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Becoming a Chef or Executive Chef

For our visitors interested in a career at the helm of a commercial kitchen, from a small locally owned restaurant to a large, 5-start downtown or resort based establishment, a degree in culinary arts may be right for you. A degree or certificate in a natural chef training program will prepare graduates for a career in a variety of positions including an executive chef, a therapeutic, natural or personal chef, cooking consultant or natural foods cooking instructor.

What Is A Chef?

Professional chefs are people with a sensitive, experienced palate who wish to create complex art out of simple ingredients. Chefs enjoy creating food that will be enjoyed immensely by others. For those who wish to make a living using the highest quality ingredients in the healthiest possible manner to supply people with the nutrients and nourishment they need, there may be no er career than that of an executive chef. There is a reason chefs are so renowned throughout every culture worldwide. Through food, they are able to inspire us, fulfill us, reminding us of why we enjoy eating food in the first place. A chef can fill the needs of our palate and our bodies at the same time, designing meals to provide our bodies with optimal energy and performance.

The Culinary Schools listed on Nutritionist World provide the specific training to nourish your natural talents in the kitchen. Taught by renowned professional chefs, each area of expertise of a culinary career is covered throughout the duration of classroom instruction and any continuing internships of professional work-study. Among the many focuses of culinary arts provided by today's schools, the following are among the most prominent:

  • Vegetarian & Vegan Cooking
  • Raw Food Diet Preparation
  • French Cooking
  • Italian Cooking
  • Japanese Cooking
  • Southwest Cooking

Chef Job Duties

The executive chef is the CEO of the kitchen. Everything happening behind the scenes, from food supplier to the patron's plate, is controlled and dictated by the executive chef. Job duties for an executive chef, regardless of the type of establishment, typically involve creating the restaurant's theme and establishing the menu to complement this theme. Day to day operations include food preparation, managing the employees throughout the kitchen including other chefs, line cooks, prep cooks, waiters am dishwashers. In many situations, the executive chef will source and maintain contracts with vendors including food, alcohol, kitchen and dining equipment. Many times they will work closely with restaurant management on marketing and customer relations as well.

Chef Skills

A natural chef should possess certain skills that ow them to carry out their job at the highest level. A degree in culinary arts will focus on the improvement and development of these skills. -level executive chefs must excel in the following areas:

  • A Developed Sense of Taste & Smell: Chefs must posses the ability to recognize flavors and tastes that separate good food from . This also allows chefs to improve upon and even create new dishes to be used in their menus.
  • Creativity: Chefs must be able to exhibit creativity, not only with flavors and smells but with composition and presentation of their meals as well.
  • Teamwork: A 5-Star kitchen only runs smoothly when everyone is working together. As the executive of the kitchen, it is the chef's responsibility to keep the pieces running smoothly.
  • Organization: With the variety of different tasks to be completed in order to keep a kitchen running smoothly, organization is among the most important aspects of a chef's job. The ability to plan, prepare and execute stem from good organization.

Chef Salary & Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for chefs is expected to be good, propelled by the growth of urban areas where fine dining and upscale restaurants are popular, an increase in the variety of dining establishments and demand for healthier cuisines. However, competition for the finer dining establishments will be high as these are where the salaries are paid. Most executive and head chefs have experience in the restaurant industry as well as a two or four-year degree or certification from a culinary institute or hospitality management school.


The BLS does not offer information on salary or employment data for executive chefs. You may, however, find the information the BLS provides on chefs and head chefs useful in estimating the salary and employment data for executive chefs.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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