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What Does a Culinary Instructor Do?

Nick Mann
Nick Mann

A career as a culinary instructor is perfect for individuals with a passion for cooking and sharing culinary knowledge with others. Culinary instructors usually work at either the high school or college level. Careers at the high school level typically involve offering students a broad culinary education, while the college level curriculum is often more detailed and focused on specifics. Some common job duties of a culinary instructor include teaching students about sanitation, teaching utensil and equipment safety, giving lectures, monitoring student projects and administering and grading tests.

One of the most important topics that a culinary instructor will teach is sanitation. Following proper sanitation guidelines is essential for adhering to health standards and preventing the spread of bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. Consequently, a culinary instructor will usually focus on areas like cleaning utensils, proper cooking temperatures and storing foods safely. In addition, she may teach students about wiping down counters and washing equipment after cooking.

A culinary instructor.
A culinary instructor.

Teaching students about utensil and equipment safety is another important part of the job. To prevent injuries like cuts and burns, it's critical to show students things like proper cutting and chopping techniques, and how to use ovens and stoves. Since this subject is so important, an instructor will often cover this material prior to students engaging in any projects.

Most culinary classes also involve a considerable amount of lectures. This usually involves delivering information in the order of a class outline and building upon knowledge from one week to the next. In many cases, she will discuss a topic like cooking a certain dish before students engage in a project where actual cooking takes place. Along with this, she may give slide show presentations or show students a video that covers subject matter. Throughout each lecture or presentation, she will also need to effectively answer students' questions and clarify key points.

Another responsibility of a culinary instructor is monitoring student projects. Since culinary classes often involve hands-on learning, she must carefully observe students to ensure that safety procedures are followed and students stay on task. Consequently, a culinary instructor needs to possess leadership skills and be able to monitor multiple students simultaneously.

In addition, a culinary instructor will be required to both administer and grade tests. She may give students a standard book test or create her own test that covers course material. Upon completion, she must also grade those tests and give students a corresponding grade.

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    • A culinary instructor.
      By: Kadmy
      A culinary instructor.