Becoming A Teacher in A Cooking School

Courtesy of the Little Mexican Cooking School

I received a telephone call from a FOOD JOBS book reader who has just lost her job and doesn’t know what to do now. She wanted something new. She had worked as a caterer, recipe tester, food stylist, freelance magazine food writer and cookbook editor.

With these skills, I suggested she consider becoming a teacher in a cooking school. Her topic could be any one of the specialties or she could actually teach a course on FOOD JOBS!

In fact, I started out as a cooking school teacher in Greensboro, North Carolina. I demonstrated a complete meal in each class, but told little stories about the ingredients I was using. Many came more for the stories than the cooking class itself. I later expanded these tentative steps into a course that nestled comfortably beneath the umbrella of gastronomy.

If you want to teach, but not cook, maybe you would like to consider the endless and ever expanding topic, ‘Food in the News’. The advantage of offering these subjects is you can be in charge of your own material and develop your own course guide.

I’m teaching FOOD JOBS* and get a huge amount of satisfaction from the classes and the enthusiasm of the students.  The best part is that I learn something new every day.

Professional cooking schools are thriving everywhere. So are community colleges. Many high schools also include hospitality courses in their culinary curricula.

With the help of ShawGuides, my caller can easily locate a Culinary School at the Arts Institutes, Cordon Bleu cooking school or other professional, avocational cooking school or a community college wherever she wants to live. (She would like to move from her current location to a warmer climate in another part of the country.)

I sent her a sample course guide and advised her to adapt it so that a Dean of Education could see exactly what she had in mind. Her proposed syllabus should also include a brief outline for a series of six (or more) classes. Here below is such an example:

Syllabus Sample Template


This Food Careers course will introduce the extensive range of career opportunities. The classes will help participants evaluate their own unique skills and encourage them to explore the many paths open to them. There are literally hundreds of job opportunities available to today’s graduates.  They need only bend down and pick up the prospect that is most appealing.


The reason you decided to acquire an education at XXX Culinary School is to find a career in the food field. There is almost nothing more important than developing a sense of direction and ultimately being in a position to choose a path that will lead to a richly rewarding life. Together, we will examine many specific fields within the hospitality industry.

It is essential to understand the factors that contribute to the success (or failure) of a food business. You will be encouraged to track economic, political and demographic trends as they impact the hospitality industry and exert a strong influence on our current and future food choices.

You will also discover the importance of thoroughly researching a company before applying for a position. You will receive practical guidance to write a result-oriented resume and cover letter, and learn how to develop positive interviewing strategies. Class discussions will include the art of negotiation and emphasize that acceptance or rejection of a specific offer is limited not only to the size of the salary or the number of benefits: there are other important matters that must be taken into consideration too.


At the end of this course you will be in a position to define your goals and begin to take practical steps to plan your future career. You will be able to :

  • Describe the difference between a job and a career
  • Develop a strategy for job hunting
  • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of working in each sector of the hospitality industry
  • Identify the most influential publications and reliable web sites within each sector of the hospitality industry
  • Identify food trends and extrapolate probable trajectories of each trend
  • Evaluate the impact of changing consumer choices
  • Evaluate the impact of changing economic conditions
  • Compose a personal portfolio of your work
  • Outline a plan to market your business and build client referrals
  • Understand the vital importance of networking
  • Prepare a business proposal
  • Describe the steps necessary to achieve your personal career objective
  • Describe the economic and demographic reasons that justify an entrepreneurial objective
  • Assess the business impacts of the “green” revolution


Add your name here and summarize your background.

Sound easy? It still takes effort. If this course of action appeals, you still have to put yourself out there and do the heavy leg work. But once you have a focus and a goal in mind, the hard work turns into a matter of steps to follow down a virtual yellow brick road.

Please contact me if you have a question about your own career.