List of 150 Food Jobs

 Table of Contents

 Excerpt of the book


Here is what others are saying about FOOD JOBS: 150 Great JOBS for Culinary Students, Career Changers and FOOD Lovers and Irena Chalmers

The Divine Miss C

April 5, 2010

Irena Chalmers is the patron saint of food jobs. But Carolyn, you may be asking, does the world really need such a holy being? Is it necessary for one person to toil tirelessly for the good of culinary students and perplexed career changers everywhere, a martyr for the meek but pure in heart that are knocking at the door to the professional food world, but still not sure how to enter it? I say yes, and bless her heart for it.

Carolyn Grifel B&N Community

Make Your Reservation

March 29, 2009

So you’re thinking of a spot in the food world but don’t know where to start? Irena Chalmers’s new book, Food Jobs (Beaufort Books, 2008), may help you focus your energy. Chalmers, a culinary businesswoman and author, offers sketches of 150 different food-related jobs, divided among nine categories – everything from busboy to flavor maker to seed scientist to fortune-cookie writer. The book and the website and blog that go with it ( are engaging reads.

– A.R. Boston Globe Sunday Magazine

Find a Career in Food

If “follow your passion” is starting to sound like a good Plan B for your foodie soul, then Irena Chalmers has a book and a blog for you. Her book “Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers” … won the 2008 Gourmand Cookbook Award for Best Professional Book for U.S. [She] aims to suggest new ways to look at potential job opportunities in the food industry. Chalmers, a past president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, notes ideas such as a woman who landed a job teaching table manners to culinary students, an herb grower selling herb bouquets for birthday gifts and restaurant centerpieces, a former butcher who caters whole suckling pig parties, and a nutritionist opening a cooking school for diabetics. You know what they say: The money will follow.

Kim Ode, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Need A New Food Job?

As a food writer, lots of things come across my desk… Occasionally, I’m impressed enough to share with you. Like today, when I received some info about a new book by Irena Chalmers. Whether you’re looking for a job in a restaurant, the media, culinary education or even farming, this book has details that you need to know about. Like how to go about landing that job, and what exactly that job is all about.
Chef Gwen Ashley Walters, CCP, Pen & Fork

Food Jobs, Maybe in Your Own Soup Kitchen

Luckily, when the going gets tough, the tough get creative…The brilliant Irena Chalmers, who has had at least 19 lives in food, has compiled this very smart book, with a dazzling array of opportunities laid out for anyone looking for ways to make some money off the second most essential human activity after breathing. You might not want to be the chef who grills the steaks on Death Row in Texas, but she has scores of other suggestions, with case studies.

Regina Schrambling, Epicurious epi-log Guest Contributor & Goddess

“In these difficult times, jobs are probably the most important issue, before banks or real estate. Chalmers’ FOOD JOBS is very timely, useful and needed.  It is packed with practical information, easy and even funny, and very serious and accurate in its comments and advice. It is difficult to imagine how it could be better.”
Edouard Cointreau, President of Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

STAR CHEFS’ 2008 Recommended Xmas Gifts for Chefs:

A Change of Pace
Even chef’s can be unsure of their career, and if you know someone considering a slightly different path in the food world, the new book Food Jobs ($19.95) by Irena Chalmers will reveal that there’s more to food than just cooking it. From anthropologist, to flavor maker, to tea taster to product developer, it’s an original job-book that’s loaded with helpful Internet resources, organizations, and interviews from the country’s best chefs and writers. Just be sure not to get caught looking at it on the job…

FOOD ARTS Magazine

November 2008
New York City

Has she got a job for you! 
Not every music student can be a rock star, and not every culinary stu­dent will be an executive cheENot to worry, says Irena Chalmers. Despite the sagging economy, thereare plenty of jobs in the food business. And some of them may surprise you.
Would you like to be an egg peeler? An arctic chef? A chewing gumtaster?

