No one can deny the wonderful achievements of successful chefs who did not have a formal education in the culinary arts or in hospitality management. But learning the tricks of the trade from the masters already in the business has its perks. Here’s why a culinary education is important for your career as a chef.
Focus on food safety and hygiene
There are standardised safety and hygiene rules to follow in order to keep your guests safe and also stay above board with regulatory authorities. In a culinary institute, these procedures are drilled into you from Day One. There is no compromise.
Good culinary schools educate students not just on the rules to follow but offer reasoning behind them and options to ensure a longer shelf life without making a trade-off with safety. Understanding food safety and hygiene can also safeguard entrepreneurs against lawsuits.
Mastering essential skills
Going straight into a working kitchen environment requires a pretty thick skin. Given the high pressures of the job, there is no time for superiors to mentor you with patience and kindness. Staff without a culinary education can expect to be yelled at for behaviours that can seem quite basic – such as saying ‘behind’ when walking through a kitchen, caring for knives, etc.
With a good culinary education, students get the opportunity to be in an environment that fosters learning of the basics and also work in a professional kitchen. Details such as the cutlery that matches the dishes being served, various kitchen terms, and all the fundamentals of cooking are mastered during formal education.
But it’s not just excellent knife skills that can help make your way through a career in hospitality. Even chefs require a variety of ancillary skills to ensure their operations run smoothly.
Quality culinary institutions such as Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts include credits on everything from computer basics and menu management to budgets, accounting, team management and even event planning. Having these skills can place students in a better position to manage their own kitchens and open up opportunities for entrepreneurship from the get-go.
Many companies are looking for some sort of formal indication of your skills. Getting a chef’s job right off the street would probably mean starting at the lowest level. With a certificate from a renowned institution like Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts, you can jump a few steps and possibly start at higher paying jobs.
Studying at a culinary college also opens doors to luxury brands which often conduct recruitment drives on campus.
Mentorship & networks
As a student of a culinary college, you will have at your disposal the vast network of alumni and mentors who offer valuable advice and help throughout your career. Choosing a good culinary institution can also mean the opportunity to do internships and externships abroad, which bump up your resume. Mentors from the culinary world are brought on board to offer first-hand experience, discuss trends and issues, and guide students through their course and as they start their careers.
There are also tons of chef organisations around the world, many of which require recommendations, for which alumni associations, professors and mentors could help.
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