Commercial Cooking Salary & Career Facts
Food is one of the most important things in our lives. It fuels our bodies, it's integral to many of our societal and cultural interactions, and it can even bring people together and create memories. Chefs and other culinary professionals spend their days preparing food for people to enjoy, which makes them part of an important and often-rewarding career field. Essentially, commercial cooking is cooking for others for monetary compensation (restaurant, nursing home, boarding school, food manufacturer, etc.)
What does a commercial cook do?
A chef can perform a wide range of tasks, both directly and indirectly related to the preparation of food. Here are some of the things that a chef may do:
• Prepare, season, and cook a variety of foods
• Plan and price menu items
• Collaborate with other chefs to develop recipes and menus
• Order and manage inventory
• Keep records and accounts
• Supervise and coordinate activities related to food preparation
• Plan work schedules
• Ensure that sanitation and safety standards are observed
• Monitor the proper handling and storage of food and supplies
• Perform quality control duties
• Deal with customer complaints
• Handle requests related to dietary considerations
• Check the quantity and quality of received products
• Determine how food should be presented
Commercial cooking courses are designed to create an awareness of and to develop entry level foodpreparation skills for the food service industry. The food service industry is one of the largest employers inthe world. These courses are designed to give students the skills and practical experiences necessary to enterthe cook trade or food service industry with confidence.The study of food and cooking methods is essential to the cooking trade; therefore, lessons for students incooking theory reinforce practical exercises. Sample cooking courses in a cooking degree program include:
• Culinary Arts I
• Knife Skills
• Creative Plate Presentations
• Food Styling
• French Cooking
• Indian Cuisine
• Italian Cuisine (Northern Italy)
• Italian Cuisine (Southern Italy)
• Japanese Cuisine
• Mediterranean Cuisine
• Preserving and Canning
• Sauces and Marinades
• Thai Cooking
• Vegetarian Indian Cooking
Here is a breakdown of what top commercial cooks make:
• The top 10 percent make $ 70,960 or more annually, or $ 34.11 per hour.
• The median wage (50th percentile) was $40,630 annually, or $ 19.53 per hour.
• The bottom 10 percent made $ 23,260 or less annually, or $ 11.18 per hour.
It should be noted that these averages don’t take into consideration location and level of education, which may skew the averages slightly. According to the 2011 salary study, certification can lead to higher compensation. On average, those with at least one certification received seven percent more than those without it.
The type of workplace can also affect salary expectations. Positions within high-end restaurants or hotels will generally come with a higher wage compared to casual dining establishments or chain restaurants.