You’ll find these, plus 147 more conventional occupations, in Chalmers’lively and informative new book, FoodJobs: ISO GreatJobs for CulinaryStudents, Career Changers, alld Food Lovers. The book grew out ofChalmers’ talks with students (continues)

Stuart Reb Donald, November 12, 2008

“But the real magic of Food Jobs is that I discovered a lot of jobs that I had never thought of before. Professions like culinary tour guide, olive oil tester, and even fortune cookie message writer (somebody’s got to come up with that stuff) are all discussed, as are more conventional occupations like cruise-ship chef, menu designer, or product demonstrator. Chalmers’s work is perfect for those of you contemplating a career change or are just jazzed about food in general. Don’t be surprised if Irena Chalmers is toting home more hardware after the culinary awards festivals next spring.” 
Read the full review

Dana McCauley’s food blog

By Dana McCauley, October 21, 2008
I have a copy of Food Jobs on my desk and will recommend it to people who come to me for career advice. I considered sending a copy to my old guidance counselor but I have a feeling he’s likely (and hopefully!) retired.
$19.95 – The surprisingly low price of good advice.

Lisa Messinger, Get Paid for Eating and Other Creamy, Dreamy Careers

New by Lisa Messinger – Cooks’ Books for 10/09/2008

If you think that going to culinary school and becoming a chef is the only way to satisfy your craving to work in the food industry, Irena Chalmers would like to introduce you to a few food futurists, food historians, kitchen designers…

Donna Maurillo, Food for Thought: Explore Careers in Food

Wednesday, October 1st. San Jose Mercury News – CA, USA

Want a career in an industry where the opportunities are expanding? How about doing something with food? People must eat, no matter how bad the economy is. And there are many careers that can take you wherever you want to go. You don’t even have to be in the restaurant business, which is the obvious choice. But what else is there? And how do you get started?

Irena Chalmers has written a great career guide called “Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers.” What you’ll learn here is just about everything. It’s been described as the food industry’s version of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” (Link to article)

Sally's PlaceSally’s Place

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Culinary Book: Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers by Irena Chalmers, highly respected food industry guru, is a must read for those interested in entering the nation’s largest private-sector employer (second only to the federal government). You’ll find Sally’s Place on page 193 under “Food Writing on the Internet.”

Food Jobs‘ offers helpful advice

The Republican –, MA – Sep 17, 2008

‘Food Jobs’ offers helpful advice

Owning a restaurant, becoming a chef, launching a career as a food writer – they are all popular career daydreams. Where, however, does one get down-to-earth advice on how to land that food-oriented dream job?

One new and noteworthy print resource for those with food profession aspirations is “Food Jobs,” a first-of-its-kind book by Irena Chalmers.

Having been author, reporter and publisher as well as a faculty member at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Chalmers knows her way around the food business.

Her book distills a lifetime of experience and plenty of research into a food industry career guide that’s usable as well as a pleasure to read.

Chalmers’ book begins with some general advice on defining career goals, then goes on to describe some 150 different possible careers involving food and the restaurant world.

Obviously she gives first billing to choices like “chef” and “restaurant general manager,” but goes beyond those to talk about bartending, food writing, restaurant design and much, much more.

Her practical, no-nonsense advice on all these options is deliciously spiced by career bios written by food world personalities, both famous and not quite so well known.

Other sidebars in the volume contain practical advice from people in the industry. The book is also generously sprinkled with facts and figures designed to help career explorers gauge the scope of food-related job opportunities.

Chalmers further fortifies each chapter in the book (there are nine) with recommended books, useful Web sites and relevant professional resources.

There’s even a section on cooking schools and culinary education. In it Chalmers provides the lowdown on tuition, financial aid and scholarships, as well as profiling major institutions in the field. Continues »

Leite’s Culinaria, Get a Job!

