The hospitality industry is one of the few sectors that has been witnessing a continuous growth worldwide over the last couple of decades. A career in culinary arts can be a rewarding one for people who are passionate about food and cooking. But how do you really know whether culinary art is the right career for you? Although there are many factors to take into consideration, the four points mentioned below should help you on your way to deciding whether to pursue a career in culinary arts or not.
- Joining culinary arts colleges or culinary arts schools is quite easy. Learning the work is also not that difficult. However, unless you have a real passion for cooking, you will never be able to really succeed in a culinary arts career or achieve a name, fame and growth.
- Working in the kitchen and cooking various recipes will be lots of fun if you are comfortable with the kitchen work – which can be irksome and repetitive at times. Most of the time, you will be forced to work in standing and bending positions, which can create a fair amount of body pain at the end of the day. You need to prepare yourself to withstand this rigorous work physically and mentally.
- When we think of a culinary arts career, we normally conclude that all the cooks trained in culinary arts schools and culinary arts colleges have thorough knowledge of cooking all kinds of recipes. However, this is not true. Many basic recipes are definitely taught to the students in such schools and colleges. But after the completion of the fundamental or apprentice culinary course, a specialisation – such as a career in baking and pastry arts, or in the cuisine of one or two countries – is necessary. So take your time and decide which type of cuisine is attractive to you, and make sure you specialise yourself in that culinary art.
- The job of a chef is not an easy job. You will be required to work in hot and humid conditions for 40 to 60 hours a week. Since major restaurants do not have any holidays, the work can also be a job without too much leave options. However, nearly all the hotels and restaurants offer at least one day off every week for their chefs, but it might not be the weekend every time. If your off day happens to be on a weekday, then you might not be able to spend much time with your family. Under the circumstances, you will require understanding members in your home who can adjust to your unique working hours.
There are numerous culinary arts courses and diplomas available throughout South Africa. Most include technical classroom teachings and instructions, along with on-job-training facilities, to prepare the culinary arts students to become familiar with actual cooking environments. If you are serious about obtaining experience and furthering your career in culinary arts, you should also be prepared to work hard with devotion during the period of your training.