Secrets of Cooking Careers

There’s a lot more to cooking careers than simply cooking and presenting food. The art of professional cuisine is complex, and there probably aspects to this field you’ve never imagined before.First, when you start out trying to find a full-time job, you want to be creative with your applications. Don’t apply to restaurants only. Also try sending your resume to hotels, cruise ships, assisted living homes-anyplace you can think of where people buy meals. If you’ve always wanted to live in Hollywood, try applying to work for commissaries at movie and TV studios. If you love the outdoors, remember that national parks have plenty of kitchens for their guests. In fact, any place you love to be, chances are there’s an opening for a cook somewhere close by. Baseball stadiums, expo centers, Disneyland…they all need chefs! If you don’t want to work for someone else, then try starting a catering company, or sell food over the Internet somehow. The possibilities are endless.Keep in mind that you’ll be working long days when you launch your career. And you’ll be standing up in a hot, steamy environment the whole time. You might not have much time for breaks during the day, either. And expect to work Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, at least for the first few years, as the holidays are busy times for the food industry, especially restaurants and hotels. You might be working fourteen hours straight sometimes, or nights, or weekends.It’s also important that you consider where you want to work carefully before you accept any position. In fact, try to work in one or more kitchens before you enter any type of formal culinary education program. If you like to cook, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll like being a chef, and you might be better suited to just cooking meals for family and friends in your spare time. Make sure you carefully investigate any company you apply to work for; try speaking with past and present employees of that enterprise to get a sense of what working conditions there are like. (Past employees might be more honest about this.)There are lots of different careers for people who enjoy and are knowledgeable about food besides just being a cook or chef. You could manage a restaurant, pub or cafeteria, for instance. You could work as a food scientist or chemist, helping companies devise new recipes. You could work as a food or restaurant critic for a publication or on the Internet. Or you could become a food photographer, someone who takes pictures of foods or TV, print and web advertisements.Whatever career path you take, always work to be the best cook you can be. This means striving to make each dish as close to perfect as possible; treat every meal like it’s the first you’ve ever prepared. Always be learning new recipes and experimenting with new food creations.

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