Many have heard of the term “culinary arts”. Food science, professional cookery, gastronomy – whatever term you use, the subject of study here is expert food knowledge and preparation skills. This field, concerned in feeding us all, comprises a massive, global market, with a non-stop demand for talented professionals.
Everyone must eat. From four-star hotels to small diners, delivery services and food stands, this need to eat is answered by a vast world of culinary expertise. These facts are an absolute assurance that culinary science will never be phased out or lost to a lack of necessity. In fact, for those looking to enter the culinary field, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a continued growth rate of around 9% in the field. This is much higher than average and quite promising.
The world of culinary science and arts is a very diverse and large one. For this reason, the educational needs of up-and-coming culinary professionals may vary greatly from one to another. For those wanting to work in the most respected of culinary venues, an advanced degree and certifications may be needed. On the other hand, the average, self-employed street vendor may have only needed a few private classes in order to procure their skill set in the field.
A proper education in the field does require college though, just as any other esteemed profession. There are a number of culinary arts schools in the US that offer a very respectable education in the art. Some of the upper echelons in academia here include:
-Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, CA
-Johnson and Wales, Providence, RI
-Kendall College, Chicago, IL
-International Culinary Center, New York, NY
-Arizona Culinary Institute, Scottsdale, AZ
-Stratford University School of Culinary Art and Hospitality Management, Baltimore, MD
Arts in the Field
As touched on above, real-life examples of culinary professionals in action are diverse and many. Let’s take a brief look at a few.
Lead Chef at a Resort
The lead chef at a resort will be qualified in the finest points of culinary mastery. Their clientele span the rich and famous and some of the world’s most refined palettes. They will likely take responsibility over all aspects of a large kitchen and food process for the entire resort. A higher education is most certainly required in such a position.
Restaurant Sous Chef
The sous chef takes their place at the second-most important position in the kitchen – the lead chef’s second in command. This career also applies plenty of oversight to the entire kitchen operation. They will perform a great deal of the cooking and food preparation. They may also play a part in menu changes, branding efforts, and even supply procurement choices. This position may or may not require a formal education. In venues of higher pay and furthered vocational esteem however, some culinary accreditations will probably be needed.
Catering Company Manager
The catering manager may have risen to their position either through the merits of education or by many hours worked in the industry, or both. This person takes responsibility of all of the ins and outs of catering service as well as overall business success or failure. The catering manager will typically answer to the owner of the company and may or may not get involved with the physical aspects of actual food preparation.
This is merely a brief attempt at the rundown of a massive and very important industry to us all. Culinary science is the all-important science of keeping all fed. For more detailed information on culinary arts and related topics, the American Culinary Federation is a great place to start.