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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Important Professional Ethics That Junior Cooks Must Know!

Once you graduated from the culinary school, you will finally begin to find a job in the kitchen. You will definitely start as a beginner and it's going to be a long journey to expert in this profession. The beginner observes and imitates the behavior, work style and attitude being modeled, while a competent professional at the work place acts as a role model who, in ongoing activities, demonstrates the work to be done.

Knowledge is a power, it strengthens you and fills you with a feeling of satisfaction, while making you feel more secure in your relations with others at the work place as a beginner. To gain knowledge and the strength that comes from it requires more than studying books. Your attitudes toward what you do and how you do it, at work or at home, play an important role in your ability to learn. To get the most out of every experience, you must try to:
  • be productive
  • work well with others
  • get to know yourself and others
  • adapt
  • be creative
  • recognize the beauty around you
Source: Classical Cooking - The Modern Way (2nd Edition) by Eugen Pauli

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Hospitality Management & Future Career

Recently, hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and has been recruiting many young professionals and graduates to fill many sectors. As lifestyle needs and services change all the time, more hospitality positions are created by many establishments.. In fact, if you would be browsing the Classified Ads and local newspaper nowadays, you can easily find certain job vacancies that seem to not exist decades ago. Terms like white collar jobs, blue collar jobs, and home based jobs are present, along with the popular ‘hospitality management jobs’.

But what are hospitality management jobs anyway?  If you’re not too familiar with this kind of professional field, here are the essentials that you need to know about this particular industry and expertise.

The Definition in Brief.
To put it short, hospitality management jobs are basically jobs or professions that generally deal with hospitality or service industry in general. The main principle here is that you cater services to other people so that they would feel more welcome wherever place that the service is catered, such as in the hotels or resorts, restaurants, tour operators or travel agencies, tourist destinations, theme parks, etc.. Thus, the main job here is to become hospitable and accommodating to whomever you are serving and achieving the satisfaction.

Although the given definition seems quite simple, but you should actually know that this particular industry does not only pertain to one specific job. There are a number of opportunities and ways that you can be hospitable and make someone feel at home. This is why there are also various fields under hospitality management that you can venture into, if you think you have that kind of niche for the position. Working in the hospitality field would always fun and meeting new people everyday is awesome!

The Hospitality Staff and Crew.
In the field of hospitality, it doesn’t really matter if you would be serving your client face to face or not. In fact, more often than not, jobs in this kind of field would include service in the backstage or back office arena such as chefs, planners, housekeepers and other positions that involve planning and preparations. However, positions subjected to more exposure to customers are usually those that involve upfront services like receptionists, waiters, waitresses, concierge, park administrators, casino personnel, and so on. Do you feel this industry challenges you?

The Working Environment.
There are many choices of where you can choose to work, for instance, restaurants and cafes could be one of the best starting point to start your hospitality career upon graduation from the college, or perhaps you can apply for some internships at some prestigious and world class chain hotels around the world. Additionally, you can also work in bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels. Casinos are another good working environment to consider where you could actually expect to have bigger tips. Resorts and theme parks are also other best alternatives to be. The best part is you can work in cruise ships and have the opportunity to travel all over the world on board while serving other passengers.
It is also possible that you put up your own business. This is much true if you have decided to specialize one a course related to culinary arts. You can put up your own restaurant, if you want to. If you specialized on the tourism field, you could put up your own travel agency.

The Compensation or Salary.The good thing with this kind of career is that it is very lucrative. Your effort is very much rewarded equally with your salary. However, how big you earn would definitely depend on your position and specialty. Every position in the hospitality establishment has different range of compensation, the bigger the establishment so the higher you will get paid. Sometimes there are companies that pay by the hour. There are companies too that pay monthly or anually.

Education.Since there are different job positions in this kind of career, there are also different requirements. Many hospitality employers would require skilled workers and young talented professionals with good experience background, for instance, there are jobs that don’t really require a diploma and accept high school graduates, but usually they will earn lower than those who obtain a diploma. Usually positions like these would include housekeeping services of hotels. There are positions however that require educational backgrounds like chefs in which you should have finished a degree in culinary arts. This kind of particular position are normally earning quite high in the hospitality business. So, it's all depending on your side, which education path you are willing to choose for the future.

In general, you can take Hotel and Restaurant Management courses if you want to, but these days there are many hospitality study programs that you can consider as well, such as: Restaurant & Catering Management, Tourism & Airline Management, Resort Management, Culinary Art studies, etc.. This would be a very good advantage on your part. If you are thinking to take a wider challenge in the hospitality industry, a tourism study is recommended if you want to specialize more on a tourism oriented hospitality job in general.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

What Does It Mean To Study Culinary Arts?

