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.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            3 Program(s) Found
            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
            • Has 27 campus locations across the southern United States, plus offers online degree programs.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid