A brief history and Introduction

Welcome to Culinary Arts! You have decided to enter one of the most exciting, rewarding, and challenging industry sectors out there. When a person thinks about culinary arts, they may imagine a chef placing the finishing touches on an elaborate and beautiful dish. This is part of the job of a chef, but there are also many more aspects and avenues for someone to express their creativity and passion for serving top notch food.

While it is true that a majority of cooks and chefs are employed by restaurants, there are many different operations that fall under the umbrella of food service. A food service operation is defined as any business, institution or company responsible for preparing meals outside of the home which is only part of the even larger hospitality industry. The hospitality industry consists of broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, restaurants, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry.

Once you have mastered the fundamentals of cooking, there are seemingly endless possibilities of career options. You can go work for a freestanding restaurant, a restaurant chain, a hotel with its various foodservice outlets. Prisons, the military, hospitals, and schools all need foodservice workers for their institutional foodservice operations. Many other industry sectors also need workers that have a strong background in foodservice such as journalism, photography, television, and advertising.

To make a long story short, food is big business. In fact, the foodservice industry is the second largest employer in the United States placing just below the federal government. You may love food, but not want to get your hands dirty in its preparation. The diagram below will show you just a small sampling of the pathways that you can take in the foodservice industry.

If you have Itunes, you can check out this recent podcast from the Culinary Institute of America on the subject of food jobs. It really gives a lot of good information for students thinking about getting a culinary degree and the sheer number of jobs that are available. You can also read 150 Food Jobs by Irena Chalmers.

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