Careers in Culinary Arts Tips

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Can you recommend any courses on how to become a food critic?

How to Become a Food Critic

Many see a food critic as a way to eat and get paid, but it's not that simple. Would you like to know how to become a food critic? Here are a few tips that will tell you how you can become a food critic.

1. Learn how to evaluate all features of the restaurant -- service, food, atmosphere, etc. Take a class in restaurant reviews, and check out your local bookstore for reading materials.
2. Find out how to combine your knowledge of the food and restaurant business to make it informative and compelling. Talk with someone in the industry who can share their insights on being a food critic.
3. Take a course in culinary arts, food writing and journalism.
4. Keep a journal for all your restaurant visits.
5. Learn how to taste wines.
6. Be ready to give a bad review if the restaurant's food, service and/or etc. are not pleasing to you.
7. Begin marketing yourself with your local newspapers and other publications.
8. Keep abreast of the new trends in the food and restaurant industry.

   
What are some job duties as a pastry chef?

Choosing the Right Culinary Careers

As you embark on your career in the culinary or baking field, it's important to research all the culinary careers that are available to you, and what each job entails.
If you aspire to be an executive chef, you will be responsible for managing the whole food preparation as well as manage the cooking for the restaurant.
Maybe slicing and dicing is your thing? If you're more focused on the preparation, ingredients, daily cut and grinding of meat, poultry and seafood, focus on a career in food preparation. This career choice places you under the supervision of cooks and chefs. Perhaps you'd like to be your own boss. Private catering or personal chef jobs are available. Being a personal cook, or a personal chef, requires you to prepare meals for your client based your client's needs. This included studies in nutrition and dietary food restrictions. If your client is diabetic, has high cholesterol or an allergy, your personal food preparation must focus on the dietary restrictions of your client, but also adhere to the proper nutritional guidelines.
Do you enjoy cooking desserts and making bread? Or maybe you would like to open your own bakery. A pastry chef prepares desserts and breads. Some pastry chefs own their own bakery, while others work in local bakeries, hotels and restaurants.
Thinking of something a little less traditional? How about a food taster? Someone has to taste the marvelous creations for the chef's – why not you? You'll focus on scents, smells and pairings of a variety of foods.
Don't rule out careers in restaurant management, event planning, food styling and even becoming an instructor for aspiring chefs and bakers.
These are only a select few of the many culinary careers available for you to choose from. Choose the culinary career that you feel appeals to your taste.

   
What are some of the recommended courses for a chef?

Culinary Careers: Recommended Courses to Become a Chef

If you're absolutely sure that a chef is the culinary career choice for you, then some of the courses you should consider taking are: professional cooking, professional baking and pastry, culinary arts, professional catering, professional personal chef, food and beverage management, hotel management, convention and meeting planning, culinary management, international hospitality management, buffet catering, controlling costs, food preparations, international cuisines, nutrition, menu and facilities design, food history, dining room theory/practice, culture and cuisine, wine appreciation, culinary history, professional cake decorating, and business and management courses.

These are only a few of the courses you may want to consider, but there are many other courses available. Check with the school of your choice to find out what courses they recommend for culinary careers.

   
Why would anyone want to hire a personal chef?

The Perks of a Personal Chef

There are people who crave nothing more than a career as a personal chef. Of all the culinary careers to choose from, becoming a personal chef is probably the ideal choice. You get to work for yourself, determine how many clients you can comfortably manage, and work as much or as little as you want to.

People work long hours and sometimes cooking for themselves just isn't in the schedule. They have families and other responsibilities and leisure activities that prevent them from making it as far as their own kitchens. That's usually why they call in the help of a personal chef. The personal chef charges a fee for groceries, consults the family about their dietary needs and any restrictions, and then cooks the family a week's worth of food that can be frozen or put into the refrigerator for easy heating. A personal chef is a bit like a caterer, except several meals are made at one time and delivered to the family's home.

When you consider the cost of eating taking out or heading to restaurants on a regular basis, the cost of hiring a personal chef really isn't out of the question. You're just substituting one for the other. Plus, instead of eating a lot of fried, fatty foods, you have the added benefit of having nutritious, homemade meals on hand every night of the week.

Careers as personal chefs are on the rise. All it takes is a little self-marketing, a good reputation, and a good culinary education to back it all up.

   
Once I learn how to become a food critic, what is my next step?

How to Become a Food Critic: Promote Yourself

Once you learn how to become a food critic, and you've visited a few restaurants, your next step will be to promte yourself as a food critic in order to sell the reviews you've just written. There are many newspapers, magazines and other publications that hire critics to report on the newest restaurants, bakeries and chefs. Check with your local newspapers and magazines and build a portfolio, then promote yourself to the larger national publications. You should focus on making contacts and keeping in touch. Learn the names of the editors at magazines, newspapers, and trade publications. Research food related websites, blogs and other publications for information on trends in the industry.

   
How can I talk to a Chef?

Talk to a Chef about Your Culinary Career

If you want to be a chef, talk to one, first. Ask around and see if anyone knows a chef. Next time you go to your favorite restaurant, ask if you can set up a convenient time to interview a chef or phone up cooking schools or a Chef Association in your area. Many chefs will be glad to talk to you.

Ask how they became a chef- what are the best local cooking schools, what classes and courses you can take in order to get into them and what culinary career would be best for you.

   
Do you have any tips on becoming a chef?

