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Career and Education Opportunities for Restaurant Chefs in Los Angeles, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for restaurant chefs in the Los Angeles, California area. There are currently 94,900 working restaurant chefs in California; this should grow by 24% to about 118,000 working restaurant chefs in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for restaurant chefs are expected to grow by about 7.7%. In general, restaurant chefs prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants.

A person working as a restaurant chef can expect to earn about $11 hourly or $23,710 per year on average in California and about $10 per hour or $21,990 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Restaurant chefs earn less than people working in the category of Cooking generally in California and less than people in the Cooking category nationally. Restaurant chefs work in a variety of jobs, including: banquet chef, breakfast cook, and specialty cook.

There are fifteen schools within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can study to be a restaurant chef, among 274 schools of higher education total in the Los Angeles area. Given that the most common education level for restaurant chefs is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a restaurant chef if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Restaurant Chef

Restaurant Chef video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Los Angeles 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.
  • 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.
  • Food and Beverage Supervisor. Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
  • Institutional Cook. Prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
  • Personal Chef. Prepare meals in private homes.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Restaurant Chef Training

Pasadena City College - Pasadena, CA

Pasadena City College, 1570 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106-2003. Pasadena City College is a large college located in Pasadena, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,453 students. Pasadena City College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

College of the Canyons - Santa Clarita, CA

College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91355-1899. College of the Canyons is a large college located in Santa Clarita, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,474 students. College of the Canyons has a two to four year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts.

Mt San Antonio College - Walnut, CA

Mt San Antonio College, 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, CA 91789-1399. Mt San Antonio College is a large college located in Walnut, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 30,439 students. Mt San Antonio College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Mission College - Sylmar, CA

Los Angeles Mission College, 13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar, CA 91342-3245. Los Angeles Mission College is a large college located in Sylmar, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,264 students. Los Angeles Mission College has a one to two year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated eight students in 2008.

California School of Culinary Arts - Pasadena, CA

California School of Culinary Arts, 521 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101. California School of Culinary Arts is a small school located in Pasadena, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,995 students. California School of Culinary Arts has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated 1,171 students in 2008.

Long Beach City College - Long Beach, CA

Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90808-1706. Long Beach City College is a large college located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,097 students. Long Beach City College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated 298, eight, four, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated seven, twelve, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Antelope Valley Medical College - Lancaster, CA

Antelope Valley Medical College, 44201 10th St West, Lancaster, CA 93534. Antelope Valley Medical College is a small college located in Lancaster, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 579 students. Antelope Valley Medical College has a less than one year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated eighty-eight students in 2008.

Santa Ana College - Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana College, 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398. Santa Ana College is a large college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,464 students. Santa Ana College has a two to four year program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts.

Cypress College - Cypress, CA

Cypress College, 9200 Valley View, Cypress, CA 90630-5897. Cypress College is a large college located in Cypress, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,990 students. Cypress College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated forty-eight, seven, seven, and zero students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of California-Orange County - Santa Ana, CA

The Art Institute of California-Orange County, 3601 W Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704. The Art Institute of California-Orange County is a small school located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,784 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Art Institute of California-Orange County has one to two year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated seven, fifty-six, and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

Orange Coast College - Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005. Orange Coast College is a large college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,700 students. Orange Coast College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated twenty-seven, seven, nine, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, CA

Glendale Community College, 1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208-2894. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,993 students. Glendale Community College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated eleven, two, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Trade Technical College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Trade Technical College, 400 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015-4181. Los Angeles Trade Technical College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,565 students. Los Angeles Trade Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated ninety-eight and twenty students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles - Santa Monica, CA

The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles, 2900 31st St, Santa Monica, CA 90405-3035. The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles is a small school located in Santa Monica, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,209 students and an admission rate of 43%. The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles has 2 areas of study related to Restaurant Chef. They are:

  • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, one to two year which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, associate's degree which graduated 43 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.