Friday, April 4, 2014

Career - Chef, Emily Walsh

At the STAAR Foundation's Career Youth Day, a highly replicable model, Emily Walsh, a professional chef and instructor, discussed her profession.

Chef Emily Walsh, the Culinary Institute of Platt College, Oklahoma City, has two specialties, culinary arts and pastry. Walsh runs the café/restaurant, Chefs Di Domani, and also trains pastry students. In both areas, mastery must include efficiency and large quantities.

Chef Walsh says the culinary industry always has jobs. People eat. The opportunities are diverse, e.g., cruise ships (24-7 food), hotels, casinos, restaurants, hospitals, clubs, catering companies, correctional institutions, education institutions, and others. “If you can work on a cruise ship or at a hotel, you can work anywhere,” she adds.  

"Salaries depend upon where you start and the job, e.g., $25,000 and up, varying from a mom and pop café to a casino or hotel," she added. [$57,591 average salary; in Oklahoma City, $50,340. Chef] 

As a chef, “you are in charge, making food, taking orders, and doing other tasks,” she explained.

Each program differs. The pastry program is ten months long whereas the culinary arts one is a year and a half.  Students can take classes during the day or at night while working. Platt College helps place students after graduation. Services include internships and resumes.

Jim Anderson food lab at OSU's College of Human Sciences

The differences between a chef and an executive chef include taking a test. 

Chefs have a hierarchy based upon accomplishment and 
expertise. A sous chef, for example, controls the kitchen and lines.

 An executive chef is the top chef or manager. Doing little or no cooking at that level, he or she may standardize the recipes, plan menus fitting a budget, manage a team of kitchen workers, train staff, maintain quality, and so on. Chefs work up to the executive chef position.

[“Aside from having exemplary culinary skills, executive chefs must have good communication skills, time management skills, leadership skills and basic accounting skills in order to run a kitchen successfully.”]  

One recurring point made during the career youth day presentations was that students of all ages can work full- or part-time while learning. 

Platt College                                                                             

OSU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, et al. 

Culinary Schools in Oklahoma                                                           

Search online for other culinary or related schools or programs in other states.

Online quotes ret. 4-1-14

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