How to Become a Cooking Instructor
Cooking may be a mechanical function, but it is also an art. It takes talent to really whip up a delicious meal. Do you have this talent? Would you like to help others learn the art of cooking either as a volunteer or paid teacher?
You can do so. Rather you become a paid cooking teacher to make some money and pay your bills. Learn how from our basic guide.
Getting Some Cooking Experience
Cooking instructors are needed in a variety of settings whether as paid or volunteer teachers. They may be needed to teach children after school schedules or youth and teens in summer camps, or adults in not-for-profit organization programs. To become a cooking instructor, there is no other starting point but to learn how to cook. To do so:
- You can take the structured way and enrol in a cooking or culinary school for an associate or bachelor degree in culinary arts.
- After taking a course in culinary, you can open your own restaurant, bar or grill or find employment as a cook.
- Or, you can get a job in a restaurant, hotel, or bakery, outright, with pure talent or word-of-mouth fame (you might have cooked for relatives and friends and word of your unusual cooking prowess may have spread around).
Getting a Teaching Job as Cook
With your formal training and experience, you can try applying as a volunteer cooking instructor or paid cooking teacher in community- or government-sponsored programs for seniors, adults, teens and kids. To do so, try locating your local volunteer center or community service center from www.1-800-volunteer.org. You may not need formal training to become a teacher in some adult programs. You can teach cooking classes on the side, as seasonal or part-time work while keeping your main cooking job. Or, you can start your private cooking classes. What you will need is a kitchen large enough to accommodate a number of students you want to take in. You can either give lessons on general cooking or on specialized topics such as baking, Italian or Chinese cuisine cooking. Eventually, after gaining years of experience not only as a cook but how to manage an entire cooking staff, you can become a chef instructor in culinary institutes, colleges and universities. Teaching experience is usually preferred. A certification from the American Culinary Federation may be required.
The ACF offers 14 certifications for cooking professionals, personal cooking professionals, baking and pastry professionals, culinary administrators, culinary educators. Eligibility for a certain certification will depend on education, work experience and the passing of a relevant exam which consists of questions on basic cooking, sanitation, nutrition, supervisory management and basic baking. If you are a cook, you may be interested in becoming a Certified Culinarian. If you are really serious in pursuing a career in teaching, you can augment your credentials by taking education courses.