Whether you’re a foodie or a food artist, culinary school was likely was a memorable experience for you. The majority of culinary students have, for the most part, nothing but good things to say about going to school and mastering their craft. Becoming a chef is no easy feat, but upon graduation your program more than prepares you to bring your talents to the real world. By taking the necessary steps, you can meet success right out of school.
It’s important to remember that just like with any other program, your attitude will play a hand in how much success you’ll have. It is no different in the world of culinary arts. Many who first enter culinary programs are either eager to work with food, have a passion for the field, or all of the above. According to Ryan Whibbs, professor at The Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at George Brown College, almost all students come into the program and learn that their passion for the industry has grown tremendously over time. (Probably because food excites the senses).
There are a couple of particular ways you can carry your culinary knowledge and drive it into a career. Chef Whibbs points out the biggest factors to keep in mind are that one must embrace a broad range of knowledge in the culinary arts field. After graduating, there are many ways to apply your culinary knowledge beyond just the traditional kitchen.
“Students sometimes do not even realize the world out there,” says Whibbs. “You can apply your knowledge in an extraordinary way. Be creative, be open, and apply yourself and you will find yourself in a position of great success.”
For instance, you could consider working in food photography, as you have a special understanding of the common culinary phrase “we eat with our eyes first” or even get into food distribution or inventory. Alternatively, perhaps you can work for a gym, as many have personal nutritionists available around the clock assisting clients with meal planning.
In culinary arts, it’s all about being open-minded. For example, you may have had the idea to just put together traditional dishes in a kitchen at a high-end restaurant but, today, with just the click of a button you can take some of the most delicious-looking food shots. This has become a lucrative business on just Instagram alone.
There are many other entrepreneurial opportunities in the field where you can manage, develop people skills, and master customer service. “Many come into culinary management with a hunger to learn, but graduate with an even greater skill set and passion than they even expected,” adds Whibbs. “Those who taste the most success are the ones who tap into all the skills they picked up and apply with full force and a positive energy. These are the students who transition right out of school the smoothest.”