The Future of Culinary Arts
A career in culinary arts involves more than simply cooking. Many job opportunities exist in this field, from executive chefs to part-time food service workers. Chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers prepare, season and cook a wide range of foods in a variety of restaurants and other food service establishments. Food service managers are responsible for the daily operations of restaurants and other establishments that prepare and serve meals and beverages to customers. Most fast-food or short-order cooks and food preparation workers require little education or training since most skills are learned on the job. Executive chefs and head cooks who work in fine-dining restaurants require many years of training and experience. They may receive training through post-secondary vocational programs, independent cooking schools, professional culinary institutes or 2- or 4-year degree programs in hospitality or culinary arts. Many restaurant and food service management positions, particularly self-service and fast-food, are filled by promoting experienced food and beverage preparation and service workers. Many national or regional restaurant chains recruit management trainees from 2- and 4-year college hospitality management programs which require internships and real-life experience to graduate. Important characteristics for those interested in culinary arts include working well as part of a team, working efficiently, personal cleanliness, self-discipline and initiative. Job openings for chefs, cooks, food preparation workers and food service managers are expected to be plentiful through 2020. However, competition will be keen for jobs in the top kitchens of higher-end restaurants. Employment growth will be spurred by increases in population, household income, and leisure time that will allow people to dine out and take more vacations.