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Guide to Culinary Careers Outside the Kitchen

Guide to Culinary Careers Outside the Kitchen

How about a career in culinary photography or styling?

The Culinary Institute of America

In addition to the kitchen and dining room positions, a growing number of less traditional opportunities exist, many of which do not involve the actual production or service of foods.

Food and beverage managers oversee all food and beverage outlets in hotels and other large establishments.

Consultants and design specialists will work with restaurant owners, often before the restaurant is even open, to assist in developing a menu, designing the overall layout and ambiance of the dining room, and establishing work patterns for the kitchen.

Well-informed salespeople help chefs determine how best to meet their needs for food and produce, introduce them to new products, and demonstrate the proper use of new equipment.

Teachers are essential to the great number of cooking schools nationwide. Most of these teachers are chefs who are sharing the benefit of their experience with students.

Food writers and critics discuss food trends, restaurants, and chefs. It will always mean more, of course, if the writer is well versed in the culinary arts. Some prominent members of the food media, such as James Beard, Craig Claiborne, and Julia Child, have been influential teachers and have written landmark cookbooks in addition to contributing to newspapers and magazines and appearing on television.

Food stylists and photographers work with a variety of publications, including magazines, books, catalogs, and promotional and advertising pieces.

Research-and-development kitchens employ a great many culinary professionals. These may be run by food manufacturers who are developing new products or food lines, or by advisory boards hoping to promote their products. Test kitchens are also run by a variety of both trade and consumer publications.

Challenges aside, the food service industry is rewarding and spontaneous. It requires stamina, drive, and creative influence. Those who have made the greatest impression know that virtues such as open communication, efficient organization, proper management, innovative marketing, and thorough accounting are necessary to prosper. In due time, your knowledge and experience will gain worthy recognition.

Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, The Professional Chef, 8th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2006).