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How do people advance in this field? What is a typical day like in your job? What are current job prospects like?

For examples cooking and getting a high position as a head chef. #cooking


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Aaron’s Answer

Hello Cameron!

I know a thing or two about the hospitality industry so I will try my best to answer this. I do not think there is a single way to advance in this field and it depends on the type of cuisine/restaurant you want to open or work at. But let's say you want to be the head chef at a fancy modern restaurant in the city.

One option is you can go to culinary school which will teach you the basics of cooking, this is what a lot of cooks do. Another option is to find a chef or cook that you think is good and try to get work with them.

To make it to the top in the culinary world can be a bit grueling. It's long hours in a hot kitchen with hot objects and sharp knives at every corner filled with fiery personalities. I recommend taking the time to work in some kitchens as a prep cook or even a dish washer to really get to know every position in the kitchen. If you want to be a head chef you'll want to know how to run everything.

Anthony Bourdain started off in the back of the house and worked his way up. I personally think this is the best way to move up and really get to know your field. A lot of chefs will travel and seek out opportunities in the top kitchens. It's not a glamorous life style at first and often times you will not be paid that well, but I think this process builds a strong foundation for anyone pursuing a career in the culinary arts.

Be sure you really have a passion for cooking, do you already cook a lot at home? Are you naturally hospitable and a good host to your family and friends?


Good luck!

Aaron recommends the following next steps:

Cook a meal at home for friends and family. Practice being a host yourself
Get a job at a local restaurant, some states permit 16 year olds to work. Start in the back. This place does not need to be fancy but it's a foot in the business
Apply to Culinary School or try to get a job in a place you really respect
Be prepared for set backs and . The culinary world intersects with night life and entertainment. Alcohol/Drug abuse is quite common in this industry. It's best to learn self control and not spiral down that path.

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paul’s Answer

Being a chef (or Chief) means that you are responsible for managing the people, processes, and technology in a production environment, which makes every restaurant, hotel, or college kitchen successful. You will have to develop the skill to not panic when 100 dinner orders are lined up in front of you. You will have to delegate effectively to deliver the diner's selections in a fast and delicious manner. One thing to remember is that in the food business, feedback on your work is immediate. This can be encouraging or discouraging depending on your performance.

You will run the back of the house- keeping energy high, your teammates engaged and motivated, and managing day to day personnel problems (e.g., when the potwasher doesn't show up and you have to find a sub).

Enjoy the career, knowing it is long hours, hard work, but a rewarding and fun job.

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