Stirring Every Pot in the Kitchen: The Benefits of a Diverse Culinary Career

From by Institute of Culinary Education
Stirring Every Pot in the Kitchen: The Benefits of a Diverse Culinary Career


By Jenny McCoy—Chef Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts


In the beginning of their careers, many culinary school graduates focus on opportunities in restaurants, bakeries, hotels or catering kitchens. At first, that narrow focus makes sense, because being a great chef requires spending time in professional kitchens. But the modern food industry has become a diverse, multi-faceted field. When one pursues a career in the culinary arts—and makes an effort to broaden their experiences beyond the kitchen—they may find that their career will include many satisfying twists and turns outside restaurant walls.


There are a million and one ways food professionals can apply their skills and passion. If at some point you become inspired by some other sector of the industry, it’s perfectly fine to switch gears—it will only make you a better and more well-rounded chef. (Or, if you’re like me and want to simultaneously dip a spoon in every pot, that’s okay too.) Cooking and baking are like learning a new language—if you completely immerse yourself in the food industry and commit to living the experience in full, you will always find satisfying work and sustainable success.


Read more to learn how Jenny translated her experience in professional pastry kitchens into opportunities in food media, product development and more.