What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the word LOVE? Is it by any chance, FOOD?
Whenever you talk to your friends, half of your conversations end up becoming about food. The satisfaction you get while eating is not comparable to any other feeling in this world. Being around food is the only thing you dream about!
Is your inner foodie jumping about while reading these lines? Are you looking for some career options to keep you connected to food in any way? Then your search has just ended.
Yes, you read it right. There are a number of career options that allow you to satisfy your love for food and earn at the same time.
1. Food Critic
Have you ever read the famous food column Rude Food in the Hindustan Times Brunch magazine? Then you would have heard the name of the man behind it, Vir Sanghvi, where he travels around India and shares his food experiences. If you too are crazy about food and can evaluate dishes, restaurants and hotels with a critical eye, then you can consider becoming a food critic. Food critics explore minute details of a food dish, such as its texture, taste, smell, appearance, quality, flavours, etc. and share their opinions through written columns or even video shows.
Education/ Skills Required: Other than a love for food, knowledge about cuisines, flavours and food elements, etc. is of utmost importance. Thus, a degree in Hotel Management or Culinary Arts will be useful. You can also pursue degrees in English Literature, Mass Communication, Journalism, etc. to brush up your writing skills.
Career Opportunities: Most restaurants, cafes and bars invite food critics to review their food. Food critics often write for magazines, newspapers and online food websites.
2. Food Blogger
Whenever you order food or are searching for good restaurants to eat at, the first thing you generally do is check the online reviews made by other visitors. There are certain people passionate enough about food that they travel to different places specifically to try out their food and inform others about the best places to eat at. These are called Food Bloggers and they are becoming the next big thing. Whether you want to specialize in the food joints in your own city or explore cuisines from all around the country/world is a call you get to take.
Education/ Skills Required: There is no specific career path to become a Food Blogger. However, courses to gain skills in Photography, Content Writing, Blogging, Social Media and a little of Digital Marketing and Web Design will prove to be an advantage if you wish to go this route.
Career Opportunities: While many food bloggers are self-employed, i.e. they have their own blog; many others also work full-time or part-time with established food and lifestyle websites.
Food is the most beautiful creation, and chefs are the most innovative creators. They treat food as nothing less than a piece of art, and create dishes based on their area of interest and expertise. There are two main Chef positions in a kitchen – Head Chef (also called as Chef de cuisine, Executive Chef or the Master Chef), who is responsible for managing the operations of the kitchen. They check the inventory, create the final menu and take all the important decisions. The second position is the Sous Chef, who is responsible for preparing meals, supervising cooks, and reporting back to the Head Chef.
Education/ Skills Required: A Graduation in Culinary Arts or Hotel Management is required to start your career as a Chef. Alternatively, there are many certifications or diplomas available in Culinary Arts, Bakery and Confectionary, etc. Other than a professional degree, you should also possess traits like curiosity, creativity and patience.
Career Opportunities: Chefs can be hired at any place where food is prepared, including Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes and Food Chains.
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – La Rochefoucauld.
Rice or Roti, Ice Cream or Curd, Fried or Baked? Nutritionists are experts who help you take such decisions by telling you what and how much you should eat. Nutrition has gained popularity in recent years due to the increased focus on health and nutrition in our society. As a Nutritionist or Dietician, you will suggest your clients the right kind of food combinations according to their age, weight, gender and nutritional requirements. You’ll help them in reducing/gaining weight, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and meeting their dietary requirements.
Education/ Skills Required: A Graduation in Home Science, Nutrition or Food Technology, followed by a Post Graduation in Nutrition and Dietetics is required. You are also required to complete an internship and clear the licensing Exam conducted by the Indian Dietetics Association (IDA) after your post-graduation.
Career Opportunities: Pediatric nutrition Centers, private clinics, slimming centres, old age centres, sports clubs, gyms, etc. are a few places where you can work.
Recommended Read: Build a Healthy Career: The Essentials of Becoming a Dietician in India
5. Flavour Chemist
You get candy in many different flavours, from sweet caramel to fruity strawberry. A packet of blue Lay’s chips tastes spicy while a green packet tastes cheesy and creamy. What gives these food items such distinct flavours? Flavour Chemists are those wizards in disguise who create the agents that give different food items their unique taste, often without the presence of the actual substance itself. The flavours in many of the food items we eat every day are created in laboratories by flavour chemists who recreate natural flavours or enhance the taste of existing flavours by figuring out their chemical makeup.
