After graduating from culinary school, it can be challenging to know what to do with your qualification. There are so many options, and not all jobs will lead you down successful, life-long paths in the food industry.
Before you jump into a job that may not light your fire, consider whether any of the career opportunities below are worth considering:
Restaurant and Food Service Management
Not everyone with a passion for food has to cook. Sure, cooking can be a hobby, but it doesn’t have to be your career. That’s why some culinary graduates decide to try restaurant management.
In this role, they can be in charge of everything from which chefs to hire, what menu they’ll be working on, and the cookware they’ll use to prepare food. This line of work also has ample opportunity for growth, which is something many people feel they need to remain happy in a role.
Baker or Pastry Chef
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, entering the culinary industry as a baker or pastry chef might be the right move for you. Not only do you get to be creative, but you can use your skills in a variety of workplaces.
You might supply pastries and baked goods for restaurants, a grocery store, or your local bakery. You may even decide to open your own bakery so that you can work the hours that suit your lifestyle the best.
If working in a fast-paced kitchen, preparing delicious dishes is your passion, it makes sense to become a restaurant chef. While the pay for restaurant chefs does vary greatly, the work is usually gratifying.
You can work as a sous chef or executive chef or specialize in a particular type of cuisine. The options are endless when you add the title of ‘chef’ to your name.
You might have big dreams about becoming a chef, but you may also have a niggling thought in the back of your mind that you don’t really want to work for someone else. If you use your culinary skills for catering, you can work for yourself.
Catering means you can explore an entirely new world of food while being a part of weddings and other special events. You can choose when you want to work, where you want to work, and with whom you want to work. Working for yourself also means you can charge as much as you see fit.
Any culinary graduate with an eye for detail can put their skills to good use as a cake decorator. There is no shortage of people looking for cakes for weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. You could be the professional to provide them.
Cake decorating allows you to specialize in the design, color, shape, and style of exquisite cakes that are put on display at events. This is a growing industry, with technology allowing cake makers to try new things, like edible screen-printed images.
Not everyone who graduates from culinary school will end up pursuing a career in cooking or baking. Sometimes, they may realize their passion lies elsewhere. Food styling involves using a series of tricks to make food look good on camera.
The focus is not so much on the taste but the aesthetics of the food, so that it can look desirable in photos and TV commercials.
Even if you don’t yet know what you want to do when you graduate from culinary school, you may be at least pleased to know that your options aren’t limited. Any of the career opportunities above may be worth exploring, so your future truly is bright.