Cindy Komarinski, Ph.D., C.C.C.
Incoming Chair, American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission
Every successful chef is a lifelong student of their craft. With decades of learning to look forward to, there is something to be said for beginning your career with the right educational foundation. Whether you graduate from an accredited school or take advantage of an apprenticeship program, you will find that there are numerous benefits to formal culinary training.
1. Hop on the line
Graduates of both secondary and postsecondary culinary programs are armed with the skills and knowledge they need to land a great job and put their best foot forward. By combining education with a willingness to work hard, aspiring chefs can create a recipe for success in one of America’s fastest growing industries.
2. Earn while you learn
Ours is truly an apprenticeship industry, and by taking advantage of formal apprenticeship programs, you will receive valuable on-the-job experience, mentoring from qualified professionals and personal classroom instruction, all while earning a paycheck.
3. Hone your skills
You might think that culinary training is all about knife skills and simmering sauces. Not so. No matter what educational track you choose, you will have a chance to study management, nutrition, sanitation and more, in addition to mastering the art of many cuisines. Skills like these are invaluable in the kitchen, and they can take you almost anywhere.
4. Satisfy your hunger
This industry offers great potential to dedicated employees; up to 80 percent of restaurant owners report starting their careers in entry-level positions. For those who want to advance even faster, continuing education and certifications are a great option. By certifying your skills and professionalism, you show that you’re ready to move to the next stage of your career.
5. Feed your passion
Just like any other degree or professional program, culinary training offers students the opportunity to discover new interests and strengths, and to collaborate with others who share them. When you take time to consider what you love, what you’re good at and what kinds of food service jobs are out there, you put yourself that much closer to finding the career that’s the best fit for you.