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The Gourmet Cook/Student Chef

 
Educational programs in the culinary arts and services often train students for gourmet cooking/gourmet chef positions in a wide variety of cooking techniques, from baking fine pastry to cooking French or Italian-style sauces.

There are several levels/positions available for gourmet cooks/gourmet chefs. For chefs just starting out, especially while attending high school, a diploma is not required.

While in high school or vocational school there are programs that offer food safety and handling procedures. Some even include general business practices and computer classes for those gourmet cooks/gourmet chefs who aspire to corporate level employment. Some high schools offer/provide on-the-job training and summer workshops for those who hope to become a gourmet chef.


Degree Options/On The Job Training

Attending a gourmet chef program could provide certification or an associate's degree at a college or university. On the job training, with the associate's degree, would continue until the person reaches the 'executive chef/gourmet' level.

Executive chefs, AKA as 'head cooks,' are employed in fine-dining restaurants and the positions require many years of training and experience. In addition to a degree and several years of experience, an aspiring gourmet cook/gourmet chef needs an 'intense desire to cook' to reach this level.

It may be of interest to know that some large hotels and restaurants have their own training programs for chefs. An associate's degree or two to three years of chef experience is usually necessary.

states that gourmet chefs need to:


Think creatively
Make decisions and solve problems
Coordinate the work schedule for others
Have good time management, of self and others, skills.


Salary Information

Salaries vary depending on title, experience, and location of employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov:


Average hourly earnings of chefs was approximately $14.75 in May 2004
$9.45 per hour, in 2004, was the average wage of a cook in a private household


Job Outlook

Positions for chefs and cooks are expected to flourish through 2014
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