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How to Turn Your Passion for Cooking into a Career

11.05.14 | The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts

Are you passionate about food? Do you love to cook? You could turn your passion into a career! Follow these 4 steps to a career in culinary arts!

Choose your focus
Culinary arts is an exciting field that offers many unique opportunities. You could work in the kitchen at a restaurant, resort, hotel, casino, cruise ship, grocery store, or bakery! If you thrive in a fast paced environment, then you could start out as a cook. If you're creative or love to make delicious desserts, you could train to become a pastry chef or baker. Or, if you want to be part of the behind the scenes at glamorous events and weddings, you could consider becoming a caterer! Whatever your dream is, take the steps today that will lead you on the right path tomorrow.

Do it every chance you get
If you love to cook, then do it every chance you get! Taste something you like at a restaurant or bakery? Try recreating it at home. Experiment with new ingredients, recipes, cuisines, and methods of cooking. Expose yourself to different types of food and learn as much as you can about the latest trends. Put your knowledge to the test and cook for your family and friends. They can give you honest feedback and encouragement and you'll become more comfortable working under pressure. Incorporate your passion, creativity, and thirst for knowledge into your daily life!

Learn the skills
Culinary arts is more than just about food preparation, it's also about presentation and, of course, taste. It's an art that requires unique style and creativity. It's also about providing quality service and satisfying customer needs. To be successful, these artful skills must be developed with hard work and dedication. Culinary school provides a supportive learning environment that a kitchen doesn't. Instructors teach you the proper techniques to make consistent food with creative presentation. When you further your education, it shows employers you are serious about perfecting your craft.

Gain experience
Take the skills you learned and apply them in a professional kitchen. A firsthand look into life in a kitchen is invaluable. You'll learn the ins and outs and also get a taste for the fast paced and often demanding environment. If you think you can still handle the heat, then certainly stay in the kitchen!

The experience you gain will expose you to many different people. The restaurant business is all about who you know. Introduce yourself to other professionals in the field, build relationships, and find a mentor who can help you develop your skills. These connections are key to your job search and career advancement.

Begin an exciting career doing something you love! YTI offers a Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management and Pastry Arts program. The instructors at YTI will train you in industry standard kitchens. Start your journey today at The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts - a division of YTI Career Institute - Lancaster!

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Program lengths vary. Not all programs available at all locations. Job placement not guaranteed. Financial aid is available to students who qualify. For federally mandated program information, visit yti.edu/disclosures.