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7 Cool Jobs in the Food Industry
Ready to take your culinary career beyond the kitchen line or the fryer? Here are 7 cool jobs in the food industry you can get into.
Not only does food have to taste good, but it also has to look good, too. That’s the responsibility of food stylists. They are the workers behind the beautiful and tasty dishes you see in commercials, magazines, cookbooks, and the menus of your favorite restaurants. As a stylist, you’ll work with businesses to make their culinary creations ready for the camera. First, you’ll shop for and then cook the dish you’ll be styling. Once on set, you’ll arrange, mist, prop, pin, polish, and even torch the dish until it looks perfect.
How to become a food stylist: While you don’t need a formal education to work as a food stylist, having experience in a professional kitchen setting and/or a culinary degree is a plus. Working as an assistant to a food stylist is even better. No matter which route you take, it pays to have great attention to detail and a passion for food.
Farmer’s Market Manager
It’s hard to find a city that doesn’t have a popular local farmers' market. Surrounded by farm-fresh ingredients, a farmer’s market manager is in charge of making sure these community events run without a hitch. That includes recruiting local farmers and vendors, developing marketing plans, handling the budgets, tracking inventory, maintaining the grounds, and dealing with any problems that could come up throughout the day.
How to become a farmer’s market manager: No formal training or certification is required but you do need a passion for food and know your way around a market. Organizational skills, creativity, a knack for business, and problem-solving skills are also traits you need to be successful in this line of work.
If you have a passion for food and interior design, this cool food job is right up your alley. They are the creative geniuses behind the structural layouts and décor of your favorite eating establishments. The job could call for building a restaurant from the ground up or giving an eatery an interior makeover. Your days would entail meeting with clients to set up project timelines, coordinating with construction crews, and working with interior designers.
How to become a restaurant designer: Because this job requires a wide range of specialized skills, you’ll need to a degree in architecture and a state license before you striking out on your own. As for skills, you’ll need great attention to detail, creative muscle, problem-solving skills, and the ability to communicate with others.
In this cool job, you get to put your camera skills to work by capturing how good a dish tastes in a stunning image. As a food photographer, you’ll work with food stylists to create drool-worthy pictures for marketing materials. Your photos will be on products like magazine ads, menus, billboards, and food packaging. This job allows you to be super creative and work across a variety of food marketing projects.
How to become a food photographer: A degree in photography is helpful but not necessary to get started in the field. You just need to be comfortable working a camera, using editing software, and digital printing. Business and marketing skills are also a plus, as you will most likely be working for yourself as a freelancer.
Take your culinary skills to new heights with a career as an airline caterer. They work with airlines to develop tasty menus for each flight, taking into account the complexities of storing and reheating food at high altitudes, cultural and dietary restrictions, and making sure all food items meet FDA standards. You also may be called on to take inventory and coordinate the delivery of frozen food items and supplies to airplanes prior to takeoff.
How to become an airline caterer: To start, you’ll need at least a certificate from a culinary program. The next step is gaining kitchen experience, whether in a restaurant or with an airline catering company. The key is to gain the creative, managerial, and time management skills you need to be successful in this cool food job.
If coming up with your own dishes is something that excites you becoming a recipe developer is a great option. Using their knowledge of how ingredients work with each other, these workers develop recipes based on the project they’re hired to do. They may need to come up with dishes for special diets. A publisher would want recipes for an upcoming cookbook or food magazine. Some restaurant owners use recipe developers to get new items on their menu. No matter the job, recipe developers get to play around with existing dishes or create their own from scratch.
How to become a recipe developer: This cool food job requires a degree or certificate from a culinary program. There may be additional certifications and licenses depending on what kind of recipes you develop (to do diet plans you need to be a licensed dietician, for example. ) You’ll also need hands-on experience in the kitchen and be up to date on the latest food trends.
When a company or restaurant wants to test out a new food product idea, they send it to a research chef. In this cool (and very scientific) food job, you get to research, analyze, and provide feedback on dishes and food products. Research chefs are responsible for developing culinary formulas that can be mass-produced. You would also be called on to test and improve things like taste, freshness, and packaging of existing foodstuffs. Your clients can be anyone from a local entrepreneur or restaurant to a food manufacturer or hotel chain.
How to become a research chef: This career requires technical training in both the culinary field and the sciences. You need to be able not only to create and modify recipes but be able to conduct the scientific research and analysis that comes with the job.
Take the next step in your culinary career by getting the job experience you need. Get to work with us today!