The culinary world has a wide variety of workplaces and environments you can explore throughout your career. One of the more unique titles in the industry is a position that’s known as a corporate chef.
Corporate chefs act in an executive role to oversee and manage the culinary operations of a dining establishment within a company. Businesses such as Twitter, Morgan Stanley, and Google all employ corporate chefs to design and plan their menus, feed their employees, and promote their brand’s identity through the meals they create.
A career as a corporate chef, however, looks and operates a little differently than what you’d find in a more traditional kitchen. If you’re interested in taking the next steps towards a rewarding and long-lasting profession, read on to find out how training in culinary management can help you realize your dream of becoming a corporate chef.
Working as a Corporate Chef Means Combining Business with Creativity
Corporate chefs are in a particularly unique situation in the culinary world. The nature of their work—as you’ve guessed from the title—means that while other chefs may operate within a restaurant or business that is typically culinary-related, corporate chefs work within the context of a business that may have nothing at all to do with food or hospitality.
Everyone, no matter the workplace, needs to eat, but food can also serve as a vehicle for expression. This means that corporate chefs can apply the technical skills they learn in restaurant management courses, as well as their creativity to help businesses explore the message of their brand through the meals they plan and serve. A company that is interested in investing in its community, for instance, might use locally sourced products on their menu, or feature a special regionalized dish. Some businesses may even want to impress important visitors with a unique dining experience, and it would be the corporate chef’s responsibility to create, craft, and deliver that experience to make the company look good.
Culinary Management is an Important Part of a Career as a Corporate Chef
A corporate chef is primarily responsible for feeding their fellow coworkers, something which can quickly become a monumental task at a company which employs hundreds of people. These chefs often work at the executive level, meaning they also contribute to menu planning, organization, and staff and equipment coordination to ensure that everyone is properly served and fed.
Lunchtime can be a particularly busy period. Successful corporate chefs must coordinate vast areas of their kitchen to ensure that kitchen operations are running smoothly in order to serve as many people as possible in a small window of time.
Before each day begins, however, a chef must create and plan the menu they want to feature, as well as order and re-stock any supplies in their inventory that they need. They must also be able to work within the budget set by the company they work for and plan for the right amount of food and supplies they think they may need. This means that they must have strong culinary management skills such as organization, communication, and the ability to prioritize tasks in order to keep people fed and their kitchen running efficiently.