Culinary Director

Oversee food operations for large scale organizations like hotels.
picture of Culinary Director

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Culinary Directors do?

If you like beautiful music, you might play in a symphony. But what if you can’t play an instrument? Well, then you might consider working as a Culinary Director, instead, which is a lot like being a Conductor — but with food instead of Musicians and flavors instead of sounds.

Indeed, a Culinary Director makes meals, like music, sing. Like an Executive Chef, a Culinary Director oversees the creation and preparation of food. While a Chef usually works at a restaurant, however, you typically work for a much larger operation, such as a hotel, resort, university or convention center, or perhaps an entire restaurant chain. That’s where the conducting comes in; because you’re in charge of an entire culinary program, and not just a single eatery, you’re tasked not only with cooking, but also conceiving, creating and coordinating.

Sometimes called a Foodservice Director, or a Food and Beverage Director, you’re part Chef, part Manager. Your responsibilities are therefore both culinary and corporate. Your typical duties, for instance, include developing recipes and designing menus, as well as hiring and scheduling staff, monitoring and managing food costs, finding ways to minimize food waste, locating and communicating with vendors, troubleshooting with clients, ordering supplies and equipment, and ensuring food safety, health and nutrition.

A culinary executive, you manage menus as well as manpower. You leave the actual cooking, however, to your staff, which might include Chefs, Cooks, Servers, Caterers, Bartenders and Busboys. Like Musicians, they’re in charge of playing the music; you, on the other hand, are in charge of writing the songs.

Should I be a Culinary Director?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Culinary Artist, Culinary Chef, Culinary Specialist, Food Service Coordinator, Foodservice Director

    How to become a Culinary Director

    Culinary Directors often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9kcfaa&chl=no+college+%2859%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29|associate%27s+%2827%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,59,59
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