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Career and Education Opportunities for Restaurant Chefs in New Orleans, Louisiana

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for restaurant chefs in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. About 10,040 people are currently employed as restaurant chefs in Louisiana. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 27% to 12,730 people employed. 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. Restaurant chefs generally prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants.

Restaurant chefs earn approximately $9 per hour or $19,950 yearly on average in Louisiana. Nationally they average about $10 per hour or $21,990 per year. Earnings for restaurant chefs are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Cooking in Louisiana and not quite as good as general Cooking category earnings nationally. People working as restaurant chefs can fill a number of jobs, such as: vegetable cook, sous chef, and foreign food specialty cook.

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 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 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 New Orleans 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.
  • Personal Chef. Prepare meals in private homes.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Restaurant Chef Training

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 a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated eight and eight students respectively 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: 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.