Houston’s food scene is a booming business, and a career in culinary arts has delicious possibilities.
One of the schools offering instruction in that career path is the Culinary Institute Lenotre, which has the education potential chefs need to get the skills, training and certifications needed to begin a culinary career.
Melinda Marie Franco, senior admissions representative, Culinary Institute Lenotre, said they are one of the only French-owned culinary schools in the United States.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported chefs and head cook job opportunities are projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Getting started is easy to do, as classes begin every 10 weeks.
“Cuisine covers all fundamentals and techniques such as meat and fish fabrication, knife skills, mother sauces, Masterchef classes in the art of plating, to international cuisine covering 10 different regions of the world. Baking and pastry covers breads, French baguettes, croissants, macarons, candy making, ice cream making, dessert plating, to wedding cakes, occasion cakes, high-end sugar and chocolate showpiece work,” said Franco.
Franco said hospitality and restaurant management is an extensive study taught by professionals in the field. They also offer Sommelier classes for a deep, extensive study of wine.
When classes start, students are expected to be timely and in uniform, showing enthusiasm and passion for the industry.
“You must see food as an intimate thing. Discipline, detail, and respect are incredibly important in the kitchen,” Franco said.
Lenotre offers 14 program combinations focusing on culinary, baking, hospitality and wine. There are different electives to choose from to customize your experience.
“We have everything from 10-week sabbatical classes, one-year diplomas, and two-year degrees. We also have career placement services upon graduation,” said Franco.
Chefs can find work throughout industries such as fine dining, country clubs, hotels, cruise ships, and catering services. Some open their own restaurants, food trucks, and private chef businesses.
Culinary arts fast facts
• 2018 median pay: $48,460 per year, at $23.30 per hour
• Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent
• Work experience in a related occupation: 5 years or more
• Number of jobs in 2016: 146,500
• Job outlook, 2016-26: 10% (faster than average)
-Bureau of Labor Statistics