Students may be hesitant to enroll in a culinary school because they (or their friends and family!) are worried about where a culinary degree can lead. While most people assume that a culinary student would be headed towards a career as a restaurant chef, there are tons of different options for that culinary degree!
The great thing about working in the culinary industry is people will always need food services. There’s very little likelihood that you’ll ever find yourself at a lack for opportunity to use that degree that you worked so hard for. While working as a chef isn’t for everyone – remember, chefs have to work long hours, especially on evenings and weekends, in hot kitchens surrounded by all sorts of people demanding a million things at once – your culinary arts degree will take you far.
Some of the more common, but less thought of culinary careers include:
o Cruise Ship Chef: for the more adventurous culinary artist, who feels limited by the day to day of the restaurant industry, a job on a cruise ship is the perfect solution. You can travel the world doing exactly what you love – cooking. Whether you’re working as the executive chef or even the vegetable chef, you’ll have tons of fun living the cruise life.
o Caterer: if you’re more interested in the entrepreneurial side of the culinary arts, working as a caterer might be a good fit. As a caterer, you’ll control when and how you work, and which types of functions you’re involved with. You’ll also be heavily involved in menu creation and selection, and you might even find yourself as part of a party planning team.
o Research and Development: culinary students don’t necessarily have to end up working in the service industry. You can also hook up with a government agency or food manufacturer to work in the research and development area. You’ll be testing foods as well as creating new recipes and working the latest trends in the restaurant industry.
o Management: no one manages a kitchen better than someone who knows all the little details. A culinary degree can easily lead you to hospitality or kitchen management at all kinds of levels, from restaurants to resorts.
o Publishing and Media: a love of food can take you far in the media industry, whether you choose to become an author or photographer, or you get yourself a television cooking show.
o Teaching: if you thrived in your classroom and spent all of your time helping out your classmates with all their projects, then maybe teaching is your calling. Culinary arts teachers are always in high demand – it’s hard to find good talent that’s willing to share! If you’re outgoing and more interested in regular hours, a teaching position will allow you to indulge in your love of cooking and pass it on to others. You never know, you might be the force behind the next big thing!