Working in the food industry isn’t the same as cooking at home!
Are you considering getting trained for a career in the culinary arts? If you love home cooking, you might believe that preparing food for a living might be a good career choice. And you may be right. But before you jump headfirst into this new career, find out about the key personality traits that can make you successful in this career.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, the following traits are important for people who want to start a career in the food industry:
Good communication skills. Lots of communication must happen within a busy kitchen, and poor communication can be a cause of mistakes and arguments. When you are starting out in this field, the most important form of communication will be good listening skills. You will need to be able to take instructions from your head chef and respond in a cooperative and respectful manner. The two words “Yes, Chef!” will take you far.
Dexterity and speed. Your cooking school will help you develop your dexterity in handling knives and other commercial kitchen equipment. Being skilled with the proper knife techniques and being fast are two important qualities.
Endurance. In the restaurant business, you will spend most of your shift on your feet leaning over a counter. You’ve got to have good stamina and endurance to be in this field!
Time management. Preparing restaurant dishes requires excellent time management. Think about fulfilling orders for a table of 8 people. Imagine the skill it takes to make sure everyone’s meals are ready and piping hot all at the same time. Good chefs, sous chefs, and line cooks all need to know how to manage their time and tasks well.
Creativity and curiosity. If you want to advance in your new field, it’s important to have creativity and curiosity when it comes to food. When you first begin, you will probably not be in the position to develop menu items, but keep up your curiosity by experimenting with new dishes at home, trying unusual flavor pairings, or using new cooking techniques. Getting creative can be half the fun of cooking!
If you think this list of traits describes you, then you may have what it takes to make it in the field of culinary arts. For more on culinary arts training, read 4 Q and A’s About Culinary Arts Schools.
We hope this article has helped you decide whether this career path might be right for you.
This article was provided by Salter College. We are proud to provide a culinary arts program for students in Massachusetts. Find out more about our school today.