Getting a Corporate Chef Job

In any industry where food is served, you will likely find a corporate chef. From big companies needing catering services, to holiday parties, corporate chefs are everywhere.

What is a corporate chef?

A corporate chef is a chef that creates menus and meal production for large corporations or business events. These can include awards banquets, holiday parties or private parties, even corporate retreats. A corporate chef must be highly professional  and very experienced, as businesses don’t want to worry that something will go wrong with an event.  Corporate chefs act as consultants, meal planners and caterers and are expected to perform with utmost service and professionalism.

A  corporate chef that is good at his job can expect to make a decent salary as big companies often have the funds to pay for their events to go off without a hitch.

A corporate chef can be responsible for corporate events or even oversee production of corporate food products, such as making sure dishes served in large restaurant changes are the same in every restaurant.  Corporate chefs also develop mass market products for restaurants and other food service operations, such as hospitals, schools, and hotels.

What kind of person makes a good corporate chef?

A corporate chef must have many demonstrated qualities to succeed. For one thing, unless you are a corporate chef for one specific company you will always be looking for jobs and projects, kind of like a freelancer. This means being able to present yourself in a professional manner to many different companies, essentially selling yourself over and over, so marketing experience is a huge plus. Also, having connections in the corporate world is a huge plus;  if you know someone at a particular company well, you can tell them what you do and ask them to introduce you to the person in charge of finding catering for events, and you have an in. As in most industries, good networking skills are a must to be a good corporate chef.

You must be organized, and a good leader. You can’t pull of huge events by yourself; more than likely you’ll have a staff working for you, you have to be able to communicate well with them, as well as the customer.  You must be professional but also approachable.

Having many years in food service under your belt is also important. A corporate chef job can be high paying and gain the respect of many people both in the restaurant industry as well as the corporate world; this is not a job to be take lightly.

How can I become a corporate chef? Finding corporate chef positions.

Many corporate executive chefs have degrees in either culinary arts, hospitality, or restaurant management. Most all of them have experience working in five star restaurants, hotels and catering companies. While an education is not a requirement, experience most certainly is.

You should amass as much knowledge as you can about cooking and the food industry. Just like companies vary, so do the types of events they put on, and the more varied your knowledge, the more jobs you’ll able to take. Of course specializing in a certain area can also be helpful, but you’ll be limiting your work that way.

Join professional organizations, attend seminars and conferences and get your name out there as much as you can.  Go to as many events as possible, and always introduce yourself and tell people exactly what you offer. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you’ll have for finding clients.

Becoming a corporate chef is not a job you will obtain overnight, but with the right education, experience and connections,  a job as a corporate chef can be a long and rewarding career.

References:

Corporate Chef Job Salary / Pay info:

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Corporate_Sous_Chef/Salary

International Corporate Chef’s Association:

http://www.corpchefs.com/login.cfm?CFID=31647581&CFTOKEN=41958694

 

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