Everybody in the United States seems to want a happy, healthy meal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) claims that the demand for cooks and chefs is high. The job outlook from 2016 to 2026 is 10%, which is higher than the national average. Within this period, more than 14,000 head cooks and chefs will be part of the industry’s workforce.
If you love cooking and want to make into a profession, then now is the best time to start pursuing it. To make sure you’re treading the right path, don’t forget to learn these facts:
1. There’s a Difference between Cooks and Chefs
Many tend to use the terms “cook” and “chef” interchangeably, and it’s not their fault. A cook and a chef both work in the kitchen and prep and serve meals. In the culinary world, however, the distinction is clear.
A chef is someone who completes a professional degree or education. It usually lasts for two to four years, depending on the course. They also tend to work under the tutelage of an experienced chef and might need to undergo an apprenticeship.
These individuals can take on a low-ranking role in the kitchen upon entry, but they can rise to higher positions, including being a supervisor or head chef.
A cook is a person who doesn’t have a formal culinary degree but knows how to prepare and cook dishes. They usually don’t specialize in a specific cuisine.
In other words, a chef is a cook, but a cook is not necessarily a chef.
2. The Demand for Cooks Is Not Only in the Restaurants
No doubt, restaurants have the highest demand for chefs and cooks, but these are not the only places where you can apply for a job. For example, you can look for day cook jobs in Lafayette. This means you’ll be working for oil drilling companies in the state.
Other places that might need your services are healthcare facilities, bed and breakfasts, hotels, and food manufacturing and processing companies.
You can also start your own business. You can become a caterer for events, as well as a personal chef.
3. It Can Be a Stressful Job
All types of jobs are stressful, but being a chef is one of the most stress-inducing types of work. A 2017 study revealed that nearly 70% of the chefs claimed that their work affected their physical and mental well-being.
Many factors can contribute to a high level of stress: long work hours, demanding customers, changing trends, and even politics.
But why are so many people still do it anyway? It remains a rewarding and fulfilling job. It offers challenges unlike no other, testing your resilience, patience, and determination.
It allows you to pursue your passion, which is cooking, and share it with others, such as your customers or clients. Being a cook or a chef can also pay well and provides plenty of room for professional and personal growth.
If you genuinely want to be a successful cook and even a chef, keep these three facts in mind. They should tell you how to set your expectations right, the kinds of jobs you can do, and the professional path you might want to take.