New job perspectives for chefs explored in latest seminar

The latest Academy seminar explored the wealth of opportunities available to chefs outside of the restaurant kitchen, in fields such as research and development, academia and media.

Drawing on the experiences of three former students of the Basque Culinary Center – a gastronomic university in San Sebastian, Spain – that have all pursued careers outside of restaurants, it showed to the members how despite the effects of the global pandemic, there are still many ways for chefs to use their skills in the global workforce.

The three were: Patricia Jurado, a Research Fellow at Harvard University in Boston; Jose Pelaez, Head of Innovation at LABe, the BCC’s own digital gastronomy lab; and Carlos Osorio the founder of culinary consultancy CUMA.

All three emphasised that there are many ways chefs can now use their skills and talents, and the need for a broad, multidisciplinary outlook in the future.

“Chefs will have to reinvent themselves in the future,” said Jurado, who teaches on both Science & Cooking and Fermentation courses at the famous university. “You’re going to have to know a little bit about everything.”

Pelaez, who works at the cutting edge of gastronomy and technology at LABe, including on smart kitchen projects, believes the chefs of the future will be “culinary engineers, social impact players, game changers,” whilst for Osorio, whose consultancy helps food businesses grow and replicate, “chefs are the best entrepreneurs.”

“A chef is a person who knows the business model from the inside,” he continued. “They have the mentality of perfection. Without the chef, there is no restaurant.”

Members were then invited to ask questions and debate with Jurado and Pelaez in a live session, on topics such as the automisation of restaurants.

Through its seminars and educational program, the Academy continues to support its goal of nurturing the next generations of culinary talents and connecting the world’s best young chefs with the most influential figures in gastronomy. The seminars are currently only available to members in the Academy’s private Facebook group.

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