Culinary art, in which culinary means "related to cooking", is the art of the preparation, cooking and presentation of food, usually in the form of meals. People working in this field – especially in establishments such as restaurants – are commonly called "chefs" or "cooks", although, at its most general, the terms "culinary artist" and "culinarian" are also used. Table manners ("the table arts") are sometimes referred to as a culinary art.
Culinarians are required to have knowledge of food science, nutrition and diet and are responsible for preparing meals that are as pleasing to the eye as well as to the palate. After restaurants, their primary places of work include delicatessens and relatively large institutions such as hotels and hospitals
Below is a list of the wide variety of culinary arts occupations.
- Consulting and Design Specialists – Work with restaurant owners in developing menus, the layout and design of dining rooms, and service protocols.
- Restaurant management – Manage a restaurant, cafeteria, hotel dining area, etc.
- Food and Beverage Controller – Purchase and source ingredients in large hotels as well as manage the stores and stock control.
- Entrepreneurship – Deepen and invest in businesses, such as bakeries, restaurants, or specialty foods (such as chocolates, cheese, etc.).
- Food and Beverage Managers – Manage all food and beverage outlets in hotels and other large establishments.
- Food Stylists and Photographers – Work with magazines, books, catalogs and other media to make food visually appealing.
- Food Writers and Food Critics – Communicate with the public on food trends, chefs and restaurants though newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books. Notables in this field include Julia Child, Craig Claiborne and James Beard.
- Research and Development Kitchens – Develop new products for commercial manufacturers and may also work in test kitchens for publications, restaurant chains, grocery chains, or others.
- Sales – Introduce chefs and business owners to new products and equipment relevant to food production and service.
- Instructors – Teach aspects of culinary arts in high school, vocational schools, colleges, recreational programs, and for specialty businesses (for example, the professional and recreational courses in baking at King Arthur Flour).