I am so honored to have been asked to speak to a group of middle and high school students at the AIM for Healthy Choices Conference this weekend. The conference, presented by the Greater North Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill, is an opportunity to mentor young people and in return I hope to gain new enthusiasm for my work.  Below  is the outline I plan to go over during our lunch discussion, some recommendations  and links that I hope they find useful in the coming years.  If you know anyone considering a culinary arts career please feel free to  pass this along.  The list  is not all encompassing, I’m sure there are some things I’ve missed so feel free to mention them in the comments, thanks.


Luncheon topics

I       Culinary career options

  1. Chef ( restaurant, hotels, markets, catering, pastry, corporate,  chocolatier,  baker, personal, private, craft services)
  2. Food writer/blogger, recipe tester
  3. Restaurant management
  4. Food science
  5. Nutrition and diet
  6. Sales, marketing and PR

II       How to get there

  1. Cook and document your work (Cook often and start a blog with pictures and descriptions of your projects)
  2. Cook for every one you know (church, school, friends, friends parents and family)
  3. Read
    1. BOOKS: Culinary Careers: How to Get Your Dream Job in Food, with Advice from Top Culinary Professionals-Rick Smilow, What Einstein Told His Cook-Robert L Wolke, On Food And Cooking-Harold McGee, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking – Michael Ruhlman, CookWise: The Hows & Whys of Successful Cooking, The Secrets of Cooking Revealed-Shirley O. Corriher, The Professional Chef-The Culinary Institute of America, Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work-Aki Kamozawa), H. Alexander Talbot)
    2. Magazines: Food Arts, Cooks Illustrated,
    3. Web sites and blogs: http://www.foodarts.com/  http://blog.ideasinfood.com/  http://www.foodrepublic.com/  http://eater.com/  http://clatl.com/atlanta/food-and-drink/Section?oid=1222716 (Creative Loafing Food Section) http://food52.com/  http://www.chow.com/

III       Schools

  1. Atlanta: Art Institute of Atlanta (Art Institutes are nationwide) http://www.artinstitutes.edu/atlanta/ Le Cordon Bleu-Atlanta (also nationwide) http://www.lecordonbleu-atlanta.com/Home
  2. New York : Institute of Culinary Education http://www.iceculinary.com/  French Culinary Institute http://www.frenchculinary.com/ Culinary Institute of America (several campuses nationwide) http://www.ciachef.edu/
  3. North Carolina: Johnson and Wales ( also other locations nationwide) http://www.jwu.edu/college.aspx?id=30676

Mexico: Culinary Arts School (you probably should learn Spanish) http://culinaryartschool.com.mx/

 Reputation is everything

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