Is Culinary School Right for You?
Do you have the skills and traits that are necessary for success?
Do you have what it takes to become a culinary arts major? There’s more to it than having an interest in cooking and preparing exotic foods! Before you decide that you want to pursue a career in the food industry, there are some questions that you should ask yourself to help determine whether the culinary arts are right for you.
A Love of Cooking
First, experts in the culinary arts warn that there’s no characteristic you can possess that’s more predictive of your future success in the industry than a true passion for food. Simply put, you have to love being in the kitchen and working with food. Moreover, you should get true pleasure out of preparing a meal that other people will enjoy. If your heart isn’t in it, experts warn that you may be wasting your money pursuing an education in this field.
Other Important Traits and Abilities
Though it’s the single most important characteristic that you must possess to be successful in the industry, a passion for food and the desire to please others isn’t all that matters in determining whether a career in the culinary arts is right for you. There are other character traits, skills and abilities that are almost as important in maintaining a successful career in the culinary arts. These include:
- Good social skills and the ability to communicate effectively with others.
- Work well independently and as part of a team.
- Reliability, dedication and a great work ethic.
- Good physical fitness and stamina. You must have enough energy to be on your feet for eight or ten hours at a time, while lifting heavy pots and performing repetitive tasks.
- The ability to work in small kitchen quarters near hot stoves and ovens while under pressure to quickly and efficiently prepare food to a high standard.
- Willingness to work odd hours, including early mornings, late evenings, holidays and weekends.
- A professional demeanor. You’ll be expected to show up for every shift on time in a clean and pressed uniform.
- A keen eye for ensuring that quality and safety standards are maintained.
Working long hours in a hot, sticky kitchen doesn’t appeal to everyone. But, if it sounds good to you, then maybe you’re a perfect fit for a career in the culinary arts and you’re ready to begin looking for a school that’ll provide you with the culinary arts education you need to successfully enter the industry.