Many people are surprised by the broad range of employment opportunities available on completion of a Culinary Degree. When you graduate from Culinary School, you might choose to work in a restaurant, at a resort, or in catering. The job choice you make can set the direction for your career. Working in a restaurant is very different than working in the catering business for instance. There are different skills required for these jobs, and working in one field does not give you qualifications for the other. Keep this in mind before deciding which Culinary Career you intend to pursue. After you graduate, you have the opportunity to review the skills you have and decide from there what food service venue you want to focus your career on. During the first several years of your culinary you will spend a lot of time practicing your skills and then finding your niche.
One of the basic skills you will utilize throughout your Culinary Career is your technical skill. This set of skills includes cooking methods, knife skills, and line cooking. Another skill is that is learned is culinary. Budding chefs train to make food taste good. Chefs will learn seasoning, flavor combinations and plate presentations to
The most basic skill, the one that schools are designed to teach, is the technical. These skills are the basis of every chef’s talent – knife skills, cooking methods, timing, mise en place, and (the ultimate technical skill) making cooking on the line graceful, even during the rush. The other skill taught in school is culinary. Most chefs have a good palate to begin, but training for the nuances of flavor and seasoning, new flavor combinations, creative plates and presentations, delving deep in to a cultures cuisine all take training and practice.
The other two skill sets are what distinguish a cook from a Chef. A Chef is concerned with more than his/her own piece of the kitchen – they have the whole kitchen as a responsibility. With this in mind, organization is key. The chef has to stay organized, run the kitchen smoothly and efficiently, and conduct business.
Hand in hand with directorial skills are managerial skills. A chef understands how to work with people and get them to work for him/her. These skills are the highest level because they involve sharing knowledge and skill with those working for you. The most often-seen method is training, but ultimately being a mentor to a cook and to develop their career is the highest skill a chef can accomplish.