Special Recession Jobs

With fewer restaurants hiring because of the recession, where should a cook look for a position? If you still want to have "chef" on your resume, but the restaurant doors seem temporarily closed, check out these fields:

Health Industry

For a cook who loves to experiment and use lots of exotic ingredients and spices, making food at a hospital or retirement facility may seem like your worst nightmare. There are strict regulations in place when it comes to cooking for the sick or elderly due to compromised immune systems, so forget that properly salted, rare steak. Still, cooking in the health industry doesn't necessarily mean creating slop. Especially when it comes to high end retirement communities and nationally respect health facilities, there's a lot of emphasis place on a cook's ability to prepare delicious dishes within the dietary guidelines. Think of it as a Top Chef challenge, everyday!

Whether preparing pizzas for private schoolers or gourmet salads for the faculty dining hall of a university, there are plenty of cooking jobs in the educational field that don't involve donning a hair net and dishing out fish sticks. It's worth looking into private schools at all levels, from kindergarten to college, as the quality of food is one method many institutions use to attract prospective students. If you check out the menu the Obama daughters are served at Sidwell Friends, you'll realize the school cafeteria isn't about chicken patty day anymore.

Grocery Stores

With less people dining out, more focus has been turned to store bought meals at places like Whole Foods where the quality is still high, but the absence of tax, tip and beverage cost result in a cheaper meal. You might not be working on a restaurant kitchen's line, but the experience of cooking for large numbers is still valid.

Corporate Catering
Yes, those people who still have jobs at investment banks and law firms still need to eat. Obviously budgets are being cut in all areas, but the cafeterias of large corporation are expected to continue dishing out delicious grub for the remaining employees. Google cafeteria, anyone?

Private Nanny-Cook
So there may not be as many private chef jobs as there used to be, but I've seen a number of NYC families advertise for someone who can be a jack of all trades – cook, grocery shopper, nanny, even light cleaning. The hours tend to better than what you could expect from a restaurant, and if you don't mind dealing with the tots in addition to tater tots, the pay is usually better, too.

Featured Culinary Schools

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Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
Penn Foster , Online
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Online Courses