High-paying jobs ‘await culinary graduates’

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Sea Crest Beach Hotel executive chef Daniel Kenney talks about opportunities in the food industry with students of the International Culinary Arts Academy Cebu. (Photo by Arni Aclao of Sun.Star Cebu)

CULINARY students and graduates can expect better employment opportunities both in the Philippines and in the United States with the thriving food industries in these countries.

Daniel Kenney, an executive chef in Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Massachusetts, USA, said in his visit to the International Culinary Arts Academy Cebu in Guadalupe, Cebu City that cooks are highly in demand in the US. He said people are taking vacations more frequently, boosting the demand for food in restaurants and hotels.

Kenney said being a cook in US pays well. He said that for an entry-level position, one can earn $25,000 to $35,000 a year or more than P1 million. An “experienced” chef can earn from $70,000 to $175,000, or from P3 million to P7 million in a year.

Jeremy Young, ICAAC dean and head chef, said graduates of a culinary course can also find good job opportunities in the country, especially with the rising number of hotels and restaurants opening in Cebu.

Although the salary for chefs in the country is lower than that of what the US offers, Young said those who have found jobs here are also offered competitive rates.

But he said most of the culinary graduates who chose to stay in the Philippines opt to open their own food business instead of working for hotels and restaurants.

Zip Travel vice president of Asia operations Aaron Black said there is also high demand not only for culinary graduates but also for Filipino culinary students from various hotels and restaurants in the US. This, he said, can be attributed to Filipinos’ professionalism in the kitchen.

Zip Travel Philippines is an affiliate of the consultancy firm Zip Travel International. It caters to students and graduates who want to be part of the cultural exchange program of the US government. It is affiliated with 55 establishments in the US, accepting Filipino students in culinary, business administration, business management, tourism and information technology.

SeaCrest Beach Hotel, one if its partner establishments, has 90 percent Filipino cook interns, while the remaining 10 percent are composed of Jamaicans and Europeans.

“If I can just make it to 100 percent Filipino, I will. Filipinos are high caliber cooks...They are like sponges, whatever you tell them, they absorb it,” said Kenney.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 17, 2013.


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