Culinary Arts Career For the Artist and Food Lover in You

Culinary arts careers can turn your love of food and sense of creativity into a means of lifetime support. The restaurant industry always has jobs, and you’ll never go hungry. But passion and energy is needed to survive.

A culinary arts career is not for the faint of heart. The majority of food service industry jobs require long hours, weekends and holidays. Throughout your career there will be intense moments of pressure and chaos combined with complaints, praises and strong emotions. There will be laid back potato peeling and onion slicing with laughing and groaning.

You’ll also find the food service industry has a powerful camaraderie, and your co-workers will quickly become family. Teamwork is essential to everyone’s survival, and your advancement. You will always be around people, and if you enjoy working with the public as well, you will climb the culinary career ladder faster.

Unless someone has exceptional culinary talents and connections that count, the culinary career will begin at the bottom. Getting your foot in the door is the first step. The restaurant industry employs over nine million people, but there is a lot of competition. There is also a lot of turnover, and much of the turnover is from career advancement. One person’s career advancement is another person’s career advancement.

Beginning at the bottom does have many advantages. If your career path is going to lead you to a management position, chef position or restaurant owner, working from the ground floor up is an asset to your resume. You’ll know the requirements, stresses and advantages of each job, and you will be better able to communicate to your staff to get the results you want. Someone who hasn’t climbed the career path won’t have this advantage, and hiring executives know this. Working up the ladder is an investment in your career.

A career in the culinary arts requires a sense of creativity, as well as the ability to produce consistently in a manufacturing production style. A pastry chef at a quality hotel will be able to design spectacular desserts, but they will be produced for large numbers of people. A prep chef may spend hours chopping vegetables, but they may also create a beautiful display of flowers using their own cutting and paring techniques and talents. I

If you are planning to advance in your culinary arts career to food management, restaurant management, executive chef or restaurant owner, you will also be responsible for controlling food costs and waste. In these positions, basic math skills will be required, and likely some computer data entry, scheduling and purchasing. Working with the public is a must in a culinary management position. If the administrative or “front-of-the-house” aspect of chef management doesn’t appeal to you, the culinary arts has many opportunities for specialists. A signature chef may specialize in pastries, cake designing, vegetables, soups, sushi or ethnic or regional specialties. A signature chef’s career is centered on the art and science of food.

Culinary arts careers are varied and many. Starting at the bottom as a line cook or prep cook will work your way to the top. Even starting as a dishwasher can put you first in line to get behind the line. But you won’t get promoted unless you are a team player and you prove yourself. Make a career plan first, and on your way you might discovery some unhidden talents or new cooking obsessions. You must always be willing to learn new things. If you have the energy and the passion and enjoy food, creativity and teamwork, start learning, get your foot in the door – then start cooking your way into your own culinary arts career path.

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Culinary Schools Acknowledge World and Regional Cuisines

Traditional culinary schools have evolved considerably since the 1950’s and 60’s. At that time, gourmet cooking was still based primarily on centuries of tradition firmly rooted in the European cooking tradition. Although there were culinary schools in the United States at that time, they were few and far between because many still felt that the world’s great chefs hailed primarily from Europe and France in particular. Times have changed considerably and the world of gourmet cooking has benefited greatly from the shift.

If you still remember Julia Child’s television series that introduced good cooking to the general public, you may also remember the cooking style she demonstrated which was traditional, satisfying and heavy foods. There were rich sauces and traditional French cuisine that was wonderful, however there was little variety in terms of regional dishes. French, Italian and Spanish dishes were often demonstrated, but Asian and American ethnic cuisines weren’t taught.

It isn’t surprising, like most chefs at that time, Julia Child was traditionally trained in the French tradition. The relatively small number of culinary schools in the United States at mid-century were all based on a traditional French pattern. Over the years, however, the demand for creative dishes and ethnic cuisines grew and culinary institutes began to respond. The finest schools continue to cover the basic and advanced techniques of European cooking, but now also give students in-depth understanding of regional cooking techniques, seasonings and styles.

In the last three decades, ethnic and regional food specialties have gained huge popularity. Where these foods were once found primarily in ethnic neighborhoods, they have now gone mainstream and been elevated to fine cuisine due to their increased popularity and the interest of great chefs around the globe. Culinary schools now teach students everything from unusual cooking methods to sausage making and everything in between.

