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Profile: Culinary Industry

The culinary industry is unique because, as long as you create a dish that appeals to at least a small segment of the population, you are bound to be successful. Most people eat three times a day, and when they are not actively eating, they are considering what and where their next meal will be. Most industries do not experience this sort of stability when it comes to the demand for their products. This is not to say, however, that becoming a chef is easy or that the job itself is glamorous.

The culinary industry is one in which you will likely be required to work your way up through the ranks, from pantry cook to line cook to sous-chef for example. Your career path, however, depends upon many factors. If you choose to work in a smaller restaurant there might only be one or two assistants to accompany the head chef, but in a larger, busier restaurant there could be multiple chefs, cooks, apprentices, busboys, dishwashers, etc.

As a sous-chef or an executive chef, you will do more than the standard chopping, slicing, dicing, mixing, simmering, baking, broiling, etc. and you will use more than simply pots, pans, grinders, ovens, and any other kitchen utensil or appliance you can imagine. The head-chef can also be in charge of coordinating the kitchen staff and assigning each person a specific job, such as sauces or pastries. Management duties may also include planning menus, estimating food requirements, handling food budgets, and ordering food supplies, but this will depend on the type of environment you choose to work in.

A restaurant, however, is by no means the only option for a work environment. There are plentiful opportunities for chefs outside of the restaurant setting. You could work in hospitality, on a cruise or at a resort; as an industry chef in the kitchens of schools, businesses, hospitals, cafeterias, and other institutions; as a personal chef in someone's home; you could specialize as a pastry chef or baker; the possibilities are endless. For these reasons it is difficult to pin down the general job description of someone working in the culinary field. However, that can be good news because it means that unique opportunities abound.


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Culinary Articles