Top 5 Careers for Culinary Graduates

By: The Art Institutes Filed under: Culinary

August 24, 2018

You know that food has the power to create communities and conversations, to surprise, delight, and even inspire. And if you’re willing to put in the time and hard work to get the culinary training and education you need, there are many ways for you to turn this passion into a career. Below are the top five culinary career options pursued by our graduates.

1. Restaurant Chef

Restaurant Chef preparing appetizers

Executive chef, saucier, garde manager. These are only a few of the types of chefs found in professional kitchens, and each chef has their own role to play. Some chefs specialize in one area like sauces or fish or roasting. Executive and sous chefs, on the other hand, focus more on managing kitchen staff, planning menus, creating innovative dishes, monitoring inventory, and sourcing fresh ingredients. Whichever position you’re in, restaurant careers can be exciting, fast-paced, and collaborative.

2. Personal Chef

Personal Chef

Instead of serving ever-changing clientele, personal or private chefs work one-on-one with recurring clients and households, selecting ingredients and developing menus based on clients’ individual tastes and dietary requirements. As a personal chef, you may make one meal at a time or prep multiple meals for clients to eat throughout the week. You may also prepare foods for parties at your clients’ homes or small event venues.

Personal chefs work either by themselves or with a much smaller team than you’ll find in a restaurant kitchen. Personal chefs are also usually self-employed and most commonly work in big cities like New York or Los Angeles.

3. Caterer


If you become a caterer, don’t expect to be bored--you’ll get to cook a wide variety of foods in diverse settings for all sorts of clients. You’ll prepare food for large events like fundraisers, weddings, and other celebrations, often working on the weekends and evenings.

Your work will include meal planning, food preparation, and organizing and overseeing dining set up, presentation, and service. As with all cooking roles, you’ll need to consider your clients’ dietary preferences and needs and meet all food safety requirements. To succeed in catering, customer service and business management skills are key.

4. Baking and Pastry Chef

Pastry Chef preparing dessert

In this career path, you’ll combine your creativity with an eye for detail to supply delicious baked goods and pastries for a restaurant, local bakery, or grocery store. Your day-to-day work might include buying supplies, overseeing other staff, and making and decorating beautiful pastries and desserts. To prepare for a baking and pastry career, consider taking a specialized Baking & Pastry program rather than a general Culinary Arts program .

5. Food Service or Restaurant Manager

Restaurant at night

A restaurant career could be for you if you’re interested in opening your own restaurant or managing both the front and back of the house. In this role, you’re responsible for the entire dining experience, from hiring employees and overseeing kitchen operations to ensuring the perfect dining ambiance and service. Beyond restaurants, food service managers may work in hotels, school cafeterias, hospitals and other in-patient care settings, entertainment venues, and anywhere else food is prepared and served.

To work in restaurant and food service management, you’ll need a solid understanding of the business operations and management techniques that you can learn in either Culinary Management programs or Hospitality Food & Beverage Management programs .

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Learn how the culinary programs at The Art Institutes can prepare you for a rewarding career doing what you love in the culinary field.
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By: The Art Institutes Filed under: Culinary

August 24, 2018