An instructor is a teacher or a mentor who guides students in a specific field of knowledge. Though culinary arts is a profession in which experience on the job forms a substantial part of the learning process, culinary school instructors do play a vital role in helping students form a base of knowledge to test and compare new trends.
A culinary arts instructor is a position in the faculty of schools and colleges offering various courses in culinary arts. It is a full-time position to teach basic and advanced food preparation, sanitation and safety, menu planning and cost analysis. Courses may be assigned during day, evening, and weekend periods. The position of culinary arts instructor may also include off-campus assignments.
Culinary arts instructors are expected to maintain up-to-date knowledge of their subject matter. They are supposed to use multiple methodologies in teaching, including computer technology. The role involves assisting with curriculum development and articulation with universities and high schools. Culinary arts instructors have to attend department meetings, provide advice to students and maintain necessary attendance and scholastic records. They are expected to maintain professional standards of conduct and ethics, appropriate to the position. They also have to manage the kitchen used for teaching students and fulfill other responsibilities as assigned.
The education and experience required for the post of culinary arts instructor is usually a bachelor’s degree and two years of occupational experience as a chef in food service and restaurant operations. Alternate qualifications that may be acceptable for the positions include an associate degree and six years of occupational experience or valid community college instructor’s credentials in the subject matter.
Candidates with college teaching experience in culinary arts are usually preferred. It is mandatory for culinary instructors to know in detail about cooking and related courses for the culinary arts program. They should also have the ability to anticipate purchases needed for the kitchen and dining room. Certified chefs and certified culinary education certificate holders are also preferred for the post. Consideration is also given for applicants with American Culinary Federation (ACF) accreditation.
Culinary arts instructors provide students with a lifelong basis for understanding quality raw ingredients, creating balance and pleasure in combined flavors and in making innovative and unique food presentations for diners.