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A Career In The Culinary Arts

1084 words - 4 pages

A Career in the Culinary Arts The culinary arts provide many career opportunities within the food service industry. As this industry has grown and prospered, a career in this field has become highly visible and offers the flexibility to work anywhere. Although a career in culinary arts requires extensive professional training and discipline, it offers a combination of challenging and creative work and can provide real job satisfaction.The culinary arts are open to anyone who loves food, cooking, and a challenge. Although the majority of chefs are men, women are gaining master chef status, which is the highest level they can achieve in culinary arts according to the American Culinary Federation (Donovan 1 and 18). This achievement comes after meeting strict requirements for experience, education, competition, and passing an exam. A chef must be skilled in cooking, baking, presentation, cold foods, and nutrition while working in various conditions (Donovan 18). Many kitchens have modern equipment, convenient work areas, and air conditioning. Older places may have marginally equipped and ventilated kitchens. Working conditions also depend on the type and quantity of food being prepared and local laws governing food operations (Donovan 18). A chef requires stamina as he must stand, lift heavy pots, pans, and kettles, and work near hot ovens and ranges (Chmelynski 47). Many chefs have earned fame for themselves and the places where they work due to their skills, but how did they get there? Cooking is a profession that emphasizes continuous learning. An increasing number of chefs are obtaining initial training through high school or post high school programs. Although a high school diploma is not required for beginning jobs in the culinary arts, it is highly recommended for a career as a chef (Chmelynski 25). Many two and four year colleges offer programs in the culinary arts.Many of the leading chefs agree that formal schooling is the best way to begin a career in the culinary arts (Peterson 15). Schools offer an opportunity to quickly gain fundamental knowledge of cooking techniques, nutrition and sanitation theory, and various foods. The type of training a chef receives is not exactly similar to other careers. Instead of all classroom education, the trainee incorporates hands-on, practical work as an apprentice (Donovan 29). An apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program. "Typical apprenticeship programs entail completion of specific term (typically, three years or 6,000 hours) of full time employment for wages in a kitchen under a qualified chef" (Peterson 26). Besides a quality education, a career in the culinary arts demands dedication, perseverance, and hard work.A chef's career usually starts at the bottom of the kitchen staff. Some trainees are surprised to find so much repetitive and boring work. The hours are long and demanding and the work is exhausting and highly stressful (Chmelynski VII). The chef must be able to work in a team...

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