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Job Ideas For Recovering Chefs

job process Nov 22, 2022

Running kitchens as a professional chef is a career driven by a passion for food and hospitality. But, at the same time, it's a career that involves long hours, stress, and physical demand.

These 9 Job Ideas For Recovering Chefs take advantage of the skills and knowledge you’ve been honing for years. So no matter your reason for stepping out of the kitchen, you can continue doing what you love more sustainably.

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Start Writing

Food writing is one of the best options if you want to get out of the kitchen and prioritize flexibility in your schedule.

This is one of the few jobs that can be done 100% remotely and at any time of day.

Magazines, newspapers, and blogs are a few outlets where food is constantly being written about. And there are always people looking for experts on the subject. You can even find some agencies that are solely focused on recipes and food writing for the pro outlets.

So even if you're not sure writing is what you want to do long-term, it's something you can do in your spare time while you explore other options.

Teach What You Know

Becoming a culinary instructor is the perfect way to use your knowledge and skills to inspire and train the next generation of chefs. And not just your cooking skills, but how to navigate new software that's taking over restaurants globally, like tableside ordering.

Fully accredited culinary schools are an option if you're looking for something full-time and long-term.

On the other hand, if you want more flexibility, many cities have recreational cooking programs for enthusiasts who want to be better home cooks. And for something in between, you might look for a community college that offers culinary arts classes.

Dive Into Wine

Food and wine go hand in hand, and if you have a strong culinary background, you’ll have a big step-up if you decide to become a sommelier or wine seller.

The beverage program in a restaurant can be just as important as the food, not to mention much more lucrative.

If you want to continue working in restaurants, consider becoming a sommelier or beverage director. Or, if you’re looking for a more consistent 9-to-5 schedule, becoming a wine rep is a great option.

Start Consulting

If you have experience managing a kitchen, use that knowledge to help others get started or who need help getting their restaurant back on track.

Consulting can take many different forms. From developing menus to designing kitchens or entire restaurants.

You can work for a consulting firm or independently to make a name for yourself.

Of course, the income from consulting varies greatly. But suppose you have a proven track record and can garner a successful reputation. In that case, this can be an incredibly lucrative career.

Move From BOH To FOH

If you’re looking for a change of pace but still love the energy and lifestyle of working in a restaurant, consider switching teams. I’m talking about moving from the back of the house (kitchen) to the front of the house (service).

While many cooks love the isolation of the kitchen, working directly with customers offers an entirely new experience. So, even if you’re tired of kitchen life, you may thrive off guest interaction.

Working in front of the house offers new challenges and skills, and it usually allows for a much more flexible schedule. And, since you already know how a kitchen operates, you'll have a step-up over those without cooking experience.

Become A Food Purveyor

Becoming a food purveyor is another great option that gets you out of the trenches while still working closely with the kitchen.

If you’re a chef, there's a good chance you dealt with food purveyors daily. This role is all about developing relationships with chefs and ensuring they get the ingredients they need when they need them.

There are options to work for a large corporation or smaller specialty outfits. But no matter your route, kitchen experience will set you up for success in this role from the get-go. After all, you already know chefs' challenges and what they're looking for in a good purveyor.

Health Inspector

When running a kitchen, the health inspector is often considered the "bad guy." So while you might feel like a traitor joining forces with the health department, you're perfectly primed for the position.

Running a kitchen requires you to be intimately familiar with what a health inspection entails. And even though some training will be required, there's a good chance you already have 90% of the information down cold.

You know what inspectors look for and what some cooks and chefs try to hide. Making you the perfect candidate for the job.

Food Stylist

Food styling is something already built into your job as a chef. Before a dish heads to the dining room, you make sure the food tastes good and looks great. So why not take a skill you’ve been honing for years and turn it into your profession?

Maybe you’ve worked with a food stylist while promoting your restaurant. But they also work for magazines, cookbooks, websites, and movies. There are tons of options here, and if you already have a keen eye for well-plated food, all you need is a camera, and you’re in business.

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Start A Food Or Travel Blog Or Vlog

Chefs are known for having the inside scoop on the best food in and out of town. And if you’re ok sharing your secret hole-in-the-wall eateries, you can go far with a food blog or video series.

Taking photos and writing about your experiences is a great option with low overhead. But, it takes time and consistency to garner a following. However, if you have a big personality and are comfortable on camera. You can speed up the process by regularly posting videos online.

If you put in the work, you might get paid to eat and travel worldwide.

About The Author

William Mack is a classically trained chef who spent years cooking in top NYC restaurants. Shifting his energies from the rigors of “back of house” to telecommuting as a writer and editor allowed him to pursue his goal of becoming a great stay-at-home dad.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

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