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Sep 25, 2015

Recipe for the Perfect Culinary Portfolio

A cooking portfolio is one of the important tools you need to have in your culinary kit, just like a resume. The employment market has changed, chefs who are looking for work nowadays need a bit more in their arsenal to wow restaurant owners and show potential employers what they have to offer in the kitchen. The culinary kit helps other chefs to stand out among others.

It can be used to complement a resume and cover letter, or a culinary portfolio can be created as something to leave behind with new contacts or after visits with potential employers.

Read on to find out about critical areas that should be covered:  

About ‘Me’ Page

This is the backbone of your portfolio. Introduce yourself and tell a tale of your journey. Brand yourself the way you would like the customers and probable employers to know who you are. Upload your current photo and provide your contacts.

Narrate a brief history of your work; places and employment dates, the positions you’ve held and duties assigned to you. Highlight the steps you’ve made so far. Explain challenges and experiences you have undergone to date. Mention the different styles and types of cuisine that you’re familiar with or specialize in.

Food Photographs

High-quality photos will make a positive notion if professionally taken or edited. This is the mouth-watering bracket of your cooking portfolio that attracts the most attention. Ensure you have the best and most appetizing photos you have available. Otherwise, your portfolio will be like a kitchen without an oven.

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Sample Menus & Recipes

Show off your winning recipes, include a variety of cuisines, and show options for different styles and tastes. Also, include catering brochures or menus you've created before for business, employers, clients or customers. Here you have to back up your food photographs with the sample recipes and menus. Show the reader that you are well rounded and have the strategic vision necessary to run a restaurant or catering operation.

References and Accolades

Have previous employers recognized you for excellence? Did you participate in cooking competitions and earn gold, silver, or bronze medals? Highlight these honors in your portfolio. As you continue working, be sure to collect as many references as you can. Use reviews from your past clients, culinary instructors and employers to give you glowing reviews of your work.

Education, Professional Development, and Credentials

Where did you learn how to run a kitchen or cook a soufflé? Do you have a culinary degree? Are you an author or food columnist? Don't be afraid to boast about yourself in your cooking profile. These may not be exciting details, but this information is necessary because potential employers want a thorough examination of your qualifications.

Social Media and Advertising

This area consists of write-ups in magazines and other publications. If you’ve appeared on television or in print, you need to let the reader know. Design your own blog keep adding fresh content and update your seasonal menus and current food images as often as needed.

Set yourself up with a Facebook page and Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus accounts and keep them active to get to be known.

Student Services

Take advantage of your school’s student services center or career placement services. At Institute of Technology, students receive personalized assistance in finding a career they can be proud of. IOT has established strong connections with employers within the community that are interested in hiring recent graduates, ensuring that our students are not only prepared for success, but that they can find it after graduation.

For more information on Institute of Technology, our culinary programs or career placement services, contact us today!