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Career and Education Opportunities for Chefs in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for chefs. About 1,950 people are currently employed as chefs in Louisiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow 21% to about 2,370 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for chefs are expected to grow by about 0.2%. In general, chefs direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods.

A person working as a chef can expect to earn about $16 per hour or $34,650 yearly on average in Louisiana and about $18 per hour or $38,770 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as chefs in Louisiana earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. Jobs in this field include: menu planner, executive chef, and cake maker.

The New Orleans area is home to thirty-two schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of New Orleans where you can get a degree as a chef. Given that the most common education level for chefs is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a chef if you already have a high school diploma.


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

In general, chefs direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. They also may plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

Chefs order or requisition food and other supplies needed to insure efficient operation. They also instruct cooks and other staff in the preparation and presentation of food. Equally important, chefs have to check the quantity and quality of received products. They are often called upon to check the quality of raw and cooked food products to insure that standards are met. They are expected to inspect supplies and work areas to insure conformance to established standards. Finally, chefs monitor sanitation practices to insure that employees follow standards and regulations.

Every day, chefs are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for chefs to analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, on the basis of food and overhead costs. They are often called upon to meet with sales representatives so as to negotiate prices and order supplies. They also manage equipment purchases and repairs. They are sometimes expected to recruit and hire staff, including cooks and other kitchen staff. Somewhat less frequently, chefs are also expected to formulate and supervise the food preparation and cooking efforts of multiple kitchens or restaurants in an establishment such as a restaurant chain or hotel.

Chefs sometimes are asked to record production and operational data on specified forms. and meet with patrons to consider menus for special occasions such as weddings and banquets. And finally, they sometimes have to supervise and direct efforts of cooks and staff working on food preparation.

Like many other jobs, chefs must be reliable and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in New Orleans include:

  • Food and Beverage Supervisor. Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
  • Personal Chef. Prepare meals in private homes.
  • Restaurant Chef. Prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.


Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus - Metairie, LA

Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus, 5200 Blair Dr., Metairie, LA 70001-5605. Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus is a small college located in Metairie, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,218 students. Louisiana Technical College-Jefferson Campus has a one to two year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training.

Nunez Community College - Chalmette, LA

Nunez Community College, 3710 Paris Rd, Chalmette, LA 70043. Nunez Community College is a small college located in Chalmette, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,470 students. Nunez Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three and two students respectively in 2008.

Delgado Community College - New Orleans, LA

Delgado Community College, 615 City Park Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119. Delgado Community College is a large college located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,450 students. Delgado Community College has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, one to two year.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eight and eight students respectively in 2008.


Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional: A key purpose of the Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional certification is to develop the highest standards in.

For more information, see the American Correctional Food Service Association 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: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.