How to Kick Off Your Culinary Career

Anyone who loves cooking has imagined turning his or her passion for making sauces, soups, and soufflés into a culinary career. Perhaps you’ve even fantasized that your home kitchen is your own personal studio with a live audience. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, it might be time to take your hobby to the next level. Not sure how to begin? Even your favorite chefs on the Food Network and The Mind of a Chef had to start somewhere. If you’re serious about kicking off your culinary career, here are four steps for getting your foot in the door.

Step #1: Find a job in a restaurant

Your very first job in a restaurant probably won’t be the most glamorous. Your duties might include washing dishes or even taking out the trash. But knowing how a restaurant and kitchen work will be a crucial first step in your culinary career. Not only will you get to see experienced chefs at work, but you’ll also have time to think about whether a kitchen job is what you really want. If it is, move on to step two.

Step #2: Get your high school diploma or GED

Before you can kick off your culinary career, you’ll need to finish high school and get your diploma. Many employers require a high school diploma, or a GED at a minimum, for even the most entry-level kitchen positions. Once you’ve completed the basic education requirements for the culinary field, you can think about continuing on to get a culinary arts degree.

Step #3: Attend a cooking class

At National Culinary, we ask all individuals to attend a class prior to enrolling in our culinary arts or baking and pastry program. Not only does this demonstrate an applicant’s passion for becoming a chef, but it also offers each person the opportunity to discover how our cooking classes are taught and what they can expect should they decide to pursue a culinary arts degree.

Step #4: Enroll in a culinary arts or baking and pastry school

While you don’t necessarily need a culinary arts degree to get a job in a kitchen, you will need one if you expect to climb the ranks from dishwasher, to line cook, to sous chef, and beyond. In culinary arts or baking and pastry school, like National Culinary, you’ll master your knife skills, learn about kitchen safety and sanitation, practice presentation and garnishing, and develop confidence in the kitchen.

Kick off your culinary career at National Culinary

There are many paths to becoming a professional chef, and everyone’s journey looks a little bit different. However, one thing that nearly every successful chef has in common is a formal culinary education. Pursuing a degree in culinary arts or baking and pastry arts will provide you with a solid skill set that can help you earn kitchen positions with greater responsibility and prestige. At National Culinary, we’re proud to offer our students the highest level of training in the culinary industry to prepare them for success. If you’re ready to kick off your culinary career, fill out our online application HERE or give us a call at (619) 249-5180 to schedule your free introductory class.