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Contract Catering Jobs Build Chefs' Skills

Just as every acting student and beginning actor dreams of being a movie star, culinary institutes are filled with people dreaming of being world-famous chefs. It's a natural desire. You want to reach the top. That's why you entered a culinary career path in the first place.

Students don't enter culinary institutes in order to become ordinary, low-level line chefs. You and your fellow students are all aiming for the top. It's a beautiful dream, and it helps make your culinary career exciting. The question is, what do you do while you're waiting for the dream to come true?

A Culinary Career Is Not About Waiting

Hollywood is filled with wonderful myths about the young actor who just happens to be in the right place when a famous director walks by. Though you rarely hear similar legends about culinary careers, many culinary institutes' students have secret dreams of being discovered.

The truth behind both dreams is that waiting won't win the race. The actor keeps busy learning new skills and playing small roles in movies and plays. The chef has to do the same thing.

How Chefs Earn Their Big Breaks

If you want to build your skills and begin creating signature dishes that will get you noticed, you can do what actors do--you can take small roles. Contract catering jobs may not be the most romantic ways to apply the skills you learned in the practice kitchens of your culinary institute, but they can help build your career.

You probably entered a culinary career because you love food and you love to cook. There is no cooking job, no matter how humble, that demeans a chef. Those contract catering jobs--preparing food for parties, meetings, or conferences--are like summer stock or regional theatre productions that actors use to hone their craft.

You can do the same thing and continue to grow instead of just waiting.