For those interested in following a career in the culinary arts, there are two paths they can choose between. One method is to go through on the job training. There is plenty of unskilled work available in kitchens, restaurants, fast-food outlets cafeterias, and school kitchens. Entry-level positions such as kitchen porter or dishwasher will be unskilled and usually low paid.

Students of culinary school or culinary institute will be taught a range of skills and gain lots of practical experience. In most cases, this allows the successful student to bypass the unskilled entry-level positions available to their less well-educated colleagues learning on the job. Positions available might include Sauce Chef, Short-order Cook, Fast-food Cook, Food Preparation Assistant, or Vegetable Cook. These jobs involve a large amount of preparation work such as vegetable peeling. Further training and practice is necessary if the individual is interested in becoming a Head Chef, opening his or her own restaurant, has a view to teach or a desire to specialize in a certain area e.g. Patisserie. 

Employment opportunities for a culinary career, in general, are good and look set to increase in certain areas. With the aging population, demand for table service restaurants and other eateries is increasing; and it follows that jobs available for these types of more highly trained chef will do likewise. For the same reason, it is expected that there will be a decline in fast-food outlets and the requirement for short order cooks. 

Other career information which is of interest is hours and pay. Most workers work on shift systems; frequently including weekends, evenings, and early mornings. To cover mornings and evenings these shifts are often ‘split’ i.e. the cook or chef will be expected to work for several hours at the beginning of the day, take several hours off and then return in the evening. Pay depends on the amount of skill and experience being offered, and on the exclusivity of the establishment. Fast food outlets pay approximately $7 per hour, restaurants about $9 per hour. 

Friday, 25 June 2010

Culinary Careers - Future Outlook

Services is the largest and fastest growing major industry group and is expected to add 13.7 million new jobs by 2010, accounting for 3 out of every 5 new jobs created in the U.S. economy. Many young people work as chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers - almost 20 percent are between 16 and 19 years old. Almost 1 out of 2 food preparation workers are employed part time. Job openings are expected to be plentiful through 2010, primarily reflecting substantial turnover in this large occupation. 

Chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers:
Job openings for chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers are expected to be plentiful through 2010. Almost 60 percent of all chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers were employed in restaurants and other retail eating and drinking places. About 20 percent worked in institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals, and nursing homes. Grocery stores, hotels, and other organizations employed the remainder. 

While job growth will create new positions, the overwhelming majority of job openings will stem from the need to replace workers who leave this large occupational group. Minimal educational and training requirements, combined with a large number of part-time positions, make employment as chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers attractive to people seeking a short-term source of income and a flexible schedule.

Projected employment growth, however, varies by specialty. Increases in the number of families and the more affluent, 55-and-older population will lead to more restaurants that offer table service and more varied menus - resulting in faster-than-average growth among higher-skilled restaurant cooks. 

Wages of chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers depend greatly on the part of the country and the type of establishment in which they are employed. Wages usually are highest in elegant restaurants and hotels, where many executive chefs are employed. 

Bakers and pastry makers:
While high-volume production equipment limits the demand for bakers in manufacturing, overall employment of bakers is expected to increase due to growing numbers of large wholesale bakers, in store and specialty shops, and traditional bakeries. In addition to those of cookie, muffin, and cinnamon roll bakeries, the numbers of specialty bread and bagel shops also have been growing, spurring demand for bread and pastry bakers. 

Bakers often start off as apprentices or trainees. Apprentice bakers usually start in craft bakeries, while in store bakeries such as supermarkets often employ trainees. Bakers need to be skilled in baking, icing, cake decorating and making calculations. They also need to be able to follow instructions, organize others, have an eye for detail, and communicate well with others. Knowledge of bakery products and ingredients, as well as mechanical mixing and baking equipment, is important. Many apprentice bakers participate in correspondence study and may work towards a certificate in baking. Working as a baker's assistant or at other activities involving handling food also is a useful tool for training. 

The complexity of the skills required for baker certification often is underestimated. Creating and marketing bakery products requires knowledge of applied chemistry, ingredients and nutrition, government regulations, business concepts, and production processes, including the operation and maintenance of machinery. Modern food plants utilize high-speed, automated machinery that often is operated by computers. 

Hotel and restaurant managers:
Traditionally, many hotels filled first-level manager positions by promoting administrative support and service workers - particularly those with good communication skills, a solid educational background, tact, loyalty, and a capacity to endure hard work and long hours. People with these qualities still advance to manager jobs, but more recently lodging chains have primarily been hiring persons with 4-year college degrees in the liberal arts or other fields and starting them in trainee or junior management positions. Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in hotel and restaurant management provide the strongest background for a career as a hotel manager. Graduates of these programs are highly sought by employers in this industry. New graduates often go through on-the-job training programs before being given much responsibility. Eventually, they may advance to a top management position in a large chain operation. 

Upper management positions, such as general manager, lodging manager, food service manager, or sales manager, generally require considerable formal training and job experience. Some department managers, such as comptrollers, purchasing managers, executive housekeepers, and executive chefs, generally require some specialized training and extensive on-the-job experience. To advance to positions with more responsibilities, managers frequently change employers or relocate to a chain property in another area. 

Wage and salary employment in hotels and other lodging places is expected to increase 13 percent over the 2000-10 period. Job growth reflects rising personal income, an increase in the number of two-income families, low-cost airfares, emphasis on leisure activities, and growth of foreign tourism in the United States. In addition, special packages for short vacations and weekend travel should stimulate employment growth and, as more States legalize some form of gambling, the hotel industry will increasingly invest in gaming, further fueling job growth. 

Job opportunities should be concentrated in the largest hotel occupations, such as building cleaning workers and hotel, motel and resort desk clerks. Because all-suite properties as well as extended stay and budget hotels and motels do not have restaurants, dining rooms, lounges, or kitchens, these limited-service establishments offer a narrower range of employment opportunities. 

Employment outlook varies by occupation. Employment of hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks is expected to grow rapidly as some of these workers assume responsibilities previously reserved for managers. However, the spread of computer technology will cause employment of other clerical workers - bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks and secretaries, for example - to grow more slowly than the industry as a whole. Employment of waiters and waitresses is projected to decline - reflecting the trend toward hotels and other lodging places that do not offer full-service restaurants. Similarly, employment of lodging managers is expected to increase more slowly than the overall hotel industry due to the growth of economy-class establishments with fewer departments to manage. However, the trend toward chain-affiliated lodging places should provide managers with opportunities for advancement into general manager positions and corporate administrative jobs. Opportunities should be more limited for self-employed managers or owners of small lodging places. 

Source: U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook 2003

Monday, 8 February 2010

Which Culinary School is Right For You?

Are you fresh out of high school, and appreciate good food? The United States has many culinary schools and the job market is booming, so if you have ever been curious about the possibility of turning a natural love into a career, read on. At the very least, you will have fun choosing which culinary school would be perfect for you.

1. Art Institute (AI)
This institution's culinary program is excellent. They are actually one of the leading institutions for students who are looking for not just a culinary school but a place that greatly specializes in the creative arts. Culinary programs of the Art Institutes are top-notch education and training in the following culinary fields of expertise: culinary arts, the art of cooking, restaurant and catering management, baking and pastry and culinary management. The availability of these culinary programs may vary from one Art Institute culinary school to another. It's best to call your chosen campus location first to verify if they're offering the courses that you're interested in. This will help you save time in trying to find the best suited culinary school for you.

2. Atlantic Culinary Academy
The Atlantic Culinary Academy is actually a division of the popular McIntosh college. This culinary school boasts programs that specialize in Le Cordon Bleu training as well as associate degrees in Culinary Arts. This culinary school is known for being able to teach and train its students in just 18 months. And, in addition to the completion of their culinary courses, the students will also earn the Le Cordon Bleu Diploma, a highly recognized international culinary arts diploma.

3. California Culinary Academy
In San Francisco, California, this school is located in San Francisco's Civic Center district as well as in the hip and stylish Portrero Hill district. Aspiring chefs flock to this culinary school because it is internationally known for being able to produce some of the world's best chefs. This is made possible through their extensive training programs, great cooking facilities, and excellent instructors.

4. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
This school has several locations in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Florida to name a few. It is a culinary school that is highly revered for its Associate of Occupational Science Degree In Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. There is a fifteen month program that includes a highly extensive cooking technique and training program, but what makes this school unique is their inclusion of an internship wherein the students of this culinary school will gain over one hundred hours of real on-the-job experience before they ever leave. This is a classical culinary school for aspiring chefs, and oh yes, one more thing, it is also incredibly demanding.

5. Online Certificate for those who simply don't have the luxury of time to just actually go to a normal culinary school, there is the Art Institute Online, that hopes to be able to reach out to more students who are interested in taking up art courses as well as courses regarding culinary arts. This online program is actually uniquely designed for working people who have already earned their Associate's degree. Of interest, this program combines all kinds of courses such as human resource management to law and ethics and accounting. Why, you ask? The program is aimed towards culinary arts students who are thinking of opening their own restaurant someday.

What You Will Actually Get When Studying at the Cooking School?

