If you think you knew all the careers on offer out there in the world of culinary, think again.
In the 2019 world of popular veganism and food delivery apps, how and what we eat is constantly changing. With these changes come some exciting new careers that didn’t exist ten years ago.
It’s a great time to get into the world of food! If you start your career with a culinary course, you can be sure you’ll never be bored. There are so many diverse and creative opportunities for entrepreneurship or employment.
Let’s take a look at 7 of the potential paths you could take if you do decide to make food your career.
1. Mobile Fine Dining
Food trucks and mobile dining have exploded into a huge industry over the last couple of years. It’s transformed from a rag-tag collection of hot dog stands and festival ‘instant food’ trucks into a fine dining format with serious street cred.
In 2016, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara (the duo behind Manhattan’s very fancy and critically acclaimed restaurants NoMad and Eleven Madison Park) launched their very own fine dining food truck.
Dubbed the NoMad Truck, it’s the newest member to join their ‘Make It Nice’ hospitality group. It makes regular appearances at boutique festivals and exclusive events, and employs highly trained and talented chefs to deliver its mobile fare.
It’s not alone either. There’s practically an army of fine dining food trucks taking over chic foodie capitals such as London, Berlin and Sydney. Maybe your dream has been to start a restaurant, but have you ever thought of putting it on wheels?
2. Social Media Food Stylist and Content Creator
Food styling, of course, is a career that dates all the way back to the 1970s, where there were always bright flowers on the table and everything was in soft focus.
In the contemporary world of instant social media updates, however, many food stylists are also photographers and culturally savvy content creators. They have to understand the format, framing and details that are going to appeal to social media platforms. They need to know what hashtags, keywords and language to use in their descriptions. They need to know branding, and how to connect the food to the brand.
It’s the perfect career for anyone who is addicted to social media as much as to food!
3. Brewing, Baking, and Fermenting: Niche Food Production
For some lucky foodies, chefs or hobby brewers, they come to a moment where they realise that the variety of beer or sauerkraut they’ve been fine-tuning can be turned into a marketable product.
These days, everyone wants bespoke, niche, designer, handcrafted food, drink and produce. From beer made with seaweed, to vegan snacks delivered directly to your home or office, the world of niche edible and drinkable products has never been more creative, or successful. Take ‘Little Creatures’ beer for example. This line of beverages started out as an experiment by a couple of friends working at a humble brewery in Fremantle, Western Australia. Now it’s been acquired by a huge international company, Lion Nathan!
If you’ve got a particular obsession with a niche recipe for preserving, brewing, or baking, then this career is right up your alley.
4. Delivery Meal Kit Design
Nobody has the time for grocery shopping, or the energy for figuring out what to cook for dinner these days, it seems. And yet, getting take-away seven nights a week is unhealthy and expensive. How can you have a healthy, home-cooked meal, without the effort of actually preparing a healthy, home-cooked meal?
The anewer? Home-delivered meal kits.
Once the exclusive domain of subscription weight-loss companies, this service has become mainstream over the last few years. Join up, and you get fresh ingredients matched to unique recipes arriving at your doorstep every day.
Each one of these companies needs meal designers and culinary preparation staff working for them. Or, if you’re feeling entrepreneurial, why not start your own brand?
5. Professional Food Forager
When you think ‘food foraging,’ the first thing you think of is a guy going into a pine forest with a basket, looking for mushrooms, right? You don’t think about a guy in a shirt driving out at 4am to farmers markets in New York, sourcing the cheapest Morel mushrooms.
This is a legit career in 2019: food foraging, and it’s not for the faint of heart.
Your job as a food forager is to source obscure and unique ingredients at the request of high-end restaurants that are willing to pay you to do it. Whether it’s dandelions or huckleberries, foragers have to source it from somewhere. Often, their search will take them to niche growers, but sometimes they literally do have to go and pick the stuff themselves.
It’s the perfect career for people who love finding bargains and taking little walks in the woods.
6. Creative Catering and Interactive Food
You’ve got a big party coming up, and you’ve got a big budget for it. You could have the usual degustation served by waiters… or, you could have guests preparing unique cocktails using a weird science kit, and eating little jellies off kinetic sculptures.
Those medieval days of live blackbirds flying out of a cut pie are back. Food as entertainment is once again a thing, and it’s taking off!
Catering companies are developing bespoke events, including sculptural elements, secret locations, interactive food stations, and live cooking displays. Sydney creative agency ‘I Made This,’ for example, brings together installation art and interactive food stations for unique events that can be commissioned by clients.
As another example, Wild and Root are a food concept and catering company based in Berlin, who are focused on sustainable food. They develop creative concepts for food events, as well as organising workshops on food sustainability and developing ‘edible cosmetics.’
7. Restaurant PR
You’ve finally started the restaurant of your dreams. Opening night is coming up, but how do you know it’s going to be critically received at all, let alone positively? There’s an art to the PR of new food establishments.
Michelle Lehman is the founder and president of Michelle Lehman Communications, a PR company based in New York that specifically helps restaurants reach that high market status they need to succeed. At her boutique public-relations agency, Lehmann works with food clientele such as Dan Kluger, Tarallucci E Vino, Curtis Stone, and Fleishers Butchery, among other high-end restaurants.
As Michelle herself says, these days, having a restaurant is as much about telling the story of your brand as it is about actually serving food. There’s a growing demand for PR specialists who know how to frame and sell the story of a restaurant.
Every career has to start somewhere, and a course in culinary or hospitality management is a good place to start a career in food.
See here to find out about the courses on offer at William Blue College of Hospitality Management.
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