April 13, 2020

Research shows that employers in the food and beverage industry tend to prefer employees with some form of culinary certification, especially for management positions.1

It makes sense: people who invest in improving their own skills tend to be more professional and take their work more seriously than those who do not. As just one example, Josh Hasho, Executive Chef at Omni Hotels & Resorts, says he believes that the commitment and follow-through exhibited by culinary students shows effort and, in his eyes, earns an extra gold star on their resumes.

At this time, we’re in the midst of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but at some point, restaurant jobs will come back. In the meantime, thousands of people in the food business are taking the timeout as an opportunity to improve their skills via online culinary programs. If you already have work experience in the food business, now might be a great time to build an even stronger foundation in your chosen profession – to advance with your current employer or someplace else.

Chef plating and garnishing a dish

Culinary arts isn’t just about learning how to prepare food. It’s about learning how to purchase food, talk about food, write about food, taste food, present food, and sell food. It’s about the science and math behind food. It’s about learning how to budget…and how to cater to people’s needs.

In other words, a culinary education could help you acquire the high-value skills that could help you stand out from other job applicants, either with your current employer or in the broader job market.

Here are three of the most-important things culinary school could provide you:

Mentorship, Structure, and Discipline

The basics start with mentorship. Our faculty of Chef Educators bring a wealth of knowledge to the classroom. Each one brings their own combination of technical and real-world industry experience to the kitchen table.

For example, Chef Bob Scherner was nominated for James Beard Best Chef Award – Southwest and invited to the James Beard House for the “Rising Star Chef Series,” among other accolades.

Chef Chanel Martinez was an owner of a successful catering business before starting her career as a Chef Educator, for which she has won numerous awards, including LCB Educator of the Year nominations and Les Disciples d’Escoffier.

Our Chef Educators’ mission is to help you understand the basics of kitchen management, hiring, menu preparation, and more. These skills are fundamental to any food business career.

You’ll also learn about structure and discipline. Our school’s namesake, Auguste Escoffier – who was an officer in the military before pursuing a career in the culinary arts – designed a system that is the primary model for working kitchens around the world. The Brigade de Cuisine embodies precision, clear communication, teamwork, and efficiency.

Whether or not you work in a commercial kitchen, the respect and systematic approach to achieving a task will aid you, wherever your work journey takes you.

Build a Network in School and During an Externship

Whether you attend classes on campus or online, you are surrounded by fellow culinarians and Chef Educators who share food passion, ideas and creative insights.

A female chef, a man, and woman in dress standing together

All of our students – including those who study online – take part in required industry externships, where skills are applied in professional kitchens for hands-on training. Our school is privileged to have strong industry relationships with Disney and Omni Hotels, among others – they seek out our graduates, some of whom earn long-term employment after their externship.

Externships provide a chance for our future graduates to meet and work with others in the trade to broaden their experience in a variety of areas. All of these experiences can add to your knowledge base and give you opportunities to broaden your network. This is especially valuable for our online students – their independent studies are put to the test among their peers and mentors.

Meeting people who share your love of food adds to your base of connections when you’re ready to change – or launch – your career. Our Career Services staff is dedicated to assisting you find the best knowledge-and-interest pairing in your future.

The Value of Reinventing Yourself

With a solid culinary education, you could have plenty of opportunities to reinvent yourself, reboot your career or advance in the job you already have by making yourself more valuable to an employer.

If you’ve been working as a line cook and feel like you’re ready to take on more responsibility – a diploma or degree in culinary arts might give you the knowledge and credentials to pursue that new opportunity.

Chef piping icing on a cupcake

Our programs can be an excellent resource for chefs, entrepreneurs who have the drive to run their own business, specialty food wholesalers, or salespeople who supply goods and services to restaurants.

Let us help you take your culinary career to the next level.

You don’t have to leave your current job to study with Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. If you’re motivated and focused, our online courses give you all the same tools – with flexibility – that our on-campus classes provide.

If you’d like to find out about all the possibilities for career advancement, contact our admissions advisors and get a conversation started. We’re here to help you succeed.

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This article was originally published on May 26, 2017, but has since been updated.

1 Source: OW Culinary Survey March 2017 and Analysis