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Career Spotlight: Hollywood Culinary for Special Events

September 24, 2009 Le Cordon Bleu Los Angeles 0 Comments

On any given night in Hollywood, someone’s bound to be throwing a special soiree, be it a fundraiser, birthday fiesta, or awards after-party. Ever wonder who’s cooking behind the scenes at those parties? It could be you. Los Angeles is known for its culinary scene, and special events chefs can become as famous as the celebrities they’re cooking for.

Events are Always Happening in LA

The great thing is that thousands of catered events take place every day in the U.S., hundreds in Los Angeles alone. People putting together weddings, office parties and fundraisers all need good cooking with a unique flair. As long as you’re prepared with the right cooking experience, a repertoire of exciting recipes, and a little business know-how, you could pursue a career in the culinary fields in Los Angeles.

You’ll first have to have a good handle on business practices. Even the best culinary chef can be lousy at managing his/her affairs, so bone up on your business and marketing savvy first. Make sure you know how to price your services, work with distributors and wholesalers in Los Angeles, and get the best deals on your materials and ingredients.

A Rewarding Career Begins with Training

Next, get yourself the training you need to excel at your job. If you can’t commit to a full degree program, there are a plethora of certificate programs in the culinary arts in the Los Angeles area. Culinary training can be a good way to get a solid background in both modern cooking skills and food service management.

Once you’re prepared, start cooking! Hollywood-type culinary clients will want to taste samples of your special dishes, and since Los Angeles is a culinary hot spot, your food will have to wow even the toughest clients. Potential customers will also need an estimate of how much your food and services will cost, so make sure you’ve checked out the competition to see where your pricing should be. It may be a good idea to give first-time clients a small discount so they can test your services, or offer rewards for recommendations from current clients. In Los Angeles, it’s all about who you know.

In the end, special events chefs also need a good set of equipment—and a good eye for décor. Pots and pans are essential to cooking, yes, but in Hollywood, so are the fine linens, unique serving trays and special candles. Fine cooking in Los Angeles might be more about the presentation than about culinary taste!

Shoot for the Stars

All of these elements can be both daunting and exciting to prepare as you embark on your own cooking adventure in Hollywood. Just remember: The special events chefs that stand out in the Los Angeles culinary scene are the ones who brand themselves with unique flavors and take chances with their food and décor.

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