September 3, 2008

A book arrived on my desk yesterday, and it came just in time. Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers is written by author, publisher, producer, and book packager Irena Chalmers. The reason why I like it so much is I finally have something to recommend to all the people who write me every week asking for advice on how to start a food career.
(check out Leite’s blog)

Kitchen Arts and Letters

Kitchen Arts & Letters Inc. Newsletter, Summer 2008

A well-connected, highly regarded culinary career guru who is currently an instructor at the CIA’s New Hyde Park campus, Chalmers presents a very useful guide to a dizzying array of food occupations, ranging from chef, butcher, and nutritionist to bee keeper, kitchen designer, and wild game farmer. Her knowing and pithy descriptions of duties and requisite qualifications are often supplemented by enlightening accounts of their career paths written by people prominent in their field: Betty Fussell on becoming a food historian, Jonathan King on the founding of Stonewall Kitchens, Sidney Mintz on specializing as a food anthropologist. Great perspectives here. p. $19.95
Kitchen Arts & Letters Inc. Newsletter, Summer 2008

PWLast Chance to Change Your Life

Liz Hartman, Publishers Weekly Book Expo America Show Daily Edition- Sunday, June 1, 2008

By now your feet are killing you, you can’t bear the sight of your colleagues, you may be hungover, you’ve just spoken to friends and family who are lounging poolside and beachside, and you’re thinking: “Who cares about books anyway? I never want to read again.” If this sentiment resonates, then stop by the Beaufort Books booth (606) to learn about other jobs, in particular, FOOD JOBS: 150 Great JOBS for Culinary Students, Career Changers and FOOD Lovers by Irena Chalmers. From the woman whom Robert Mondavi called “a feast to read,” the author of more than 50 cookbooks with a total sales exceeding 18 million copies, a founding member and former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (LACP) who currently teaches at the Culinary Institute of America comes a What Color Is Your Parachute? For people interested in food-related careers.

In Food Jobs (Sept.) Chalmers goes far beyond the obvious – chef and /or restaurant owner – to show how wide the field really is, and she provides resources to help readers find jobs in those fields. Everything is covered from being a chef on a luxury yacht, owning a specialty food store, photographing food, editing cookbooks to food science and organic farming.

Chalmers herself switched to food after a career in nursing. She recounts in the foreword of her book: “I actually began my circuitous culinary journey at Lexington Market in Baltimore. It was the home of the Delmarva Delaware, Maryland and Virginial Chicken Festival. The festival’s promoters hired a woman, sight unseen, to demonstrate the prize winning fried chicken recipe. When she arrived there was no mistaking the fact she was absolutely gorgeous. The organizers were shocked. ‘Oh dear, this won’t do at all,’ they declared. ‘What we need is somebody ordinary.’ That’s how I got the job.”

Even if you’re not ready to change careers, it’s worth stopping by the Beaufort booth. The publishers is raffling off a personal tour of the Culinary Institute of America’s New Your campus in picturesque Hyde Park, followed by dinner with Chalmers. Today is your last chance to drop off your card to participate. In addition, Beaufort is giving away tote bags inscribed with Chalmer’s favorite chocolate mousse recipe.

I’m honored to be included in Irena’s book.
Danny Meyer, restaurateur and author

Irena Chalmers is a culinary Goddess. Her perspective on the food industry and its inhabitants along with her extensive background, her many contributions to the visibility of the industry, and delicious sense of humor set her apart from other food writers, and I for one am in the front of the line to purchase and devour anything she publishes. Thank you, Irena for this latest contribution – please keep writing!
Candy Wallace, American Personal & Private Chef Association

Don’t be misled by the wit and charm of this book: Irena Chalmers knows everything about the business of working with food. Want a job? Read on. 
Irene Sax, Food writer and restaurant reviewer

I have known Irena Chalmers for at least 35 years from back in the days when I taught French Cooking for the Paris Cordon Bleu as their U.S. Representative. I know of no one who knows as much about food and the industry as she does. Certainly no one writes with as much candor and humor about our industry as Irena does. 
Richard Grausman,
Founder & President, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP),
working with public schools across the nation to prepare students for
college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry

