The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many people to rethink what’s possible in terms of their work. While it used to be standard for most employees to commute to their job each day, we’ve now learned that many roles can be successfully fulfilled from home.
Even in the culinary field, modern technology has opened up new opportunities in the world of remote work. These jobs can offer greater flexibility and autonomy than the traditional restaurant job. So if you love the idea of working from home or in a coworking space, then one of these remote culinary jobs could be a good fit.
Share Your Knowledge as an Online Chef Educator
Chefs who love to share what they know with others can find a fulfilling and lucrative outlet as chef educators. And with the popularity of live video platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, chef educators can communicate with their students and watch their progress in real time.
There are many ways you can pursue this career. You could be a chef educator for a formal online culinary program. At Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, we have dozens of skilled Chef Instructors who teach our online courses from their own home kitchens.
You could also pre-record educational cooking videos for a site like Craftsy. Escoffier Chef Instructor Colette Christian has a number of courses available on Craftsy where she shares her skills in Danish pastries, classic croissants, and her specialty—macarons.
“I have seven or eight classes now on Craftsy. Some of the classes would have 20,000 to 25,000 students in them! And it was a platform where I was answering questions all the time, coming from all over the globe. So it was really a phenomenal learning experience.”
Chef Colette Christian, Escoffier Chef Instructor, Certified Executive Pastry Chef® , and Master Baker
Still another option is to teach live online classes to private groups. Escoffier graduate Shane Witters Hicks teaches personalized cooking classes to small groups through video. His classes are uniquely tailored to the group’s preferences and dietary restrictions.
Wax Poetic as a Food Blogger or Writer
Talk about mobile—all a writer needs to get started is a pen and paper! These days, of course, you’re more likely to rely on a laptop. Digital or analog, you can write from absolutely anywhere, making a food writing or food blogging career perfect for remote workers.
Some bloggers choose to start their own food blog which they monetize through ads and affiliate links. With ads, the blogger gets paid based on their traffic volume. With affiliate links, the blogger receives a small commission when a reader buys a product that the blogger recommends.
This method puts you in charge. You decide what to write, and how often. But keep in mind that your income potential will be tied to your web traffic, which takes time to grow. Many people choose to start a food blog as a side hustle while their traffic builds. You could share your own recipes, or write reviews and recommendations of local restaurants.
Another option is to be a food writer-for-hire. These writers seek paid writing jobs for established blogs and magazines. This kind of work requires food expertise and top writing skills. You also have to dedicate time to finding work and you’ll have to carefully manage your client deadlines.
A culinary education can be invaluable to a food writer, as it gives them the language and history required to thoroughly describe food and culinary traditions.
Help People Make Good Choices as a Nutritionist or Nutrition Coach
A nutritionist or nutrition coach advises clients on what to eat to improve their health. They may create meal plans and recipes for their clients or provide detailed guides about macro and micronutrients to help them make better food choices. Some nutritionists focus on specific areas like sports nutrition, digestive disorders, and autoimmune conditions. Others provide general advice on healthful eating, weight loss, and increasing energy through diet.
To work in this field, you will need in-depth knowledge of food and nutrition. Nutritionists may need certification from the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS), but this isn’t required in every state. Make sure to check the requirements in your state to see what training and certifications you’ll need.
While some nutritionists work in person, they can also communicate with clients by phone, email, or video call to assess their needs and provide them with meal plans or dietary advice. So this career is perfect for the remote worker or digital nomad.
Dig Into the Details as a Recipe Developer
Some recipe developers for large corporations spend more time in a lab than in a kitchen. But there are others who work for smaller scale operations, like restaurants or artisan food manufacturers. These skilled chefs help their clients to create inventive new dishes and document the associated recipes.
This kind of work can often be done from your home kitchen. Recipe developers do a great deal of research and reading, learning about past approaches and cultural influences. Then they’ll start working on their recipe, making it over and over until it’s just right. As long as your recipes don’t need specialty commercial-grade equipment, you can do this kind of work from home.
Attract Some Attention as a Culinary Content Creator/Influencer
The internet has given rise to an entirely new career—the content creator or influencer. Food businesses are clamoring for the online attention of the hungry masses. They get it through blogs, video, social media, infographics, podcasts, images, emails, and more. So foodies who also have some tech or design savvy can become content creators, either specializing in one area or becoming generalists that make multiple types of content.
Escoffier Chef Instructor Steve Konopelski has created his own YouTube show called The Sweet Life of Steve. It’s an at-home cooking show where Steve shares some of his favorite recipes in his own upbeat, fun style.
“I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes and techniques. And I wanted to be unapologetically me. We have friends that run a production company, and we just said, ‘Let’s try something and see what happens!’ So that’s what created the show.”Chef Steve Konopelski, Escoffier Chef Instructor and Creator, The Sweet Life of Steve
If you like to create content but don’t want to put yourself out there, you can also create content for food businesses or marketing firms that work in the culinary space. Someone with skills in Adobe Illustrator could specialize in attractive infographics, for example. This type of career blends culinary creativity with marketing savvy, which can be a fun balance of left brain and right brain work.
Help Businesses Solve Their Problems as a Research Chef or Chef Consultant
Chef consultants and research chefs are problem-solvers. They work with food businesses to create new products, increase efficiency, develop menus, train staff, or execute a host of other tasks. These jobs give chefs a chance to be innovative and creative. They’re often project-based, so the work can change on a weekly or even daily basis. And they let you work with different people often, making new industry connections and growing your network.
Escoffier graduate Chris McAdams works as a research chef at Boston-based Chew, a product innovation company focused on sustainability and nutrition.
“You have to be prepared to put in the effort and really stay on your game [to be a research chef]. That means studying, building relationships, and never getting in your own head thinking that you’re too great. Always be willing to ask for help.”
Chris Mcadams, Escoffier Boulder Graduate & Chef Consultant/Research Chef
Research chefs often spend much of their time on the computer, so a great deal of work can be done remotely. Even if they have to be onsite part of the week, they may be good candidates for a flexible work situation.
Modern Technology Has Changed the Culinary Career Landscape
The life of the culinarian can revolve around the commercial kitchen, but it doesn’t have to. Modern tech has opened up a new world, with many new career paths to choose from. Just like you can attend culinary school online from anywhere, you can work in many culinary jobs online from anywhere. You just have to decide how you want to spend your time.
The one thing you’ll need to get started is an education. Learn more about Escoffier’s culinary degrees and diplomas to see which program can set you on the path to a future of satisfying remote work in the culinary industry.
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