If you have the passion to spend your time in the kitchen most of the time, you can actually turn this particular interest into an exciting career for your future by attending a culinary class from several top cooking schools. Cooking in the kitchen is something that really fun if you really enjoy in doing it, especially if you love to watch several live cooking shows on television to build your basic cooking skills. Cooking is an art and it is not something that everyone can do in general.
Enrolling yourself to a cooking school can be a good step to enhance your hobbies and make a future living from this particular interest. There are many good cooking schools out there with excellent study programs you can choose to start developing your hobbies into a serious action. The culinary courses and programs which are provided by most cooking schools around the world will actually provide you with the required skills you need in the culinary field in order to become a professional chef or run your own restaurant business. Getting a certificate, diploma or degree from bonafide cooking schools can give you certain benefits when looking for a future employment.
Anyone who graduates from a cooking school and hold an educational certification has a greater opportunity to find a career in a variety of food service industries. In addition, students who attend study programs at cooking schools will likely be taught on how to manage a kitchen department in a small, medium or large scale establishment and the ability to operate their own future food service business.

So, what you will learn when studying at the cooking school?
To become a professional and qualified chef, the student must go through each culinary course and subject from the basic part of culinary art studies. Here are some subjects that are offered by most of cooking schools around the world:

  • Introduction to the hospitality industry in general and the culinary art in particular
  • Food preparation and mise en place
  • Cooking knowledge and skills
  • Hygiene and sanitation
  • Food cost control and purchasing
  • Menu planning and presentation
  • Beverage studies
  • Baking and patisseries
  • Business administration skills
Students at the cooking school will receive these subjects and practical skills in order to start their career in the food service industry upon completion of their studies. Recently, the food service industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and this particular industry recruits lots of young and talented workers with high quality of educational background and as well as practical experiences. The competition in the food service industry, especially in the culinary field, is quite huge, therefore this industry requires potential employees or food workers who have been properly trained and well educated.

How to find the best cooking school that meets to your interests?
If you think the culinary art study is right for your career path, then the next step is finding a good cooking school to enroll. Before doing this, you must consider several things before choosing a cooking school, read another article of mine on 6 Advises to Follow When Finding The Best Culinary School to Enroll.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

6 Advises to Follow When Finding The Best Culinary School to Enroll

If you feel that having a career in the culinary field is your final decision, then you should start finding the best culinary school to learn every single culinary skill from the beginning until you become a professional and well trained chef. It requires hard work, time and full dedication to begin your career in the culinary. This industry is categorized as one of the fastest growing industry in the world and many young talented chefs have been recruited to fill the vacant positions in several hotel and restaurant establishments around the world.

Applying to some best culinary schools around the world needs a sufficient financial support and huge investment, the fact is not cheap to attend any culinary program.Therefore, you really need to consider several things when choosing the right culinary school for you and your future career. Let me give you some great tips to help you finding the best culinary school that meet your particular interest in the culinary field.

  1. Decide and find a specialization of culinary study that you wish to focus on. Some top culinary schools have several sub programs to learn and participate, such as: baking and patisserie, basic cooking and general kitchen or food production skills, European or Western culinary arts and etc. If you have not yet decided or made your final decision on what particular field you wish to specialize, then you must try to find reliable and useful resources to guide you in making a final decision, because this is going to be the foundation of your future career path.
  2. Use the internet to find more details on certain culinary study programs from different schools of culinary arts in the world. I am definitely sure that all best culinary schools would have their own official website to accommodate the needs of information from their prospective students. You can get the idea or first impression by looking at their websites.
  3. Make sure that the culinary school you are searching for is having their job placement services upon graduation. This service is really helpful since many graduates have been trying pretty hard to find a job after graduation, with this assistance from the school, they seem to be responsible in assisting their graduates to find any employment upon graduation, although it will not be a guarantee that a graduate will find a perfect job, it depends on each individual when applying for a job, but at least a helpful guidance is considered as one of the best solution.
  4. Read some graduate testimonials after completion of studies at that culinary school. This is also really important to consider whether all graduates from that particular culinary school are accepted with good employment status upon completing their studies. You can take this as a great motivation to achieve the same as what most of their graduates can achieve upon graduation.
  5. Do a school visit if it is located in the same town or city where you live. Why this is important? You can at least do a little direct observation to make sure that the school provides the best standard of education for their students with excellent teaching facilities.
  6. Last but not least, find out how much the total tuition and school fee is. As I have mentioned earlier that studying at the best culinary school will cost you a lot of money and the investment is quite expensive, but the knowledge and skill you will get is really worth. I would prefer to consider the quality of education that particular culinary school will offer rather than considering the tuition or school fee. However, it is recommended as well if you could as the school whether they offer scholarship programs to prospective students with previous outstanding achievements.
I do really hope these 6 small tips would help you in finding the best culinary school that meet your particular interests. There are many things you should consider while trying to find the right school, but these are the main advises that you should put into serious consideration. Good luck and all the best to your culinary career.

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