In an increasingly small world where so many people travel to different cultures and try new foods, it isn’t surprising that the interest in regional and world cuisine has taken off. When travelers return home, they hope to find the delicious foods they’ve learned to love at home as well, and chefs are responding to this trend.

Today’s culinary schools cover a wide variety of food traditions, including French, Spanish, Italian, Asian, Polynesian, Creole and Cajun, as well as many sub-categories of each of these international cuisines. “Fusion” foods are also increasingly popular. Fusion is the combination of two distinct types of cuisine in order to create unique new dishes. Fusion restaurants are now some of the most popular in the country because of their skillful blending of many international traditions that produce flavorful new dishes to tempt diners.

If you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and trying new ways to prepare traditional foods, culinary school may be the perfect career choice for you. Be sure to ask each school you are considering what kinds of cuisines will be taught. The best culinary schools have evolved and continue to do so in order to tempt the public’s increasingly discriminating and worldly palate.

Andy West is a freelance writer for The Culinary Institute of Virginia College. Culinard offers two outstanding Culinary School programs. Please visit http://www.culinard.com

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3 Ways Culinary Lavender Can Help You Find the Love of Your Life

If you are looking for love, or just looking to cook some delicious food, culinary lavender is a definite must.

Taking the proverb ‘A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ as inspiration, I have collated my 3 favourite lavender recipes, which was in itself a very tough task, considering the possibilities of culinary lavender in food are almost endless!

Once that special someone gets that first scent of lavender they will be memorised! At the very least you will almost definitely fall in love with culinary lavender.

Culinary Lavender can be added to almost anything, from a thirst quenching lemonade to a light and fluffy lavender, raspberry and blueberry cake.

My top 3 recipes are:-

Lavender Lemonade – Refreshing and floral, this lavender lemonade is the perfect summer beverage.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups water
3 lemons
2 cups water

Directions:

Combine 2 and a half cups of water, two tablespoons of culinary lavender and half a cup of sugar in a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for five minutes. Cover the pot and let it stand for at least one hour.
Using a fine sieve, strain the lavender from the liquid. Place the liquid in a large serving jug and discard the lavender.
Juice three lemons into the jug and add an additional two cups of water stirring well to combine.
Chill the lemonade until it is cold and serve with crushed ice and a sprig of Lavender for decoration.

Almond & Lavender Cake – This light, delicious, mouth watering cake will change your life!

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup slivered almonds

2 tablespoons of Dried Culinary lavender

1 cup butter, softened

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup double cream

2-1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons boiling water

3/4 cup icing sugar

Additional dried lavender flowers (optional)

Directions:

Grease a 10″ pan and sprinkle with sugar; set aside. Place 1/2 cup sugar, almonds and 1 tablespoon lavender in a blender; cover and process until finely ground.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy; beat in almond mixture until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and double cream. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream mixture, beating well after each addition.

Pour the mixture into your greased 10″ pan and bake at 180 for 25-30 minutes or until a knife is removed cleanly.

Lavender Shortbread – This recipe can be found here along with some other equally delicious recipes. These are just a few of my favourite recipes, but there are countless recipes you can try and half the fun is the trial and error stage, or if you are like me licking the spoon is the ultimate treat!

This post was written by Lavenderworld. LavenderWorld is a family run business and they own beautiful Lavender Fields in the heart of Yorkshire and their love of flowers has grown into a wonderful successful business doing exactly what they love. Lavenderworld provides a wide range naturally beautiful products from natural skin care products, plants and wonderful wedding bouquets to a wide range of plants to keep your garden in bloom all year round. For more info please visit http://www.lavenderworld.co.uk

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Holiday Ideas – Gifting With Food

An unusually nice way to let friends know that you are thinking of them during the holidays is to send or bring them gifts of food. Not only are food gifts always usable but they are the fashion in gift giving today. What simpler way is there to find a find for the person who has everything or the one who has very little? To meet your holiday needs, many gourmet cookware shops and food stores specialize in food gifting, or if you love to spend time in the kitchen you can prepare you own favorite specialties for your friends.

In the last number of years, ‘Food Gifting’ has become so popular that a whole new industry of ‘Gourmet Basket’ making has emerged. Baskets come in many different forms and are not only made from woven wicker but are now hand crafted from wood and other materials. In addition to baskets there are beautifully designed gift bags and old-fashioned cookie tins for food gifts. One nice way to present a food gift is to fill a cooking utensil with related items. An example would be a Pasta Pot filled with gourmet pastas and sauces, Italian cheeses and red and white checkered napkins.When gifting with food it is especially nice to choose a theme for your gift and fit the packaging and the contents into it. Below is a list of food themes which suggest ideas for holiday food gifts. You may like to choose one of these or decide on your own. Whichever you do should be our own choice, and fit the tastes and needs of the person receiving the gift.