Irena Chalmers should be right up there with Julia and Jim in spreading the word about good food in America. As the First Lady of food books for three decades, Chalmers’ presence on the page or in a lecture hall charges the atmosphere with vitality, wit and wisdom-all of it dedicated to the proposition that to live well we must eat well and enjoy it.
Betty Fussell,
food historian, author of The Story of Corn, My Kitchen Wars,
and Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef

Irena is one of my favorite people in life. She is warm, witty and – unlike some food writers – a brilliant cook. She thinks with a first-rate mind and writes with an angel on her pen.
David James Robinson,
Executive Chef/Owner, Bezalel Gables Fine Catering & Events

For the past 25 years, with both wit and wisdom, Irena Chalmers has been instructing us on the culinary world’s virtues, which she is always quick to trumpet, and its vices, which she skewers with delicious accuracy. Her keynote addresses to major food-related conferences have pinpointed trends that have significantly shaped an entire industry, noting both its promise and potential and its possible pitfalls. Her many books have enlightened and entertained thousands of devoted culinary practitioners. Teacher, prophet, mentor, friend are words that rise to top of mind when describing Irena and her many contributions and accomplishments.
Phillip S, Cooke and Daniel D. Maye,
Managing Partners (retired), FSA Group & PALS

Irena and I had the good common fortune to work with the greatest restaurateur of the 20th century, Joe Baum. We both spent years trying to anticipate his response to our proposals. Irena was one of the few personalities able to cool his fevered brow and make him happy. This is a gift she brings to most encounters. After all, she was once a nurse. Her sunny disposition and good will, both in her writing and her presence, make you want to spend time with her. You’ll feel better afterwards. 
Milton Glaser, designer

Irena Chalmers knows her stuff. Over the years she has reinvented herself as an award-winning cookbook author, restaurant consultant, cooking school teacher, speechwriter and CIA instructor. Who could be a better guide to finding a job in the food business?
Dianne Jacob, author of Will Write for Food:
The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Restaurant Reviews,
Articles, Memoir, Fiction and More, and book coach

There’s no one, no one like her. She’s charming, mentally quick and ingenious, warm, kind and funny. Irena Chalmers is a masterful cook, a dazzling intellect, a beloved teacher, a sparkling writer and more, much more. She brings everything she has to the table of life and dispenses it all bountifully and generously. Her food, her knowledge, her know how, her insights. They’re there for all of us to have and enjoy. So, pull up a chair and have a seat at Irena’s table. You’ll have a wonderful time. You will be nourished. You will be wiser. It’s a promise.
Elaine Yannuzzi,
former president, Expression unLtd.

Irena Chalmers is a prolific publisher, author, teacher and food consultant-a very versatile and witty enlightener.
Beverly Stephen Executive Editor,
Food Arts magazine

Irena’s column is a perennial favorite of Chef magazine readers. There’s a reason why it’s the very last page in the magazine, to ensure they read the rest.
Abbie Jarman,
Editor, Chef magazine

“I don’t know how to explain exactly what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it,” Joe Baum used to say. And it was Irena Chalmers who could listen to Joe for hours and had the rare ability to translate those ideas into precise words defining what Joe Baum meant. Irena Chalmers has always been especially skilled and masterful at interpreting the creative ideas of innovative minds like Joe Baum. Few written words could capture the exhilarating feelings of life with Joe Baum at The Rainbow Room and Windows on the World, but Irena Chalmers was capable of doing it repeatedly.
Tony Zazula,
Owner and creator of COMMERCE Restaurant Former Vice President of
Sales & Catering, Rainbow Room & Windows on the World, Advisor to Joe Baum

Irena Chalmers brings insights and information to the enormous world of food enthusiasts like no other voice in the arena. Her intense passion for everything we enjoy at a table has been proven over and over again. This compelling book adds to an already auspicious library of notable publications she’s authored. It gives the newcomer a universe of opportunities and the seasoned professional methods of shifting and gaining new ground in the world of food. Her writing is as interesting and refined as a carefully crafted meal.
Philip R. Nulman, CEO, The Nulman Group, author of Start Up Marketing, Just Say Yes, Branding Commentator for national news and columnist for newspapers and magazines throughout the world

