Career and Education Opportunities for Restaurant Chefs in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for restaurant chefs. There are currently 6,480 working restaurant chefs in New Mexico; this should grow 18% to 7,660 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.
The income of a restaurant chef is about $9 hourly or $19,580 per year on average in New Mexico. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 per hour or $21,990 annually on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as restaurant chefs in New Mexico earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. Jobs in this field include: back line cook, railroad cook, and specialty cook.
The Albuquerque area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Albuquerque 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 training to become a restaurant chef if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Restaurant Chef
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 Albuquerque 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
Central New Mexico Community College - Albuquerque, NM
Central New Mexico Community College, 525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Central New Mexico Community College is a large college located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,690 students. Central New Mexico Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three, thirty-four, and thirty students respectively in 2008.
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: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is situated in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 521,999, which has grown by 16.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Albuquerque, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Albuquerque cost $176,100 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, 1,067 new homes were built in Albuquerque, down from 2,096 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Albuquerque are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 31.8% of Albuquerque residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Albuquerque is 6.9%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.
The percentage of Albuquerque residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 54.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church, Hope Church and Baptist Student Union are some of the churches located in Albuquerque. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.
Albuquerque is home to the Menaul School Historic District and the Volcano Ranch as well as Cutler Park and Eunice Kaloch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Del Norte Parkade Shopping Center, Westway Shopping Center and Winrock Shopping Center. Visitors to Albuquerque can choose from Winrock Inn-Best Western, New Mexico State Government - Health Department- Behavioral Health Services Divi and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.