Cooking is a passion for many people and for most it is a hobby that they play around with in their kitchen over the years. But, for others, they take that passion and turn it into a career. When you have the ability to turn a passion into a career, it is an opportunity that you need to jump at. If you have a passion for cooking and want to become a professional cook, then you need to know the culinary school, culinary degree, and career path that you need to pursue.
How To Become A Professional Cook
While there is no shortage of ways that you can become a professional cook, the following steps will help you land the professional cook job that you always wanted.
• Starting working in a restaurant: This first thing that you need to do, even if you are still in high school, is to start working in a restaurant environment. The position doesn’t really matter. Whether you work in the kitchen, as a waiter/hostess, or as a dishwasher, you need to get your foot in the door to start learning the ins and outs of the restaurant business.
• Go to culinary school: While some people work their way up, if you want to become a professional cook, your best option is to go to culinary school. Going to culinary school will provide you with the foundational skills and knowledge you need to be a head chef.
• Get a culinary degree: Going to culinary school and getting a culinary degree will open the door to more high profile cooking positions in the industry. Culinary degrees are offered at vocational, community colleges, and culinary institutions. Make sure that you choose a culinary school that will teach you not only how to cook, but also important health and safety, sanitization, and restaurant management skills as part of your culinary degree. Plan your culinary course schedule wisely.
• Take Business and Culinary Courses: Most people that want to be a professional cook also aspire to be a restaurant owner one day. Therefore, it is important to take both business and culinary courses when in school. The culinary classes will prepare you for the kitchen, while the business classes will prepare you for management and give you the skills to effectively operate a business.
• Find an internship/apprenticeship: Doing an internship when going to culinary school is an important step in becoming a professional cook. If you can secure an internship with a well-known chef or restaurant, it will make a significant difference in your career development.
• Get Certification: Depending on what type of cook you want to become, you may want to explore certification options. The more credentials you have the better.
• Start working: Culinary school is the perfect education option if you aspire to be a professional cook. But you need to realize that even with an educational background you will likely have to start near the bottom, especially if you get a job with high class establishment.
• Be proactive: if you want to work your way up quicker, be proactive and take additional cooking courses, developing your cooking skills, network, attend events and keep your eye out for opportunities to move up in the industry.