Wit, wisdom, and verve-these are only three of Irena Chalmers’s most wonderful traits. So many of us in the food world have benefited from her intelligence and enthusiasm whether through collaboration or simply stimulating conversation. Now she is sharing her talents with a new generation of young people. Long live Irena Chalmers!
Darra Goldstein,
author, scholar, food exhibit curator and founding editor of
Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture

The distinguished and absolutely delectable Irena Chalmers always has her finger on what is important in our lives. She knows, for instance, what the world needs now are jobs, including those in the culinary world. Food Jobs makes a valuable contribution at the right time.
Peter D. Franklin, Universal Press Syndicate

Irena Chalmers has long been an inspiring force for culinary professionals worldwide. As one of the key supporters and former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), her involvement in supporting and understanding culinary professionals around the world has given credibility and insight into this multi-dimensional industry. Her leadership and commitment to IACP has helped bring together a worldwide network of nearly 4,000 culinary professionals. Irena’s savvy and thoughtful approach to understanding this diverse and often misunderstood industry is a true gift to anyone interested in pursuing a culinary career.
Cathy Cochran-Lewis, National Media Relations Coordinator, Whole Foods Market

Food Jobs is Irena’s best book yet. It is a bounty of impeccable research, wit and style and provides perspectives from every imaginable culinary leader. Irena has created the definitive Bible of career opportunities for our industry.
Jerry Fischetti,
associate professor of business management,
Culinary Institute of America

Past Praise for Irena Chalmers

Praise for The Food Professional’s Guide

Compiled by Irena Chalmers, Foreward by Julia Child (Wiley, 1990)

Here in one place are all the names that we used to have to find by hunting through a dozen different directories. You no longer have to spend hours on your own tracing down a fact, a service or a person, the editors of this directory have done the work for you. I can’t imagine how we have all lived without it.
Julia Child

The thought of even attempting to compile such a volume is mind-boggling. 
Los Angeles Daily News

Those with a fervid interest in food will take real delight in this book, and serious cooks will find it invaluable.
John Mariani

This kind of giant, comprehensive, national directory of people, products and services in the food and wine industries which many have long wished for has finally been published.
Restaurant Digest

Praise for The Great Food Almanac

By Irena Chalmers (HarperCollins, 1994)

The Great Food Almanac is a feast to read-helpful, healthy data in an easy format.
Robert Mondavi, Chairman of the Board, Robert Mondavi Winery

With this book Irena Chalmers provides ravening food-fact foragers with something richly meaty or delectably odd to chew on every day of the year.
Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Founding Editors, FOOD ARTS Magazine

Irena Chalmers has the quickest mind in the food world. Facts and fantasies crowd the every-lively pages, carefully annotated. What really sets The Great Food Almanac apart is its diversity and humor. The PC Thought Police run for cover when Irena hits town. And those who feel the fun has been removed from our food along with the fat and frosting have a welcome opportunity to binge on smiles and chuckles. 
William Rice, food and wine columnist, Chicago Tribune

I haven’t had so much fun with a book since the long-lost days of The Whole Earth Catalog. Thanks from all of us out here who are hopelessly compulsive browsers, relentless fact and figure collectors, amateur muckrakers, gossip hounds and of course, food lovers. You’ve left a treasure chest on our doorsteps. 
Nach Waxman, founder and owner, Kitchen Arts & Letters

Nobody does it better than Irena Chalmers in this new almanac of fascinating and juicy tidbits seasoned with her famous irrepressible humor.
Maggie Waldron, executive creative director, Ketchum Food Center

For me, receiving a new book from Irena Chalmers is always a thrill. The Great Food Almanac bursts with wit, charm and Irena’s delightful information. What a way to learn!
Sheila Lukins, co-author of The Silver Palate cookbooks