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Jobs Available in the Culinary Arts

If you love food, but don't necessarily want to slave away in a hot kitchen day in and day out don't worry, you don't have to. These days there are many other ways for food lovers to make their living in the culinary arts without getting their hands greasy. One way to exercise your taste buds without wearing out your hands is to become a food writer. Whether you write restaurant reviews, recipes, or reports on current trends, you are sure to be well fed! Although an education in the culinary arts is not necessary in order to be a food writer, a degree from a cooking school will command a lot of extra respect and verify that you really do know what you're talking, or writing about. Regardless, as a food writer you will be expected to know about the culinary arts: styles of food preparation, terms, techniques, and tastes. Only with a solid understanding of the subject will you be able to write about food accurately and eloquently.

Careers in food planning, such as gourmet retail buyers and menu planners, also require individuals who are well versed in the culinary arts. Planning a menu requires an understanding of the current techniques and trends, as well as what tastes complement each other best. A gourmet retail buyer must also be familiar with the culinary arts, in order to determine which products to carry in the store, and where to acquire them. Individuals in this position may also be required to keep tabs on what products are most popular, in order to keep abreast of the trends even as they change.

Putting food planning into action also requires a host of specialty personnel. Test kitchen chefs have the creative job of experimenting with foods and developing new recipes, while food tasters get paid to taste and evaluate new foods. Both positions require a solid understanding of the culinary arts, in order to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. The marketing side of the culinary arts requires yet another person, known as a food stylist, to prepare meals and deserts for each photo shoot, whether for menu illustrations, print advertisements, or television commercials. Some jobs in the culinary arts require the individual to do a little bit of everything.

A food consultant is one of those: he or she may be hired to develop recipes, test existing recipes, rate the nutritional value of an existing menu and make suggestions, or plan entire menus for specific age groups or dietary needs. Food consultants may even be responsible for educating others in the culinary arts: those cooking shows you watch on television are most likely written by a food consultant. Of course, there are also plenty of the kinds of jobs that you'd normally expect in the culinary arts: there is no end to the demand for kitchen staff, head chefs, confectionary specialists, and countless other jobs that deal directly with the food and the customers. Someone who likes getting their hands greasy but doesn't want to deal with the mess and madness of a commercial kitchen might become a chef in a private household or start their own catering business. Perhaps the biggest fear that prevents people from pursuing careers in the culinary arts is the concern that they'll end up stuck in the kitchen in a fast food restaurant.

Just because you are interested in cooking does not mean that you are limited to a few different kinds of jobs; an education in the culinary arts can be put to good use in any number of creative careers. Wherever your interests lie, rest assured that there is a job for you in the culinary arts.

Andy West is a freelance writer for The Culinary Institute of Virginia College. Culinard offers two outstanding culinary arts programs. For more information please visit .

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