If you love hosting dinner parties, barbecues, holiday meals, receptions, and generally wowing people with your food and people skills, a culinary arts career may be for you. The culinary arts include all preparing, cooking, presenting, and serving careers in the food and beverage industry, which is an integral part of the hospitality industry. Culinary course graduates can work in corporate dining centers, restaurants, country clubs, hotels, hospitals, universities, grocery stores, food trucks, and more.
Fortunately, you don’t have to get a four-year culinary arts degree to qualify for a high-quality job in the food and beverage industry. In fact, there are multiple ways to train for a related career, including taking a short, straightforward culinary training program. Here are just a few examples of careers that you can enter after graduating from such a program:
- Prep cook. Prep cooks do indispensable work in support of chefs. They clean, chop, season, marinate, peel, and execute all other kinds of tasks necessary to prepare food for the cooking process according to a given recipe. Prep cooks generally only need a GED, but with additional culinary training, you can qualify for more specialized roles with more discerning restaurants.
- Junior chef (Commis chef). Junior chefs are entry-level professionals who have often completed some form of training (such as a course at a career center) but are still learning about chef roles and responsibilities. They assist more experienced chefs in order to get on-the-job training—and get a better sense of what kinds of roles and cooking types they want to specialize in.
- Station chef (Chef de Partie). Sometimes also referred to as a line cook, a station chef plays an essential role in restaurant operations. These professionals are responsible for specific cooking and prep stations as well as cleaning and organizing, plating, and some inventory. They might prepare specific meal components (sauce, soup, meat, grains, and vegetables) or, in a larger restaurant, types of components (seafood, beef, poultry, and pork).
- Food production manager. Food production managers oversee supply orders, food preparation, cooking, kitchen workflows, and sanitation and safety procedures. If the idea of being a concert conductor has ever appealed to you, this may be the job for you. Food production managers also work with other hospitality-related departments to ensure customer satisfaction and maintain service and quality standards.
- Bakers may produce a wide variety of goods (breads, cakes, pies, doughnuts, and pastries) or specialize in a specific type. They may work in bakeries, but also airports, schools, restaurants, and more. No formal education is required for many baker roles, but some training and experience can go a long way toward helping you qualify for upwardly mobile roles at more upscale companies and venues.
- Purchasing manager. Purchasing managers are in charge of buying all food, tools, and other supplies needed in a commercial kitchen. They carefully track inventory and items that need to be ordered. They work with vendors and kitchen staff alike and strive to get the best deal possible on the highest quality ingredients. To be successful in this role, applicants should be familiar with both kitchen operations and industry supply chains.
- Restaurant manager. Restaurant managers are responsible for every aspect of running a successful restaurant, including training and supervising staff, maintaining food safety standards, ordering supplies, coordinating dining room and kitchen operations, and ensuring that customers are happy. If your love of working with food is surpassed only by your love of working with people and keeping moving parts running smoothly, this may be the career for you.
Get Valuable Culinary Arts Training With JobTrain
You can get the training you need to qualify for many careers in the culinary arts. If you live near Silicon Valley in northern California, you can visit one of JobTrain’s four affiliated centers.
JobTrain is an accredited educational and training institution that transforms lives and communities in Silicon Valley. We help people in our community get into successful, sustainable careers in high-demand and emerging fields. Check out our Culinary Arts Training Program to get started on the path to a high-quality job in this field.
Each of JobTrain’s programs combines vocational training, academics, and essential skills development, preparing students to turn their lives around—from unemployment and poverty to success and self-sufficiency. Contact us today to learn more!