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What is the highest paying position and degree a head chef can get?

My passion is cooking. I'm trying to know everything there is to know about this occupation and whats the furthest i can get in this particular field.
#chef #culinary-arts #culinary #cooking


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Mical’s Answer

First, we must understand that the highest paying position does not always come from having a degree. In some states, for example California, it’s very important to have some experience to be hired as top of the kitchen brigade such as a sous chef or an executive chef, however I always recommend you learn all aspects of working in BOH because experience is key to manage and to find the place where you will be paid well for your abilities and skills and experience. It’s also important you work in the industry before you commit to several years of culinary school, it is sad many go into student loans Or spend countless school hours only to find out they don’t like their career. Also keep in mind that going into a higher position in the food service industry may requiere that you do a lot of paperwork in an office and less or no cooking at all, You will also affect the lives of your employees by your decisions on a daily base, so being a good leader to reach a top position is essential Meaning the highest position will have the highest level of stress and responsibilities. so as I always say “ do not come into the food service industry JUST because of money or position “ if you love the industry you will be promoted into a higher position or higher wage in no time. If you Only love cooking then cooking classes and a job where you only do cooking is Essential if you want to enjoy your job.

Mical recommends the following next steps:

Find a job in BOH ( cooking)
Look for a mentor in that job or online
Take a lot of notes
Study your city regulations (Health department) for food service industry
Start by saying “yes chef” and get to work

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Jared’s Answer

Your academic pursuits are limitless. You can also study alongside other master chefs throughout the world to pursue and sharpen your skills. Think outside the box and you will realize that there is an unlimited combination of options and opportunities ahead of you.

Jared recommends the following next steps:

Apprentice chef programs
Chemistry

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Tyzhanae’s Answer

Executive chef
Sous chef
Banquet chef
Pastry chef
Food production manager
Purchasing manager
Private club and Resort manager
Institutional food service

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Kenji’s Answer

There are four main upward directions associated with culinary training.
1. Pure cooking and high end restaurant cooking. High level technique requires high level training as stagier or cook in top restaurants until you feel you can be a restaurant chef in your own right. Eventually with fame at a certain level of notoriety you may take advantage of various side incomes via marketing/celebrity status. Of course talent and belief in coming out in the top 99% are critical to success in this route. A long shot but if you got it then you got it. If you are in the top 1-3% you will likely enjoy very high income and status. Fine restaurants chef owner falls into this field. Think Michael Mina, Zuma, French Laundry Keller, Jean George empire, Robuchon etc.
2. Broad restaurant industry. In large operations of fast casual, branded family restaurants, and fast feed for instance there's constant expansion and if you are able to put the food on the table fast as expected and according to corporate standards, pass inspections consistently and influence staff and those around you to be excited about the work and job you could at some point travel through chef by passing a move to corporate kitchen and transition to operations where the ceiling is very high. Top corporate or regional operators of large revenue chains make commensurate compensation relevant to other industry leaders. Think COO or Regional Head of operations for Cheesecake factory or Yum.
3. "I just like to cook and do my thing." No management but notoriety as the best lead cook, head chef or sous chef you could hire will give you the time to cook always and if the operation size you are good at allows for budgeting better assistants to the team you will be able to leave the service once in awhile or take days off that are really that. Days off not sort of always on call. Nothing wrong with this but 100-120k would be the very high side unless you are part owner of the restaurant and/or have profit sharing bonuses.
4. Hotel industry culinarian is the other. Either you go into luxury class hotel kitchens or not. Luxury class hotel kitchens means becoming eventually and executive chef manager/director. You need to know what you are doing hands on so a full tour is highly recommended. Also the willingness to interact with many conflicting priorities, going to meetings when you'd rather cook. You would be higher paid than most managers perhaps more so than you supervisor F&B manager more in line with what a number 2 "hotel manager" makes. But far under the General Manager who is typically not a local hire but working under corporate management company auspices. Note that as with most chef jobs due to needing to be dual discipline operators -- management and culinary -- you are getting paid like the hotel manager because thats hard to achieve. Problem is you have expiry date a little earlier. Smart hoteliers chefs switch early to management and have a chance after multiple follow up postings to achieve GM positions where they can make good money and proper benefits commensurate with but generally under later leaders of industry in the demographic. Hotels have a lot of expenses and staff to pay. Its not like pumping petroleum. But if you love the vibe and the buzz, nothing like a busy hotel! Rock n Roll and and lots to see, do and experience. Plus the travel for work opportunity is still very available even at lower levels of heirarchy.

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