The culinary arts is something that is appealing to the masses. It is easy to have a passion for food, and with all the chef shows on television they show that passion as a reality, and a lucrative reality at that. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for culinary specialists is on the rise. They expect the field to grow by about 9% between 2014 and 2024. Culinary students are faced with many decisions, but first they need to determine whether or not they want to create sweet or savory specialties. Are you interested in pastry arts? This consists of cakes, chocolates, cookies, bread, tarts, pies and more. There are some fantastic culinary colleges or baking and pastry schools available that will help you along the way. What are some other factors you should consider to optimize your chances of culinary success?
You don’t need to have a degree in the culinary arts to become a chef but, an education will provide you with the direction and guidance needed to figure out what your focus will be. Not everyone can run a restaurant, so consider other positions in the kitchen such as pastry chef, banquet chef, or private chef. Culinary schools will provide you with hands-on training from start to finish, and you will learn the fundamentals of cooking, kitchen coordination, safety and sanitation, menu planning and much more. You are also much more likely to get a job once completing culinary school than if you were starting off on your own. For example, if you have a specific culinary focus, such as attending a baking and pastry college, you can be certain that the college you graduated from will have connections with local and international restaurants that specialize in that food area. Baking and pastry schools and other culinary colleges teach you about cooking, of course, but will also give you the skills needed to be a lifetime learner. Culinary superstars are always looking to learn about the new trends in food, and are long term students of their craft.
The old saying “practice makes perfect” applies directly to a career in the culinary or pastry arts. This is a job that requires patience, dedication, and time. At school you would have learned about utilizing the right food preparation and cooking techniques. It is up to you to continue learning and relearning these techniques even after graduation, so that you go into any kitchen confidently. As a chef you should always be proud of your work, and practicing and challenging yourself should always be be a continual goal.
You want to be familiar with the industry you’re making your career goal. There are so many different paths you can take with a degree in the culinary arts so be sure to examine every possible option from catering to running your own restaurant. Read books and magazines about cooking and job opportunities, chat with other aspiring chefs or people in the industry, ask questions of your teachers. As mentioned before, knowledge is one of the most important keys to becoming a chef.
A career in the culinary or pastry arts can be rewarding and fulfilling but there is a lot to consider before getting started. Whether you are looking for reputable baking and pastry schools or prefer to get your experience from working from the bottom up it is an industry that requires passion and drive. It is an industry that rewards those who are willing to continue to learn and better themselves along the way.