If your favourite place at home is the ‘kitchen’ then it’s time you follow a career which hones your culinary skills and gives the cook inside you, full liberty to experiment. So, you like hopping, peeling, cutting, stirring, grilling, baking, sautéing – in short, if ‘cooking’ makes you happy and brings a smile to your face then this article is written for you. Cooking, as a career, is rewarding and enjoyable since you can concentrate on improvising different recipes and inventing new dishes for your audience. The food industry is always in need of expert cooks and, with new restaurants, cafeterias, hotels and bakeries mushrooming in the neighbourhood, you never have to worry about employment if you are good at what you do – cooking! Go through the next section and find out more on becoming a cook.
Becoming A Cook
Having a food handler’s permit is beneficial for people who are planning to enter the food service industry. A food handler’s permit implies that the person holding it is aware about the basic safe food handling procedures. This includes knowledge about the food borne infections, correct temperatures for cooking or storing the food and combinations that can be good or bad for the digestive tract. In short, this permit implies that the general public will not die after consuming the food that you prepare. Food safety hazards and health and hygiene concerns are also very important since the responsibility is high when you are a professional cook.
A diploma programme or a certified training in cooking courses is an added benefit if you wish to cut out your struggle period considerably. A vocational course from a culinary institute makes you better equipped at handling your job. With a training in world cuisines comes expertise in other areas like menu planning, use and care of kitchen equipment, advanced in-depth knowledge on both the procedures as well as the techniques of cooking etc. An apprenticeship from institutes well known for their culinary expertise can work wonders on your resume!
The skills required to whip up a three course meal would be dedication, confidence and creativity. Trouble shooting and stress management as well as time management should be at your finger tips and with the stiff competition in the market, you also need to be up to date with the latest cuisines and the recipes to appease your clientele.
Roles And Responsibilities
Apart from cooking, a professional cook is also expected to be well versed in table layout & arrangement and other presentation expertise. Conjuring recipes and inventing food themes, menu planning and overseeing the hygiene and nutrition quotient in the meal also form a part of the responsibility that a cook is expected to handle. As the years accumulate and cooks graduate to the position of chefs then the responsibilities increase and handling people and managing teams also becomes part of their job profiles.
Starting as a free lancer would not be a bad idea. Once you have got recognition for your culinary skills, you could progress as a cook’s apprentice – working under a reputed chef is one of the best ways of obtaining hands on training. From beginning as an assistant chef to becoming an executive chef and finally a master chef is a road full of long hours and back breaking hard work. If working as a private cook interests you then specializing in a particular cuisine could even make you eligible to be hired as a personal cook in private villas or organisations. Starting your cooking classes and passing on the valuable secrets and secret recipes to future progenies is also a wonderful career prospect for a well renowned chef these days. From writing books to hosting cookery shows on the television – the world is your oyster!
If you can cook your way to people’s hearts there is no reason why you should not take your art seriously. Go ahead, explore your opportunities and see how even the most powerful men bow to the power of food!