Take This Job and Staff It

The surge in interest in all things culinary has opened up a wide (and freaky!) range of new jobs, says the Los Angeles Times in its article “Wanted: Cave Manager.” What kind of new jobs, you ask? Oh, you know, beer sommeliers. Water sommeliers. Salt sommeliers. Um, food bloggers. Culinary historians, who consult on movie projects. And more.

Some of the jobs the Times mentions sound downright fancy: How’s about a career in culinary tourism, or culinary philanthropy? The article mentions one young chef who brings teams of cooks to New Orleans to buck up the locals.

But the nut of the story, the really killer insight, arrives more than halfway through. These new positions aren’t being born just because more people are paying attention to what they eat. According to one professor at New York’s Culinary Institute of America:

[M]ost of her students at the nation’s premier cooking school ‘don’t want to go into restaurants after spending all that money’ and are increasingly open to jobs ‘with a better quality of life’ — meaning anything that does not involve ‘days being shouted at by mean chefs.’

Yeah, it does seem kind of weird to pay $30,000 (or more!) for culinary school, only to land a $7-an-hour job with no benefits. Who knew the damages wrought by Hell’s Kitchen would be so extensive?

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