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Paths Leading from Culinary School

Where might culinary school training lead you? Professional chefs take a variety of career paths. Here are a few jobs you might find yourself pursuing post chef training.

Boutique Restaurants

Many chefs seek out positions at small, upscale restaurants where they can exercise more control over their menus and the overall management of the kitchen. Their role might be defined more loosely, including restaurant management tasks such as drafting budgets, managing both service and kitchen staff, and developing marketing strategies.

Institutional Food Service

Culinary school graduates might also work for a large organization, such as a university, country club, or hotel. Food service operations in facilities such as these tend to be larger and more structured. Roles are more narrowly defined. A head chef, for example, may be involved in setting menus, hiring kitchen staff, and overseeing the preparation of food for restaurants and catered events.

Those who have a greater interest in the management side of food service are often drawn to institutional settings. Many have a background related more to restaurant management than the culinary arts, although trained chefs can also pursue food service management positions.

Chain Restaurants

After culinary school, some chefs seek out employment with a large restaurant chain. They might work at the corporate headquarters of a restaurant chain, where they develop and implement new menu items. They might also run a training program for head chefs of their restaurants to orient them to new cooking techniques and protocol.

Restaurant Owner

Some chefs open their own restaurants. Having more control over every aspect of a business, from the decor of the dinning room to the menu, leads many chefs to run their own restaurant. Of course there are drawbacks to this path; you must assume financial risk and will probably have to work longer hours.

Begin considering possible culinary career paths for yourself. Perhaps culinary school will help you get the skills and training needed to pursue one.

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