Thanks to the growing popularity of cooking shows and celebrity chefs, people have a whole new interest and perspective on the art of cooking. This increased attention also means more individuals becoming serious about pursuing culinary careers, both in the United States and Canada. In fact, Canada is steadily gaining international notoriety for its cuisine.
For Serious Chefs
As a kid or teenager, did you find yourself always in the kitchen helping prepare meals? Or maybe your favorite television shows involved well-known chefs, like Chuck Hughes or Martin Picard. Did you save your earnings from a fast-food job to purchase the best cookware so you could create your own delicious culinary concoctions at home? Click here to find the best kitchen cookware.
If you answered in the affirmative, then maybe you are destined for a career in the culinary arts. We’re not talking about part-time work at a local diner, although that’s a great starting point. A serious cooking career requires lots of education and on-the-job training.
Time to Learn
Before you can wow a restaurant guest with your savory skills, you have to learn the basics. Of course, you can pick things up from others as you gain experience in kitchens, or learn on your own by experimenting. But if you desire a career as a chef in a fine dining restaurant or as a restaurateur of your own establishment some day, then you have to be taught the industry standards of knife work, sauce preparation, and even how to utilize the various pieces of cookware found in professional kitchens.
Cooking schools provide this type of training. Culinary instructional institutions exist in most Canadian provinces as part of a community college or university or as a private, independent school. A well-rounded program will offer classes on cooking techniques, various ingredients, and theories as well as courses on business and management issues, especially at the university level.
Additionally, in Canada, many restaurants and hotel eateries require kitchen staff to have the Red Seal certification. In order to receive this government-issued distinction, you must pass the Red Seal Certification examination—make sure your cooking school prepares you for this test. The certification indicates that you’ve attained the necessary skills to meet a standardized level of training and competency, which is recognized and accepted nationwide.
A quality cooking school should also inform you on the various positions found within the industry from small, local restaurants to large hotel or resort kitchens. Below is a brief outline of traditional restaurant roles and what each entails:
- Chef de Cuisine/Executive Chef– This person is referred to as an “executive” because, just like in the corporate world, he or she is the ultimate voice of what happens in the kitchen. In addition to creating dishes, this person is responsible for various business duties, such as budgets, purchasing, and personnel management.
- Sous Chef/Assistant Chef – One of the main responsibilities in this role is to directly oversee the various chefs cooking in the kitchen. Sous chefs also help develop menu items.
- Saucier/Sauce Chef – Next in line is the cook who creates the various sauces to dress up entrees and other dishes. In smaller kitchens, this person may also cook soups and stews.
- Rotisseur/Roast Chef -Larger restaurants employ a specialist to braise meats to obtain that tender, fall-of-the-bone texture and rich, slow-cooked flavor. This chef may be required to work with butchers and meat suppliers.
- Grillardin/Grill Chef – This role is pretty self-explanatory; the chef cooks all meat, vegetables and/or fruit on the grill.
- Friturier/Fry Cook – If something needs frying, from stuffed squash blossoms to shoestring potatoes, the fry cook does it.
- Patissier/Pastry Chef – This is a sweet job. A pastry chef bakes bread and rolls in addition to producing all the desserts. Some cooking schools specialize in training individuals for this job.
Other chefs might specialize in vegetables, cold dishes, even prepping meats before cooking. Depending on the size and scope of the kitchen, many of these roles overlap, so it helps to look for educational programs that will train students in each position.
As many culinary school graduates have shown, you can carve out an interesting and fulfilling culinary career.
For reference regarding food service professionals opportunities, visit the link below: