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Where can I work as a chef!

Honour the uniform

Being a qualified chef is now a big deal, years ago after finishing my chefs shift, I could not wait to get home, shower and change out of my chef uniform, so no one saw me in my chef gear. Not anymore, just walk along the street and see all the chefs in their uniforms walking proudly around. The hygiene issue is not up for discussion in this blog, but personally I would prefer chefs were not walking the streets in chef uniform and then cooking my food which should be in a hygienic environment but that’s for another time.

Opportunities are endless

These days the lists of chef opportunities are endless, one thing that has not changed much are the long hours and the physical work involved in being a chef, but for the most part, there are now so many opportunities, the sky is the limit. We have recruited chefs for Disney sites globally, huge cruise ships which enable chefs to usually earn US Dollars and they are able to save money whilst seeing the world for free.

There is the obvious institutional catering which requires cooking in large volumes and in some cases special diets play a role, for example in hospitals, the army, prisons, company canteens to name a few. Aged care facility catering has become very important with elderly people whose meals daily is often their highest priority and they look so forward to it and require healthy, tasty and nutritious food. Whilst these may sound drab compared to some positions, they have the added benefit of catering for a range of functions, board room meals and private catering to the directors in many cases too.

Most chefs are employed in hotel kitchens, restaurants, cafes and of course catering for events. The chefs have the benefit of growth opportunities due to often high employee turnover as people move fast in this field and normally to improve their salary and or to have new learning experiences. In some top restaurants, the employees pay to work there as opposed to getting paid and this is so as to experience working in top establishments and it always looks great on your CV.

Why not become an entrepreneur?

A number of chefs have started Food Trucks as entrepreneurs. While product development, brand ambassadors, selling catering equipment, promoting new and innovative food products are all jobs that chefs often move into after a number of years working in kitchens as their skills are very valuable to companies needing chef skills. Many chefs also move in menu engineering, kitchen design and kitchen planning careers. Large numbers of chefs dream of and often succeed in opening their own restaurants, cafes or specialty shops.

Then of course the celebrity status that some chefs have earned through shows like Master Chef, and the many chefs who have their own cooking shows. These shows have been fantastic in showing what a great career being a chef can be, but these jobs are few and far between, you need to have something different and be able to work with cameras in your face all day as well as the celebrity status that affects family, business and relationships.

Foodies and more

My personal favourite culinary jobs include food photography, magazine or e magazine writing, recipe writers, recipe book authors, culinary teaching and of course food bloggers. How jobs have changed. some foodies are so successful on Instagram or Facebook, who would have thought that by taking photos of the food you prepare you could become famous.

I could go on and on but definitely an amazing career to follow and see what the future holds.

Culinary regards,

Cheryl Cordier

Director of Studies – International Culinary Studio

[email protected]