Culinary Careers: Becoming a Chef

Becoming a chef requires a lot of hard work and long hours. If you think you can handle the responsibilities of a chef's job then here are a few tips to aid you in your culinary career choice.
1. Attend a cooking school before becoming a chef. This will give you a flavor for what's ahead.
2. Start with a job in a large pastry shop where they make their own pastries. This will give you an idea of what appeals to you the most, and you will gain knowledge of how things work on a large scale production bases.
3. After working in a large pastry shop for a while, move to a small restaurant and discover how that kind of operation works.
4. Stay up to date on the latest cooking trends.
5. If you want to become head chef you need to gain knowledge on management skills, food cost control, financial skills and computer skills.

   
How can I talk to a Chef?

Talk to a Chef about Your Culinary Career

If you want to be a chef, talk to one, first. Ask around and see if anyone knows a chef. Next time you go to your favorite restaurant, ask if you can set up a convenient time to interview a chef or phone up cooking schools or a Chef Association in your area. Many chefs will be glad to talk to you.

Ask how they became a chef- what are the best local cooking schools, what classes and courses you can take in order to get into them and what culinary career would be best for you.

   
How can I talk to a Chef?

Talk to a Chef about Your Culinary Career

If you want to be a chef, talk to one, first. Ask around and see if anyone knows a chef. Next time you go to your favorite restaurant, ask if you can set up a convenient time to interview a chef or phone up cooking schools or a Chef Association in your area. Many chefs will be glad to talk to you.

Ask how they became a chef- what are the best local cooking schools, what classes and courses you can take in order to get into them and what culinary career would be best for you.

   
What are some of the financial aid programs to help me pursue my culinary career?

Financial Aid for Culinary Careers

When you decide on the culinary career you want to pursue, cost is a crucial factor for tuitions. Tuitions can vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per program or year. Other than tuitions, some of the other costs will be application fees, exams, room and board, books and supplies and cooking internship fees.

There are many programs out there to assist you with all the costs you will incur when studying for your culinary career. The programs are there to help you so don't be afraid to apply. Some of the financial aid programs available to you are: scholarships, grants and student loans. Check with the school of your choice for information on these programs.

   
What are some pastry chef jobs I could choose from?

Choosing the Right Pastry Chef Jobs

So you've decided that you want to become a pastry chef. Your next step, after education and hands-on industry experience, will be finding the right pastry chef jobs. Here are a few tips to help you choose the pastry chef job that is right for you:

1. If you want to go into business for yourself you can work towards opening your own catering business or private bakery shop.

2. Seek a job with your local bakery, hotel or restaurant.

3. If you like to teach others about the pastry industry you can check with culinary schools about teaching classes.

4. Do you like to create new products and test them? Check with corporate offices of regional and national restaurant chains.

5. Many hotels hire pastry chefs for their fine dining restaurants. At the hotels, you get the chance to put together extravegant buffet tables with many desserts and chocolate or sugar showpieces.

   
I have my first interview, do you have any tips?

Interview Tips for Culinary Careers

After completeing your course and training, it's time to find a job. Here are some tips on how to bestprepare for your interviews:
1. Study on your basic cooking and sanitation, because you may be asked questions about these subjects for the position.
2. Research the potential employer.
3. Maintain eye contact and speak clearly.
4. When filling out your application/resume make sure to mention your accomplishments, awards, skills, certifications and experience.
5. Arrive at least ten minutes early.
6. Shake hands with the recruiter/ interviewer, and introduce yourself.
7. Say thank you when the interview is over.

   
What types of pastry chef jobs do I have to choose from?

Types of Pastry Chef Jobs

There are various types of pastry chef jobs available to you, and some of them are as follows:

1. Local bakery shops and restaurants hire pastry chefs.
2. If you're professionally trained, check with companies that produce commercial baked goods.
3. Many culinary schools seek out pastry chefs to teach classes.
4. How would you like to create and test new products before they hit the restaurants? Then check with the corporate offices of regional and national restaurant chains.
5. Become a self-employed cake decorator and make cakes for special occasions. When advertising your services, be sure to mention that you are an experienced pastry chef.
6. Not sure about taking on the head-pastry chef role? A pastry assistant will allow you to assist a pastry chef, and this will give you hands-on experience to see if you want to take your career further.

   
Are there more culinary career options now than there used to be?

From Cooking Shows to Culinary Careers

If you're old enough to remember The Muppet Show, you probably smile whenever you think of The Swedish Chef. The characters culinary skills were alternative, to say the least, but he always managed to get that rubber chicken in the pot. During the days of The Muppet Show, watching The Swedish Chef toss his utensils over his shoulders and chase live birds around the set was the extent of televised cooking shows. They were out there, but they were nowhere near as popular as they are now.

Thanks to the popularity of reality cooking shows, culinary careers have gained new interest. For some, it's about the food; for others it's about the prestige. And for some…it's a bit of both. There's no question that opportunities abound for the smart, market-savvy chef. With a little career experience on their resumes, graduates of culinary programs can move on to freelance chef positions, act as a chef consultant, run catering businesses, manage fine restaurants, or even turn their own unique culinary creations into a personalized business venture.

So, if you're too young to know what “bork-de-bork-de-bork” means, don't worry. Rumour has it he wasn't really a qualified chef. His culinary career may have evaporated on the back-burner, but yours (with the right combination of education and motivation) will go as far as you want to take it.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jerry Mayo