Career and Education Opportunities for Restaurant Chefs in Anchorage, Alaska
Restaurant chefs can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Anchorage, Alaska area. There are currently 2,210 jobs for restaurant chefs in Alaska and this is projected to grow by 16% to 2,550 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for restaurant chefs, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.7% over the next eight years. In general, restaurant chefs prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants.
The income of a restaurant chef is about $12 per hour or $25,260 annually on average in Alaska. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 hourly or $21,990 per year on average. Restaurant chefs earn less than people working in the category of Cooking generally in Alaska and less than people in the Cooking category nationally. Jobs in this field include: chef, line cook, and vegetable cook.
The Anchorage area is home to four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Anchorage where you can get a degree as a restaurant chef. Given that the most common education level for restaurant chefs is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a restaurant chef if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Restaurant Chef
In general, restaurant chefs prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants. They also may order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.
Restaurant chefs turn or stir foods to insure even cooking. They also season and cook food in line with recipes or personal judgment and experience. Equally important, restaurant chefs have to portion and garnish food, and serve food to waiters or customers. They are often called upon to observe and test foods to establish if they have been cooked sufficiently, using methods such as tasting or piercing them with utensils. They are expected to weigh and mix ingredients in line with recipes or personal judgment, using various kitchen utensils and equipment. Finally, restaurant chefs bake and steam meats, fish and other foods.
Every day, restaurant chefs are expected to be able to split focus between different tasks. They need to prioritize information for further consideration. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.
It is important for restaurant chefs to carve and trim meats such as beef and lamb for hot or cold service, or for sandwiches. They are often called upon to estimate expected food consumption, requisition or purchase supplies, or procure food from storage. They also direct and supervise work of kitchen staff. They are sometimes expected to confer with supervisory staff to develop menus, taking into consideration factors such as costs and special event needs. Somewhat less frequently, restaurant chefs are also expected to direct and supervise work of kitchen staff.
Restaurant chefs sometimes are asked to regulate temperature of ovens and roasters. They also have to be able to butcher and dress animals, fowl, or shellfish, or cut and bone meat before cooking And finally, they sometimes have to formulate and price menu items.
Like many other jobs, restaurant chefs must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Anchorage include:
- Chef. Direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. May participate in cooking.
- Fast Food Cook. Prepare and cook food in fast food restaurants with limited menus. Duties of the cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.
- Food Service Aide. Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
- Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
- Personal Chef. Prepare meals in private homes.
- Short Order Cook. Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Restaurant Chef Training
University of Alaska Anchorage - Anchorage, AK
University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508. University of Alaska Anchorage is a large university located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,649 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Alaska Anchorage has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated eleven students in 2008.
Certified Culinarian: An entry level culinarian professional within a commercial foodservice operation.
For more information, see the American Culinary Federation, Inc. website.
Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.
For more information, see the American Red Cross website.
Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.
For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is located in Anchorage Municipality County, Alaska. It has a population of over 279,243, which has grown by 7.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Anchorage, 89, is well below the national average.
The top three industries for women in Anchorage are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 28.9% of Anchorage residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.
Anchorage is home to the Chugach and the Black Bear Campground as well as Baxter Bog Park and Alaska Railroad Power Reserve. Visitors to Anchorage can choose from Courtyard Anchorage, Creekwood Inn and The Voyager Hotel for temporary stays in the area.