Simply put, a certification in commercial cookery will prepare you to work in a professional kitchen. This could be at a restaurant, a cafe or a hotel. Cookery school will help you understand how a commercial kitchen works as a whole. This means you’ll be taught how to use kitchen equipment and how to work as a part of a multi-chef team. You’ll also be familiarized with kitchen safety principles and how to cater to specific dietary needs.
A commercial cookery course will also cover different cooking methodologies and techniques for different cuisines. This will allow you to explore your various interests in the culinary arts. This wide exploration might also help you decide on a specialization later on in your career.
In some of the more advanced qualifications (i.e., Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery and above), you’ll also learn about quality and stock control, finances, menu planning, costing and operations management. These skills can help become a better leader within the context of a commercial kitchen.
Reasons to study commercial cookery
- It’s a growing industry
According to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), the employment levels in the food and beverage industry are projected to increase to 889,000 by 2024 (although these figures were calculated prior to COVID-19). As the population grows and as newer communities are built, more hospitality venues are expected to open. Therefore, there will be growing demand for hospitality in Australia. If you’re looking to work in hotels, employment levels in the accommodation industry are projected to grow to 112,900 by 2024.
With a certification in commercial cookery, you’ll have the theoretical and practical knowledge required to work as a commercial cook in these growing industries. Since cooks and chefs are in demand in Australia, you’ll have a good chance of finding employment upon graduation.
- Offers different career paths
The career paths in commercial cookery are varied and plentiful. With proper training and experience, you’ll have a variety of pathways open to you beyond kitchen work.
According to AISC, the top five occupations in the hospitality industry are:
- Cafe and Restaurant Manager
- Food Trades Assistant
Each of these positions involve different skills and responsibilities. Do you want to be more of a leader in the kitchen? Then maybe you can focus on studying operations management and work towards becoming a restaurant manager. Are you more of the hands-on type of worker? Then perhaps you can focus on the technical aspects of cooking and work to become a chef de partie.
There’s also the organisational hierarchy in most commercial kitchens called the brigade de cuisine. This is essentially an occupational ladder that you can climb as you gain more experience in the industry.
From bottom to top, the hierarchy is as follows: commis chef, chef de partie, sous chef de cuisine, chef de cuisine, and chef exécutif. Each of these positions will have their own responsibilities and specialisations. Generally speaking, the higher the position, the more you do managerial work as opposed to kitchen work.
- Can help you start your own business
Studying commercial cookery can also help you start and manage your own business. By studying financial and operations management, you’ll learn a lot about managing your own restaurant through these courses.
As you use your management skills to climb the ladder within the brigade de cuisine, you’ll understand more about the business that you’re in. Indeed, once you reach the role of chef de cuisine or chef executif, you’ll start to get involved in the operation of the business as a whole. You’ll be regularly reporting to restaurant managers and owners. You’ll start discussing profitability, marketing and public relations. You might even find yourself communicating with other establishments.
Eventually, this experience will be able to give you the foundation that you need to start your own business in the hospitality industry. You can start a small cafe, a modest restaurant or even an accommodation service.
All of this can sprout from the basic knowledge that you learn in cookery school.
- Creative and kinaesthetic
By studying commercial cookery, you’re setting yourself up for a creative professional career. In the culinary arts, you can stretch your creative muscles by experimenting with different flavors, different cuisines and various cooking techniques. You might even get some satisfaction in working on the visual presentation of your dishes.
Cooking is also perfect for those who are kinaesthetic learners. Kinaesthetic refers to people who develop skills by doing as opposed to listening or reading. Indeed, in the kitchen, there is no shortage of kinaesthetic activities. From cutting ingredients, to cleaning equipment, you can be sure that your body will be moving all day and night.
- It’s a job that you can be passionate about
Since being a chef is a demanding and tiring job, most people who get into the industry are in it for the love of cooking. Maybe they fell in love with a particular cuisine when they were younger. Maybe their parents were in the industry and want to follow in their footsteps. Whatever the case, the culinary arts is a field that is full of passion.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are, cooking is a huge part of your life. By getting into a field that you care about, you’re setting yourself up for a career that’s enjoyable and fulfilling. Who wouldn’t want to do what they love and support themselves through their dream job? Hopefully, this helped you understand commercial cookery a little bit better. If you have concerns or questions, be sure to contact your local course provider. They should be able to help you in terms of study options, career paths and so on.