Wine & Cheese
Fine Spirits
Bread Baking
Pasta & Sauces
Childhood Delights
Coffee & Tea
Sugar & Spice’s
Fruit & Nut’s

Gourmet Popcorn Treats If you feel creative and have enough time, you may enjoy purchasing the gift container and contents, and putting the package together yourself. However if you, like many people today are very busy and do not have the time, most shops will put together the gift for you with little or no charge as long as you purchase all the items from them. If you do package your own gift, be sure to wrap it in a see through wrapping paper such as clear or colored cellophane. Food gifts are so pretty and delightful to look at that you won’t want to cover them up with opaque wrapping paper.

Retail outlets that do put together food baskets and other related items can be found in your local Yellow Pages or in local newspaper ads and or mail-order companies, or you can choose from one of the stores from the listed below.

Specialty Food Stores: Gelson’s Markets, Bristol Farms, Whole Foods

Culinary Stores: Let’s Get Cookin’ (Westlake Village, CA) Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma

Don’t forget the Candy Stores, Wine Shops and even some Bakeries. Last but not least, don’t omit your own favorite specialties which your friends would probably love to receive along with the recipe, if you are willing to part with it. Whichever you do, you will enjoy selecting and or putting together your gift and your friends will enjoy getting them and using them.

Finally, a delightful bonus derived from ‘Food Gifting’ is that you don’t have to rack your brain trying to decide what to give people. ‘Gifting with Food’ comes naturally and easily without struggle and is a joy and pleasure to the giver as well as the recipient!

I have been a children’s cooking teacher and educator for over 35 years. In addition I have worked for Cuisinart as a Consumer Adviser and taught classes on the proper use of food processors. I teach monthly classes in Ventura, County California for children, teens and their parents. I love to share my ideas to help kids be safe, learn and have fun in the kitchen. I hold a MS in Nutrition and Food Sciences from California State University.

Please check out my website at http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com

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Finding the Best Jobs in the Food Sector

If you’re searching for a job, you’ll find out that there are numerous jobs in the food sector available and they’re not only limited to those who have a degree in food, culinary arts, and the like. In fact, these jobs can be handled by anybody, even by undergraduates.

It’s a tough world out there especially for someone who’s job hunting. If you’re fresh from college or is presently finding a new career path, you’ll find searching for the best jobs in the food sector very challenging. The food sector is so popular especially in providing decent jobs for everybody. Chances are you’ll find yourself competing for the same vacancies as others who are just as competent as you.

So how can you rise above other applicants? Well, you’ll definitely get the edge by knowing exactly where to find the best jobs in the food sector. Check out these top 3 sources:

1. Online job marketplace
Everything is technologically advanced nowadays that you no longer have to leave the comfort of your home just to find your dream job. As long as you have your computer and internet access, you can search various job sites online for the latest vacancies. Many companies are now advertising their job vacancies online through their website. You can also send your resume and apply online. Others even conduct interviews through the web which is more practical and convenient.

2. Classified ads
Mind you but despite the advent of the internet, many are still reading the newspapers daily. Aside from current events, newspapers are considered one of the best options you have when looking for a job. Many companies still advertise job openings in the classified ads section. Here you can look for credible jobs in the food sector specifically those which are found near you. This is the best way to find the latest job openings in your area. The good news is you’re assured that these jobs are legit since you can immediately go to the company itself and inquire and apply personally.

3. Food sector employees
Have you experienced applying for a new job vacancy only to find out that it’s already been filled? This is because there are employees who know about vacancies in their company long before they’re advertised and already asked family members or friends to apply ahead. Therefore, it’s advantageous if you know somebody working in the food sector like in a restaurant, catering service, or hotel. Remind them to keep you updated with the latest openings in their company so you can immediately apply for your desired position before others do.

Landing a job in the food sector is just as challenging as finding jobs in other industries. You can improve your chances by obtaining a degree, getting certified, or having extensive experience in this area.

If you are looking to find out about some interesting Manufacturing Jobs then you should try typing Packing Jobs into a search engine today.

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