Is Cooking a Lucrative and Engaging Career?

The food service industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, making becoming a chef a lucrative and engaging career for many people. With the rise of Food Network and the proliferation of celebrity YouTube chefs, the industry has been embellished. Culinary arts are a team sport, so it is important to cross train in order to help out in other areas of the kitchen as needed. When kitchen team members are in the weeds, it is important to lend a helping hand.

The human need for food and the pleasure of a good meal cannot be overstated. Chefs who prepare these meals, from elegant restaurants to fast food production, have accelerated careers with more facets than one would expect. Under the direction of chefs or food service managers, cooks follow recipes to prepare restaurant-sized portions. They measure and mix ingredients to create the menu items that are assigned to them and can garnish them for serving.

Products can range from omelets for breakfast to salads, steaks and desserts. It is also important to keep their work areas and equipment clean, following safe food handling procedures. Research chefs develop new products for food brands, while chef consultants help restaurants become more efficient or improve their operations. Food stylists focus on the aesthetic of the perfect dish for photos and movies, while food bloggers make their own recipes and share them with the world.

Food influencers keep their audience aware of local points of interest. Chefs work in restaurants, schools, hospitals, hotels, and other establishments where food is prepared and served. They often prepare only part of a dish and coordinate with other cooks and kitchen workers to complete meals on time. It is important to compare job duties, education, job growth, and salary for cooks with similar occupations.

The American Culinary Federation certifies chefs, personal chefs, pastry chefs and culinary administrators, among others. Professional certification can lead to higher-level or higher-paying positions. The pay of cooks varies greatly depending on the region and the type of employer. Pay is usually higher in luxury hotels and restaurants, as well as in major metropolitan and tourist areas.

Within each occupation, earnings vary depending on experience, responsibility, performance, ownership and geographic area. For those looking to start out as a kitchen assistant or food preparation worker, it allows cooks to learn basic skills which can create opportunities to gain experience in assistant cook or line cook positions. Opportunities for progress for cooks often depend on training, work experience, and the ability to prepare complex dishes. Vocational cooking schools, professional culinary institutes, and some universities offer culinary programs for aspiring cooks.

Fast food cooks prepare food in restaurants and cafes that emphasize quick service and quick food preparation. They usually make sandwiches, fry eggs, and cook French fries, and often work on multiple orders at the same time. Cafeteria cooks usually prepare a large number of a limited number of dishes with a menu that changes regularly. Food preparation workers perform many routine tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs or food service managers.

Cooking is a good profession for people who have excellent senses of taste and smell as well as good physical dexterity. Chefs usually arrive before a restaurant, coffee shop or other food service opens and gets ready for the day. With more restaurants, cafes and catering services being opened up due to consumer demand there will be an increased need for cooks to prepare meals accordingly. Fast food cooks emphasize quick service and quick preparation with dishes such as eggs sandwiches and French fries on the menu. Chefs at institutions and cafeterias work in the kitchens of schools cafeterias businesses hospitals and other establishments.

Chefs have one of the highest rates of work-related injuries as they can be found in kitchens with slippery floors hot surfaces sharp knives boiling liquids.

Eloise Marchiano
Eloise Marchiano

Friendly social media maven. Incurable zombie specialist. Infuriatingly humble twitteraholic. Amateur music evangelist. Infuriatingly humble zombie fan. Friendly web trailblazer.

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