chef career

Career option for Food and Kitchen Lovers

Yashwant Kale Career Guidance Leave a Comment

A career as a Chef has never before held more opportunities than now. The boom of the hospitality and restaurant industry in India is a testimony to this. According to the India Food Service Report 2013 by National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the restaurant industry currently has, under its employment, 4.6 million people that is projected to reach up to 8 million people by 2018. With Indian restaurant brands entering the international domain and integrating technology, the industry has opened panoramic avenues for culinary aspirants.

Industry Prospects

•The Indian food service industry currently stands at INR 247,680 crore with a 11% growth projection to INR 408,040 crore by 2018;
•The Indian restaurant industry market segmentation – a whopping 74% is accounted for by Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and Casual Dine-in formats, 12% is made up by Cafés, leaving Fine Dining along with Pubs, Bars, Clubs & Lounges (PBCL) with 14% of the market
•By 2018, an estimated INR 24,600-25,000 crore is projected to be contributed by the chain and licensed standalone industry, double the estimated contribution in 2013
•A rapid increase in competition and shortage of skilled manpower are expected


A bachelor, diploma or post-graduate degree in Culinary Arts is a must for aspiring chefs. Knowledge of a foreign language, cultures, and marketing are an added advantage in the long run. Eligibility for the bachelor and diploma courses is passing the Higher Secondary Certificate or 10+2 or any equivalent examination. Admission is on the basis of performance in an entrance examination that is conducted by the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NHCMCT).

Leading Colleges / Institutes

i.International Institute of Culinary Arts, New Delhi;
ii.Culinary Academy of India, Hyderabad;
iii.Mumbai College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Mumbai;
iv.College of Hospitality and Tourism, New Delhi;
v.Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad;
vi.Institute of Hotel Management and Aviation, Haldwani;
vii.Hotel and Catering Management Institute, Chandigarh;
viii.Institute of Hotel Management, Meerut;
ix.Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development, New Delhi;
x.Merit Swiss Asian School of Hotel Management; Udhagamandalam
are colleges of repute offering degree and diploma courses in culinary arts.

Job profile

•Head and manage the kitchen, devise meal plans and advise kitchen help
•Create new signature recipes
•Have thorough knowledge of various meals, courses and food presentations
•Recruit and train staff
•Maintain inventory of supplies and equipments for timely sourcing
•Multi-task with élan

Prospective Employers

The Taj Hotels, Marriott Hotels India Pvt. Ltd., Accor Hotels India, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, The Oberoi Group, InterContinental Hotel Group are some of the renowned hotels always on the lookout for fresh talent.
A career as a Chef is not limited to luxury hotels and restaurants alone. Airlines, confectionaries, catering services, and cruise liners are other areas where there is a high demand for chefs.

Compensation Packages

•A graduate enters as a trainee in the kitchen with an annual salary ranging between Rs. 96,000/- to Rs.1.00 lakh equivalent to Rs. 8,000/- to Rs.8,400/- per month
•After training, trainees reach Officer Grade receiving remuneration of Rs.1.20 – 1.50 lakh annually equivalent to a monthly stipend of Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 12,500/-
•After two years of training, an individual may be promoted to a Chef. The promotion depends largely on the candidate’s performance. With the rise in position, a Chef’s salary too rises – annually Rs.2.00 lakh to Rs.3.00 lakh equivalent to Rs.16,500/- to Rs. 25,000/- per month
•As a Chef in the international arena, you could draw up to Rs 7.00 to Rs. 9.00 lakh annually the equivalent of Rs. 58,000/- to Rs. 75,000/- monthly

Pluses and Minuses

•Chefs get opportunities to explore and experiment to one’s content with food and presentation
•This career has a dynamic environment that always presents new challenges or possibilities
•You could also start your own venture after a significant period of experience
•You can build long-lasting relations and connections from customers to staff to vendors

•While it can have its share of glamour, it is all about grueling, hard work and sometimes long hours
•In a country like India that is filled with festivals – which are the real work days for you
•Since it’s not a desk job, you have to constantly be on your toes
•High-pressure and stress situations are possible

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