For many people, a career that’s centred on food would be the ultimate dream. With the food and drinks industry booming, diversification into foreign markets and future growth are expected to continue, meaning now is as good a time as any to take the plunge and see what possible careers may be waiting out there for you.
The first and most obvious career path for a lover of food is to become a chef. Creating your very own dishes in your very own kitchen and serving delicious food to satisfied customers, night in, night out; it really is the dream for many. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of being a chef is the ability to specialise in a particular type of cuisine or an area of the kitchen. This way, even if the stress of being a head chef does not necessarily appeal to you, you don’t have to rule out working in a commercial kitchen altogether, opting for example to be a pastry chef or sous-chef instead.
Maybe you love creating and cooking your own dishes but prefer time and space to do it, rather than the constant pressure and chaotic nature of a restaurant kitchen. In that case, working as a Research and Development chef could be the answer. This job often involves travelling the world and sampling the gastronomic delights that will inspire you to develop your own dishes that, once approved, are rolled out to food companies or restaurants for production and consumption in a much wider market.
Food scientists focus more on the technical aspect of food by working to find the safest, most practical ways of production, as well as controlling the additives and preservatives used to make sure all food is safe for consumption and correctly labelled so consumers can make informed decisions about their diet.
Caterers combine a love of food with a flair for people skills by working at events such as office parties, birthdays and weddings. If you thrive on providing delicious food to the masses and crave the social aspect of working in the food industry, this could be the ideal option for you.
The job of a nutritionist is to help people understand exactly what they are eating and what they need to incorporate into their diet. With their detailed understanding of nutrients and other essential dietary requirements, they often work with clients on a one-to-one basis to tailor-make a diet plan that will help them reach optimal health and get the most from their food.
If it is the beauty of food that appeals to you and you have a creative flair, then photography could well be the way forward. You could work for magazines, blogs and specific brands or even be the official photographer for cookery books; with this job, it is all about capturing the aesthetic wonder of what we eat.
You may not have a particular penchant for cooking yourself but that does not have to mean you cannot appreciate and understand good quality food when you taste it. Thus, if your skills lie more in critiquing the work of others and you have a knack for words, becoming a food writer for blogs or newspapers could be an exciting opportunity.
There truly are an abundance of different ways of working with food, meaning that wherever your particular skills and interests may lie, your dream job could well be out there.