When most people think of a career in the culinary arts, they only think of cooking. But there is so much more to a career in this field than just preparing meals. If you are passionate about food and enjoy working with people, a career in commercial cookery might be the perfect fit for you.
What is commercial cookery?
Commercial cookery is a branch of the culinary arts that focuses on preparing food for large groups of people. This skill set is essential in restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and other institutions where food is served to the public.
Here are seven reasons why commercial cooking might be the career for you:
1. Cooking is a rewarding field
As a commercial cook, it's easy to question the satisfaction that can come from preparing dishes for countless strangers every day. However, it is important to remember that cooking is not just a job - it's a skill and an art form. Every dish, every meal, has the potential to bring joy to someone's day.
That feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment is worth more than any paycheck. But while we’re on the subject of pay - commercial cookery can be rewarding in a monetary sense too. Due to the staff shortages in Australia, hospitality pay rates are steadily increasing due to a shrinking workforce. With this certification, you will be able to capitalise on not just mental satisfaction but make sure your bank account is happy too!
2. It's a growing field
As a commercial cook, you have the opportunity to join the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), which allows your employer to sponsor you for a temporary visa as they struggle to find skilled workers in Australia. This opens up a world of professional opportunities, as you have the chance to work in various settings and expand your skill set. Joining the STSOL not only allows you to further your career and gain valuable experience, but it also allows your employer to fill their staffing needs in a timely manner. The process is simple, and all it takes is an expression of interest from your employer.
3. Explore your creative side
The culinary industry is often seen as a creative space where chefs can showcase their unique skills and talents. However, it can also be a challenging environment for creativity, with high-pressure deadlines and limited budgets. But within the constraints of commercial cooking lies a wealth of potential for innovation and experimentation.
A chef's ability to think outside the box, combine unexpected flavours and ingredients, and push the boundaries of traditional dishes can elevate the dining experience for customers. Chefs must balance their duty to provide tasty and reliable dishes with the opportunity to flex their creative muscles in the kitchen continuously. By embracing the limitations of commercial cooking and exploring new ideas, chefs can improve their menu offerings and enhance their personal growth as professionals in the culinary industry.
4. It's a good challenge
Working in a commercial kitchen can be a demanding, high-pressure job. The fast pace, tight deadlines, and constant demands for accuracy and quality can be overwhelming at times. However, the challenges are worth it.
The ever-changing environment keeps things exciting and allows for continuous growth and improvement as a chef. In addition, there's nothing quite like the rush and satisfaction of flawlessly executing a big catering event or serving a busy restaurant's dinner rush. And when you can see your dishes being enjoyed by happy customers and receive praise from your superiors, all the hard work is more than worth it.
5. Flexibility in job locations and schedules
If you want to work in a restaurant, you can! If you want to work in a school, you can! There are so many different types of places that need people with culinary skills. The options are endless.
Commercial cookery also allows for flexible work schedules. Need someone to cover a lunch shift? Want some extra hours on your days off? In a dynamic industry like commercial cooking, these kinds of scheduling changes can lead to promising career growth and higher wages. So, if you're interested in pursuing a career in commercial cooking, remember to stay flexible — it just might pay off.
6. You can help people
Many people think that cooking is just about making food taste good. But it's also about nourishing people and giving them the fuel they need to live their best lives. When you cook for other people, you have the opportunity to make a real difference in their lives. Learning to be a commercial cook provides the chance to impact people's lives in countless ways positively.
Meals prepared in a professional kitchen have the power to nourish and energise, bring friends and families together, lift spirits during difficult times, and even inspire a whole new love for food. And beyond just preparing meals, learning commercial cookery also equips individuals with critical transferable skills such as attention to detail, time management, and teamwork.
7. It is collaborative
While many people may think of chefs as solitary, creative geniuses working alone in their kitchens, the truth is that most successful cooks work as part of a team. In commercial cooking settings, cooks rely on clear communication and efficient collaboration to execute tactical tasks, such as properly timing dishes for service and ensuring accurate recipe execution.
Team members also support one another during the high-pressure moments in a busy kitchen, whether it's jumping in to help with an overflowing pot or troubleshooting a problematic dish. And beyond the immediate demands of service, cooks contribute to collective menu planning and strategic decision-making for the overall success of the business.
So while individual skills and talents are certainly important for success in this career, ultimately, it's teamwork and collaboration that make for a thriving kitchen dynamic.
If you're up for the challenge, a career in commercial cooking offers endless opportunities for growth and fulfilment. Check out Skills Certified today to get a free skill assessment and see how you can make the first step in your culinary career!