Entertainment Magazine: Education: Culinary Careers

Culinary schools gives students an edge

By Sarah Jane Udall
Entertainment Magazine

The culinary industry is one of the fastest growing, and most exciting fields to get involved in, and now is a great time to embark on a pathway towards a culinary career.

Enrolling in a culinary school, or culinary degree or certificate program will provide you with the knowledge, training, and skills to pursue a number of culinary careers from a pastry chef to a wine expert. Culinary degree programs typical offer a very hands-on curriculum that is based on the teaching of cooking and baking skills, palate training, and the design and creation of different foods and menus.

This approach will help you to learn the elements that are most essential for a successful culinary career. In training for your culinary career, you will study the practice of food preparation as well as take courses in nutrition, sanitation, menu development, food purchasing, kitchen management, as well as accounting, and business management.


Culinary Schools

Culinary Career Profiles

Upon completion of a culinary program you will be prepared to pursue diverse opportunities among the culinary careers. You will also learn how to buy supplies, manage kitchens, and train a staff, all of which will help you as you look for positions in the culinary field. With those skills, you can pursue entry-level positions as a chef, chef’s assistant, or a specialty chef in a restaurant.

You can also pursue positions as a pastry chef in a bakery, or become a caterer. You may find career opportunities with reception centers, restaurants, grocery stores, specialty food stores, pastry shops, bakeries, hotels, resorts, or you could use your training to start and run your own food service business.

The growing culinary industry

Culinary careers can also include more than just the creation and preparation of food.

Beyond cooking, a culinary degree can also prepare you to pursue entry-level positions in management, in restaurants, hotels, and with other food service operations.

Whatever culinary career you chose to pursue, know that the competition can be fierce. However, gaining proper training in the culinary arts will provide you with knowledge, skills, and a variety of practical experiences across the spectrum of culinary arts that will better prepare you to be a competitor in the culinary industry.

U.S. Department of Labor Awards Apprenticeship Grant

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF), the educational arm of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), a grant in the amount of $481,200 for the ACFEF Apprenticeship Program to advance the growing needs of apprenticeship in the 21st Century.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, chefs, cooks and food-preparation workers held 3.1 million jobs in 2006, and an 11 percent increase is expected in these positions between 2006 and 2016.

As the Department of Labor's only provider of apprenticeship training for the culinary industry, the further development of the ACFEF Apprenticeship Program will be instrumental in providing industry-sanctioned training for chefs in high demand in areas that lead to a high-wage career path.

The ACFEF Apprenticeship Program offers industry-sanctioned training that provides a career ladder for higher wage, in-demand jobs. According to the 2008 ACF Salary Survey, ACF members earn $14,100 more a year than the average chef or head cook in the industry.

Full-time employment rates are higher for ACF members when compared to the entire employment population in the U.S. In addition, chefs who hold a certified executive chef or certified executive pastry chef ACF certification earn $10,900 more a year than a non-certified chef.

The American Culinary Federation, Inc., established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. With more than 22,000 members spanning 230 chapters nationwide, ACF is the culinary leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and accreditation.

In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and the Chef & Child Foundation.

For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org. ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Aug. 6, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --


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