive Chef: Keeping A Sanitary KitchenIn addition to making sure that open lines of communication are in place at all times, an executive chef sets the standard for the personal hygiene and work standards that are used in a particular establishment. Often, an executive has worked up a structure's hierarchy and may be familiar with a variety of roles in the kitchen.
ResponsibilityBecause the executive chef is responsible for the daily operations in a kitchen, he or she has a huge amount of duties. The professionals need to make sure that quality dishes are served on a timely basis and that any issues with meals are quickly rectified in a customer-oriented manner. The executive chef job description also includes responsibility for all prepared plates that leave the kitchen.
CreativityWhen a restaurant is not open and serving diners, the executive chef job description includes planning menus and creating new food for guests. The chef may be expected to have superior cooking skills while performing the administrative duties that are essential for the job, like ordering supplies and reporting to the establishment's owner or general manager.
Rewarding SalariesWith plenty of opportunities to turn a career into a rewarding one, an executive chef can expect to be well compensated for their work. The professionals earn anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000 annually, and this depends on the geographic area where a person works and the number of years of experience in the industry. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Everyone makes mistakes that could come back to bite them. However, some mistakes can make it hard to get a job. We asked our career experts to give their thoughts on handling this situation from one of our readers:
"I was recently convicted of a Misdemeanor B. I am having a very hard time finding a new work. I am a Jewish guy, recently went to Culinary School, and I am trying to turn my life around. Can I get a job without a background check? Where can I look for a career that will not have any serious background checks and how much information do I have to give?"Here's what our experts had to say about the matter: "If you're explicitly asked about your criminal history, be up front, but I wouldn't volunteer the information just to share it. One more piece of advice - don't let your past define you. You have a lot of living left to do!" (Ben Eubanks) "The majority of organizations aren't too concerned about misdemeanors, unless they involve injury or theft. Most companies are more concerned about felonies, so don't be too overly worried about a misdemeanor. Be honest and admit it but it most likely won't cost you a job." (Stacy Harshman) "The only way to deal with a criminal record is to be honest and upfront about it. An employer cannot do a background check until they have your Social Security number and your permission. When and if you give it, that is the time to tell them what happened. (Unless, of course, there is a gap on your resume and they ask for an explanation.) Don’t talk a lot and keep to the facts." (Bruce Hurwitz) "I would advise [you] to be up front with a potential employer. If they look hard enough, they will find [your] criminal record anyway." (Bud Bilanich) "By acknowledging the issue, addressing it, showing what was learned from it, and then immediately moving into connecting what the candidate has to offer to the employer, this person shows integrity. Another thing they might want to look into is that many states have Project Clean Slate which is a process by which criminal records can get expunged." (Dawn Rasmussen) Photo Credit: Shutterstock
I am the head chef at a small seasonal restaurant on a remote island in the southeastern part of the state of Alaska. The business I work for caters to high-end sports fishing vacations. I have done this work for six years and normally work for about five months out of the year. Our season runs from May until the end of September. It would be difficult to attempt to describe what I do in a succinct manner. Every day is completely different. Food and supplies arrive by float plane, and even during the summer, weather conditions can be bad enough so that the planes don't fly. When this happens, we often have to improvise meals and make do with what we've got on hand. At my job, I normally am the dinner chef but I need to be ready to jump in elsewhere at a moment's notice. At this time I would rate my job satisfaction at an eight on a scale from one to ten. The only thing that holds it back from me giving it a rating of ten is that sometimes I feel that I'm missing out on having a real summer. This past year was especially rainy and stormy. We had wind gusts up to sixty miles an hour on the fourth of July, and on another day in August it rained over eight inches in ten hours. This job moves my heart because I get to live and work in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Alaska is pristine; the air is always pure and fresh, and it's fun to see the reactions of the people who are lucky enough to be visiting it for the first time. One thing that a lot of people don't know about my job is that those of us who work in these seasonal lodges almost always work every single day of the season. There are no forty-hour work weeks or days off. I got started in this line of work when I was hired as an assistant cook in a logging camp in the same area of Alaska that the lodge is located. I learned a lot there and was hired at the lodge a year later. It seems that everything on this job is learned the hard way. I didn't go to culinary school even though that seems to be a requirement these days for most chef jobs. There was a great deal of trial and error involved when I was new to the field. The strangest thing that ever happened on this job was being stormed in for two solid weeks early one May before we had actually opened the lodge. It's easy to get up and go to work every day when you face a spectacular view the moment you walk out your front door. I think that one of my favorite moments there was when I was finally able to provide all of the produce that we needed for our dinner salads from a greenhouse we had built in the spring. The most challenging part of the job is that we all live and work together in an isolated area for several months. Some of the new employees can't handle it. Either the work schedule is too much for them or they hadn't realized just how remote the lodge is. Some have trouble with company rules. When someone leaves, it puts a huge hole in our staff and everyone ends up working extra hours which can become very tiring. I make a base wage of twelve dollars per hour. With overtime, that adds up. The lodge also has a tip pool for the staff which is divided and distributed on a monthly basis. Our guests are generous people so we do quite well. Last season I brought in over sixty-thousand dollars. Since it gives me so free time during the rest of the year, the salary is reasonable to me. I suppose you could say that I take a seven month vacation every year. But I've also earned it by working twelve hour days straight for five months. Most jobs of this nature require graduation from culinary school these days, so I would advise anyone wanting to pursue this line of work to find a good one and to excel in their studies. Sometimes it's possible for people to be in the right place at the right time the way that I was, but it just doesn't seem to happen that way that often anymore. In five years I would like to be doing something very similar to what I am doing now, but at my own establishment. I'd prefer a smaller place than the lodge, such as a four or five room inn with a small restaurant. This is a true story as told to DiversityJobs.com where you can find helpful career interviews and job search advice in your desired industry. Visit to find a career interview in your field today. JustJobs.com is a job search engine that finds job listings from company career pages, other job boards, newspapers and associations. With one search, they help you find the job with your name on it. Restaurant chef job image from Shutterstock