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Career and Education Opportunities for Restaurant Chefs in Orlando, Florida

For those living in the Orlando, Florida area, there are many career and education opportunities for restaurant chefs. There are currently 68,940 working restaurant chefs in Florida; this should grow 19% to 81,950 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.

Restaurant chefs earn approximately $10 per hour or $22,750 per year on average in Florida. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $21,990 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as restaurant chefs in Florida 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: foreign food specialty cook, larder cook, and cook.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Orlando where you can study to be a restaurant chef, among fifty schools of higher education total in the Orlando area. 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

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 Orlando 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Technical Education Center-Osceola - Kissimmee, FL

Technical Education Center-Osceola, 501 Simpson Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34744. Technical Education Center-Osceola is a small school located in Kissimmee, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 618 students. Technical Education Center-Osceola has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three students in 2008.

Orlando Culinary Academy - Orlando, FL

Orlando Culinary Academy, 8511 Commodity Circle, Orlando, FL 32819. Orlando Culinary Academy is a small school located in Orlando, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 824 students. Orlando Culinary Academy has an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated 421 students in 2008.

Lake Technical Center - Eustis, FL

Lake Technical Center, 2001 Kurt St, Eustis, FL 32726. Lake Technical Center is a small school located in Eustis, Florida. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 564 students. Lake Technical Center has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated ten students in 2008.

Valencia Community College - Orlando, FL

Valencia Community College, 190 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. Valencia Community College is a large college located in Orlando, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,652 students. Valencia Community College has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Mid Florida Tech - Orlando, FL

Mid Florida Tech, 2900 West Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL 32809. Mid Florida Tech is a small school located in Orlando, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,969 students. Mid Florida Tech has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated forty-eight 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: Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida photo by A3RO

Orlando is situated in Orange County, Florida. It has a population of over 230,519, which has grown by 24.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orlando, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Orlando are valued at $217,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred forty-eight new homes were built in Orlando, down from six hundred twenty-two the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Orlando are accommodation and food services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.2% of Orlando residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orlando is 11.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Orlando residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Scientology of Orlando, Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal and Metropolitan Community Church-Joy are some of the churches located in Orlando. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Orlando is home to the Dubsdread Country Club and the Conway Center as well as Mayor Carl Langford Park and Sunshine Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake Conway Woods Shopping Center, Colonial Plaza Mall and Coytown Shopping Center. Visitors to Orlando can choose from Blue Nile Hotel Liquidators, Clarion Hotel Universal and Buena Vista Suites for temporary stays in the area.