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A degree in Culinary Arts is studying the art of preparation, cooking, and presentation of food. A person with a culinary arts degree usually becomes a sous chef, executive chef, chef/owner, or food manager.

If you enjoy basic baking or cooking, nutrition, the mixing of ingredients, or learning about different culinary methods, a culinary arts degree might be for you.

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Culinary Arts Degree

What do you do with a Culinary degree?

If you decide that culinary arts is the degree for you, there are many opportunities. First, most start out as a prep cook. A prep cook spends their time getting food items ready for other chefs. This includes chopping, preparing meats, measuring ingredients, etc. Line cooks are responsible for cooking food, as well as sous chefs. Sous chefs are 2nd in command after the head chef.

A head chef or head cook is the kitchen boss. A chef typically spends their time researching trends in the food industry, planning and creating menus, budgeting, and recruiting and hiring staff and other cooks. The chef will be known for exemplary culinary skills, have good communication, management & leadership, and accounting in order to run a successful restaurant that makes delicious food and makes money. Chefs must be able to perform physically demanding tasks involving long hours of standing.

You can be a chef in variety of settings: hotels and resorts, restaurants, casinos, and yachts. You can even become personal chef and start your own business! Pastry chefs are increasing in popularity and is a culinary school specialty that may interest you.

Pros & Cons

The Pros & Cons


  • A career in culinary arts can be fun, challenging, and creative.
  • Being able to create new dishes and prepare food for customers can feel very fulfilling.
  • Also, the demand for chefs is constant because people prefer the convenience of dining out so they don’t need to cook themselves.
  • Full time positions at a restaurant usually include health insurance and paid vacation.


  • Those who work in culinary arts have long work hours, work holidays and weekends, and usually have very little breaks during the day.
  • You are also on your feet all day so it can be hard on your back and feet.
  • Chefs also work in a dangerous atmosphere because of hot pans, pots, knives, slippery floors, etc.
  • Lastly, competition in culinary arts can make it difficult to move up the career ladder.

Culinary Arts School

In order to attend culinary arts school you must have a high school diploma or GED credential. You can receive your associate’s or bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. Most schools also recommend that you have some type of foodservice experience. Make sure to try working in a non-fast food establishment with a professional kitchen or complete culinary classes in high school.

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