Seven things to facilitate your child to dream to become Head Chef and help realise the dream.

“Son, you better concentrate on your studies else you have to sit at home and cook food for the family...” said an annoyed parent to draw some sense into the frivolous child. This certainly sounds like a serious dialogue of the age old time. Today, career in culinary art has become one of the most interesting and well paid occupations. Food is not just something we need to survive, but has become a source of income to survive. Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life if it is prepared by someone with right skill and training and who has a knack for flavour. Chefs are in front and prime these days, thanks to the reality shows like Master Chef. 
Anyone interested in culinary art should ideally have a passion for cooking. As parents it is our responsibility to identify this passion in our child if the child dreams of becoming a Chef. Culinary art is more than just cooking. As chefs they not only prepare palatable food, but also create an unique edible work of art. It is a fact that cooking skills can be learned without any type of formal education, but a degree in culinary arts is a must if one has to pursue career in culinary. Whether your child wants to work in the kitchen, design his/her own restaurant, or run a catering business, a culinary arts career is a great choice , if he or she loves to work with food. I happen to read in one of the career magazines recently that a chef or head cook earns a weighted salary between $29000 to $51000 approximately based upon his skill and experience. Wonder, what could stop us rather than encouraging our child if he/she dreams of becoming a chef.
Seven things that as parents we could do to build a culinary career for our child –
Allow  your child to dream big - The foremost thing, we as parents should try is “NOT TO BE JUDGEMENTAL”. Dreams are the guiding stars and if we encourage our kids to dream big and high , we aid them not to settle with a bronze but rather run to achieve a gold. In short the first step towards career development is dreaming and if your child dreams to be a great Chef , the winner of Master Chef, he or she shall be.
Assay your child’s personality and interests – “ Dad / Mom, I have changed my mind. I want to become a Head Cook and so I am changing my subjects from chemistry and physics to cooking classes .....”  You get a late night call from him and you are stunned and helpless about the time and money you have wasted towards his chemical engineering course till date. As parents, we need to awaken our child’s interest and assess his personality at a very early age. If our child exhibits special interest and skill in the  kitchen , we should gauge this and encourage them to prepare simple food.  His interests will escort his dreams down to earth and his personality will act as bifocal to explore his culinary career.
Plan the career – As matured and experienced parents we should help our child draft a career plan which is both practical and achievable. They should also have some flexible options. For example – a child aspiring to have a career in culinary art, should be prepared to become a Chef or Head cook or Food Service managers or Restaurant In charge, if he or she loves to work with food.
Identifying the career path – We should help our child in exploring the career. This will help him /her to identify the factors they should consider while deciding their occupation. Drafting a career path  in culinary art involves a better understanding of the  work and the type of college education to matriculate to become a Chef or own a restaurant. 
Featured Degrees for Culinary Arts Careers 

  • Schools and Degree Information in Culinary Arts Schools and 
  • Degree Information for Restaurant and Hotel Management Career Schools and
  • Degree Information for Dietitian Career 

- See more at: http://myfootpath.com/careers/culinary-careers
Providing the right career tools – Right college with right degree plays a key role in realisation of the dream career. However, there are so many extra coaching classes and extra- curricular activities which one should consider while our child is in the career building process. We should enrol them in various cooking classes, along with courses in nutrition, alternative ingredients, meal planning, recipe writing, and sanitation.  
Preparing your child for the career – Along with the education and training, as parents we should  also help them identify the special traits, values and attitudes  that he or she need, to get the right job and be successful in their chosen career. For example - chefs should also have measuring skills and the ability to follow directions closely,  ensure that their food preparation areas are kept clean and sanitized etc
Financial Planning -   These are few common questions that quiver our mind -

  • When should i start saving for my child’s education 
  • What should be the amount to save
  • What is the best scheme i should invest in

Financial planning plays a vital role and unlike ten years ago, today we have plethora of options for financial planning and savings to ensure that money does not become a roadblock in our child’s education and career. Instead of looking at the option of taking loan to fund our child’s education, there are many savings plans in the market which can help us do “ smart savings” right from the infant age of our child. The biggest advantage of saving at a very early age is the “power of compounding” which means that even with a small sum of money we can create a huge corpus. Aviva child education plan is one of the best schemes which we can consider for financial planning. They have two excellent schemes namely Aviva Young Scholar Advantage and Aviva Young Scholar Secure. Both these plans gives provisions for important milestones of our child’s education and provides a comprehensive protection to secure our child’s future.
 Rightly said by Plato “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”  As matured parents we should allow our kids to dream big and aid to make them achieve the same.

– By Jayanti Ramanath

 

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