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Career and Education Opportunities for Restaurant Chefs in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for restaurant chefs. There are currently 7,050 working restaurant chefs in Connecticut; this should grow 13% to about 7,990 working restaurant chefs in the state 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.

A person working as a restaurant chef can expect to earn about $12 hourly or $26,460 per year on average in Connecticut and about $10 per hour or $21,990 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as restaurant chefs in Connecticut earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. People working as restaurant chefs can fill a number of jobs, such as: dinner cook, sous chef, and lunch cook.

There are seventy-five schools of higher education in the Bridgeport area, including one within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree to start your career as a restaurant chef. 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 training to become 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 Bridgeport 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 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

Lincoln Technical Institute - Shelton, CT

Lincoln Technical Institute, 8 Progress Drive, Shelton, CT 06484. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Shelton, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 693 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated sixty-seven 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: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut photo by Xtremeyanksfan22

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.