Professional references from culinary arts instructors could help you find a job as a chef

by Olivia DeWolfe
CulinaryEd Columnist
February 15, 2011

Chef jobs require good letters of recommendationWhether you're still a few months away from your culinary-school graduation or you've already received your diploma, chances are you're probably thinking about your first job, where it might be, and how you are going to land it. As a newly-trained chef, you may be wondering how to make your abilities come through as you look for your first job. You can do this through a job application that includes letters of recommendations from professors in your culinary arts school and from any others that can speak to your skills.

Even top chefs had to start somewhere. For many, including Nancy Silverton and Emeril Lagasse, success in the culinary arts world came after culinary school. While many culinary schools can give you the needed skills to help you to become a chef you still have to get your foot in the door of your first job in order to prove yourself. Whether you've graduated from a traditional or online culinary-degree program, this is exactly where letters of recommendation can prove helpful.

Culinary instructors know best

Culinary instructors are usually industry professionals. They know what will be expected of you in the real world. Not only should they be designing their curriculum around current industry standards, they're also paying close attention to whether you're meeting those standards. On a daily basis, your teachers have watched you practice and demonstrate your abilities in many arenas of cooking: baking, yes, but also in leadership and communication as well as business and finances. They should know your culinary skills well, and they have plenty of experience writing letters of recommendations and should know how to effectively detail your strengths.

Choose culinary instructors with whom you had a good rapport and whose opinion you respect. Let them know what kind of job you're applying for so they can tailor the recommendation to fit. Give them plenty of notice so they're not rushed. Take advantage of the knowledge your culinary instructors have about you when it comes time to apply for your first chef job. A recommendation from someone of high caliber and professional reputation can add depth and status to your application, and could increase your ability to be hired for the chef job you want.

Culinary Art Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            Professional Culinary Arts
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            Culinary Arts (AS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            B.S. in Hospitality Management
            • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
            • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
            • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
            • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
            • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
            • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management

            Founded in 1869 as a land-grant school, the University is known today for its prolific faculty as well as a record of distinguished research and achievement in aerospace, engineering, technology, science, and math.

            • Online Courses
            Search Schools Near You
            Subject :
            Degree :
            Zip Code :

            Culinary Schools
            Culinary Articles
            10 Colleges with Delicious Dining Hall Food
            Forget boring college cafeteria dining. Campus food can be exciting, healthy and delicious. Here's a look at 10 of America's best colleges to get your grub on.
            Four International Cuisines Influencing the American Foodscape
            Ethnic cuisines are an integral part of America's culinary landscape, and none more so than these perennial favorites.
            5 Ethnic Cuisines for Serious Foodies
            Love food? Want to broaden your culinary horizons? These five international cuisines provide an excellent starting place.
            Healthy home cooked meals can improve health, longevity and family social community
            Read how cooking at home rather than eating out can help you live longer, reduce the risk of cancer and improve family dynamics. Not only has cooking at home become the hip choice, it's also become the smart choice.