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Career and Education Opportunities for Chefs in Houston, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for chefs in the Houston, Texas area. Currently, 5,800 people work as chefs in Texas. This is expected to grow 22% to about 7,060 people by 2016. 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.

Income for chefs is about $16 hourly or $34,590 per year on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,770 annually. Earnings for chefs are better than earnings in the general category of Cooking in Texas and better than general Cooking category earnings nationally. Chefs work in a variety of jobs, including: cake mixer, chef de patite, and cook.

There are eighty-one schools of higher education in the Houston area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree to start your career as a chef. Chefs usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a chef if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chef

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 Houston include:

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Chef Training

Galveston College - Galveston, TX

Galveston College, 4015 Ave Q, Galveston, TX 77550-7496. Galveston College is a small college located in Galveston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,232 students. Galveston College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Alvin Community College - Alvin, TX

Alvin Community College, 3110 Mustang Rd, Alvin, TX 77511-4898. Alvin Community College is a small college located in Alvin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,386 students. Alvin Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated twenty-one and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Jacinto Community College - Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto Community College, 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77501-2007. San Jacinto Community College is a large college located in Pasadena, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. San Jacinto Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated three and six students respectively in 2008.

Houston Community College System - Houston, TX

Houston Community College System, 3100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77266-7517. Houston Community College System is a large college located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 48,087 students. Houston Community College System has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

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

Culinary Institute Alain and Marie Lenotre - Houston, TX

Culinary Institute Alain and Marie Lenotre, 7070 Allensby, Houston, TX 77022-4322. Culinary Institute Alain and Marie Lenotre is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 144 students. Culinary Institute Alain and Marie Lenotre has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-seven and twelve students respectively in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated seventy-six and seven students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Houston - Houston, TX

The Art Institute of Houston, 1900 Yorktown Street, Houston, TX 77056-4197. The Art Institute of Houston is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,624 students and an admission rate of 55%. The Art Institute of Houston has 2 areas of study related to Chef. They are:

  • Baking and Pastry Arts/Baker/Pastry Chef, associate's degree which graduated 21 students in 2008.
  • Culinary Arts/Chef Training, associate's degree and bachelor's degree which graduated 100 and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Lee College - Baytown, TX

Lee College, 511 S Whiting, Baytown, TX 77520. Lee College is a medium sized college located in Baytown, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,968 students. Lee College has a less than one year program in Culinary Arts/Chef Training which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.