Is a culinary arts career right for you?
Culinary artists bring the spice to life! When you watch cooking shows on TV, you can get a sense of the food prep process and the creativity that is needed to create culinary dishes. However, there are many details, rules, and roles to a culinary arts profession that you may be surprised to learn.
If you’ve ever been curious about going to culinary arts school, now may be the opportunity to learn more about this exciting and creative profession.
Branford Hall Career Institute offers a short guide to help you become more educated on the responsibilities and daily tasks of culinary arts professionals.
What Culinary Arts Professionals do?
Culinary arts professionals is a term that encompasses many professional titles. With a culinary arts education you can work as a sous chef, prep cook, pastry chef, or head chef. As a cook, you’ll be handling and preparing food during each work shift. These professionals also season, cook, and bake a wide variety of food including appetizers, entrees, and desserts. They work under the direction of chefs, head cooks, and food service managers. Chefs and head cooks, specifically, oversee the food preparation in kitchens. They handle food management and direct staff.
Tasks in a typical culinary arts career include:
- Examining food and ingredients for freshness
- Weighing, measuring, and mixing ingredients
- Arranging, garnishing, and serving food
- Baking, grilling, and frying meats, fish, and vegetables
- Boiling and steaming ingredients
- Cleaning work stations
- Sanitizing kitchen instruments
- Storing food in correct areas
Cooks use a large supply of kitchen equipment like grills, slicers, and blenders. Oftentimes, a cook’s role is identified by the ingredient they prepare or the type of cooking they do like vegetable cook, fry cook, or grill cook.
Keep in mind that the responsibilities for different work environments varies. For example, restaurant cooks may order supplies, adjust menu prices, and help plan the daily menu with the head chef. Fast-food chefs may prepare a limited selection of food items, such as burgers and fried chicken. If you work as a personal chef, you will be in charge of preparing and overseeing menus, a client’s dietary needs and personal tastes. They are typically self-employed or through an agency and work for one full-time client.
Most culinary arts professionals work in kitchen environments of various settings. They may work in the kitchens of hotels, cafeterias, fast-food chains, or private households. However, the most typical work environment is a restaurant. In fact, the Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates that 69% of cooks work in restaurants.
Duties for cooks varies depending on their work environment, the facilities’ size, and the service needed. However, all work settings require culinary professionals to use sanitization and handling procedures. They will also need to store foods in the correct designated areas and at the correct temperatures. Most culinary arts professionals work full-time. Many cooks and chefs may have to work early mornings, weekends, evenings, and holidays. If you work in an institutional cafeteria, schedules are usually more traditional. School cooks typically have off during the summer months. Resorts restaurants may also only offer seasonal employment.
Apply to a Culinary Arts Training Program
Branford Hall Career Institute offers a culinary arts training program at our Springfield, MA tech campus. Courses students take includes the Essentials of a Professional Kitchen; Food Safety, and Sanitation Nutrition; Restaurant Management; International Cuisines; Desserts; and the Principles of Dining Service. A culinary externship is required for all students to graduate. The program is designed to give culinary arts students the essentials of food preparation, sanitation, cost control, nutrition, and food marketing in both classroom and hands-on laboratory settings. Our training program can help you develop the skills you need to assist in the dining experience of customers and even take charge of menu development.