Despite growing concern with health issues, people stay overfed yet undernourished. The long-term effects of sedentary lifestyles, processed foods, and fattening cuisines contribute to myriad health problems such as hypertension, adult-onset diabetes, circulatory problems, and heart attacks. As an aspiring chef, you bear responsibility for helping change the public’s eating habits.
Consumers show stronger commitments to healthy eating, and online resources promote healthy lifestyles and alternative methods of cooking. Major corporations have taken note and now offer better nutritional choices at fast-food chains. Celebrity chefs have changed their cooking styles to reflect the new passion for nutrition and health.
Chef Training and Education is an On-going Process
Your chef career will always stay a work in progress, and talented chefs continually refine, update and change their focus. Culinary educations emphasize classic cooking techniques, sanitation, and business-management issues, but they also educate students about evolving cooking trends, and healthy cooking tops the list of modern upgrades to classic culinary training.
Chefs and bakers create healthy options and special diets for diners without sacrificing flavor or quality. Modern culinary trends emphasize freshness and lighter-cooking techniques that let foods’ natural flavors take center stage.
- Tulane University conducted a long-term study of over 9,600 people, monitoring their health and nutrition over a remarkable 19-year period. The researchers found that people consuming fresh vegetables and fruits cut their risk for cardiovascular disease by 27 percent and stroke by 42 percent.
- Success in any field depends on identifying trends and staying ahead of the curve. Nutritional issues become more important to consumers every year, and you can plan your education and culinary training to embrace these changes.
- Healthy supper clubs have cut into the restaurant business in California and other places, but restaurants offering healthy choices could win back these renegades.
- Sidewalk cafés and outdoor dining help keep customers in restaurants instead of brown-bagging lunches in local parks. Restaurants can offer light lunches, fresh air, and nutritional transparency to return wayward customers to the fold.
- Healthy nutritional options make in-house chefs, catered events, and restaurant dining more attractive to major corporations that strive to encourage healthier employee habits. Statistics show that healthy employees file fewer insurance claims, miss work less often, and work more efficiently.
A Healthy Cooking Philosophy Makes You Attractive to Employers
Endorsing the trend to pursue better nutrition will make your résumé resonate with employers including restaurants, private-dining facilities, hospital cafeterias, food manufacturers, catering clients, or people hiring private chefs. In years past, saving time and dining convenience topped food trends, but today people want to know what goes in their meals. Diners prefer foods prepared simply from fresh ingredients. People still want convenience, and restaurants that offer healthy alternatives enjoy immense popularity with diners.
You enjoy many culinary career choices when you get the proper training, but competition for the best jobs demands more than a clever catch phrase. Trained chefs learn to multitask as second nature, and kitchen operations expect it. If you want to impress employers and stand out in the crowd, commit to preparing healthier food.
Successful upward mobility demands solid kitchen skills, professional attitudes, and unique personal perspectives. You can train for the following positions while developing your own special slant.
- Executive chefs manage the technical side of kitchen operations. Duties include planning menus, inventory and ordering, organizing catering events, handling payroll, and managing kitchen staff.
- Sous chefs create soups, sauces, and other menu staples. You will have responsibility for managing assistant chefs and station chefs. The demanding position functions as the executive chef’s assistant and mouthpiece.
- Senior chefs head stations or preparation areas for meats, vegetables, appetizers and fish courses.
- Pastry chefs create cakes, pies, breads, confections and other desserts. You will enjoy many opportunities by learning to prepare tasty breads and pastries that cut sugar, fat and preservatives.
Natural Foods Provide Superior Nutrition
You might want to consider traditional chef training or pursuing certification as a dietician or nutritionist. Certification opens many entrepreneurial doors to lucrative careers. You could develop your own line of nutritional products or work in hospitals, resorts or clinics. Some exciting culinary trends you could turn to your career benefit include the following opportunities.
- Choosing locally sourced foods reduces transportation and storage costs, contributing to energy savings and a greener planet. Vegetarians embrace fresh produce that farmers can harvest at the peak of ripeness. These fruits and veggies burst with flavor and vitamins, and your cooking challenge is to keep those benefits after preparing the food.
- Grass-fed beef has less fat, and using local-meat sources reduces carbon footprints and impresses local diners.
- Research shows that half of all consumers now avoid preservatives. National brands have taken note and reduced the ingredients in processed foods. As a nutritionally aware chef, you can use nutrition to attract and keep a fiercely loyal clientele.
- The public now enjoys unusual grains like quinoa, kasha, couscous, and millet. You can turn simple grains into extraordinary dishes that draw raves from diners.
Chefs can take as active a role in the searching process as they choose. Finding local sources for superior meats and produce will distinguish your cooking and advance your career.