Education/ Skills Required: To work as a Flavor Chemist, you should have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Food Science. Not just this, you also require a keen sense of smell and detail-oriented taste buds to distinguish flavours.
Career Opportunities: You can work with food processing companies, tea, coffee and wine industry, etc. Other employment opportunities include pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and pet food industries.
6. Food Photographer
Have you ever looked at the hoardings outside restaurants displaying different food items? The photographs look delicious and often you find yourself on the table inside eating because you can’t control yourself. Such photographs are taken by expert photographers. They work with food stylists and click photographs to help food companies, restaurants and packaged food companies make their dishes/products look appealing to their customers. These enticing pictures are used in magazines, websites, advertisements, menus and cookbooks, etc.
Education/ Skills Required: A degree or diploma in Photography is a good way to get started. Even without a degree, you can take up different short-term courses and certifications in photography and food photography to learn basic and advanced skills. Creativity, an eye for detail, and patience are also a few qualities you should possess.
Career Opportunities: The opportunity for food photographers are immense. From magazines to restaurants to newspapers to bloggers, all employ food photographers. A good chunk of opportunities also lie in working with food and beverages brands.
7. Food Stylist
Whenever you ask a chef, what the most important part of a dish is other than the flavours, the answer would always be the look and presentation of the dish. Even a simple dish like Rajma Chawal can be made to look a lot more attractive and like a restaurant-worthy dish through professional styling. The job of a food stylist is to make food look beautiful and fresh for photographs, videos and clients. They focus on elements of colour, shape and texture to create an appetizing and visually appealing plate of food.
Education/ Skills Required: A certificate or Diploma in Food Styling is recommended to learn the skills professionally, although it is not compulsory. Knowledge of photography and a degree in culinary arts/hotel management can also give you the needed boost. Creativity, patience and innovative thinking are skills you can’t do without.
Career Opportunities: You’ll work at restaurants, hotels and magazines, etc. and associate closely with chefs, bloggers, photographers, food critics, etc. In some cases, you can be the food photographer as well.
8. Food Technician
Ask your grandparents if they had instant noodles, canned juices or ready-to-cook food available when they were your age, and they would say no. As the world is developing and science is making things possible, the food world has also not been left untouched. Working in the world of Food Technology will let you combine your love for food with your love for research and technology. Be it frozen foods or dairy items, you’ll work in laboratories to study the chemical, physical and biological properties of packaged food products. Developing processes to package and store food, inspecting food quality and improving the technology used to process food will be part of your work.
Education/ Skills Required: As it is a technology-based field, you need to study Physics, Chemistry and Biology in your class 12th. There are specialized Food Technology and Biotechnology courses both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Career Opportunities: You’ll find employment in different packaged food and beverages companies that create products like pasta and noodles, ready meals/instant mixes, spice mixes, confectionary and chocolate items, dehydrated foods, dairy products, sweets and snacks, etc.
9. Molecular Gastronomist
Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering a Pina Colada. If you were living in the pre-molecular gastronomy world, you would expect the traditional coconut juice and coconut milk in a glass, but now the world is changing. The drink could be served in a jelly form with a liquid coconut drink inside. Molecular gastronomy is what makes it possible. It is all about studying the chemical properties of food and using that understanding to prepare traditional items in innovative ways. Even the Nitrogen Ice Cream that has become popular recently is an example of Molecular Gastronomy.
Education/ Skills Required: A graduation in Hotel Management or Culinary Arts is the way to get into this field. You’ll have to follow this up with a specialized program in Molecular Gastronomy for your post-graduation.
Career Opportunities: Molecular gastronomical cuisines are picking up in popularity fast; as a result, the demand for professionals in this field is increasing. You can work in high-end bars, hotels, food joints, as well as research institutes.
Go satiate your love for food by diving into any of these scrumptious careers!
Which of these careers excites you the most? Share with us in the comments.