How Do Chef Schools Work?

Culinary schools give aspiring chefs their best shot at making it to the big time, especially those admitted by the American Culinary Federation. Just like any other profession, many of the better hospitality establishments base their hiring practices not only upon the length of education the applicant provides, but also where that education was obtained. Tuition runs the gamut from relatively inexpensive courses offered by local community colleges all the way to the Culinary Institute of America's breathtaking $ 40,000 price tag. And what does not tuition cover? Oh, just uniforms, textbooks, cutlery, and other necessary kitchen equipment.

Curriculum different from school to school, but most of the culinary student's time is consumed in learning the ins and outs of cooking by actually doing it under close supervision. Participants not only prepare food, but also learn how to plan menus, minimize food costs, buy food and supplies in quantities, and how to appropriately choose and store food. Learning proper hygiene and local public health rules also play a large part in a culinary student's education.

Classes are sometimes offered all day, taking a complete eight hours, while at some schools, classes are broken into morning and afternoon sessions. There are usually lectures, and then demonstrations followed by hands-on practice time with students applying the techniques demonstrated earlier. Some schools even offer part-time professional classes to accomodate working cooks wanting to increase their formal education.

A number of educational seminars are available, among them:

The American Academy of Chefs Chair's Scholarship – Ten $ 1,000 scholarships awarded each year

The American Academy of Chefs Chaine des Rotisseurs Scholarship – Twenty $ 1,000 scholarships awarded annually

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) – Three annual $ 2,000 scholarships for high school seniors and undergraduate students

Because years of training and experience are needed to reach the level of executive chef in most well-paying restaurants, many students are serious about this profession beginning their training in high school through voluntary programs, then go on to a two- or four-year college or university. Apprenticeship programs offer more training afterward, and these come from individual eating establishments and are given by a personal mentor or from professional institutions and associations such as the American Culinary Federation.

Apprenticeship lasts usually about three years and is most often known as the years of "grunt work" – doing all the chopping, grating, peeling, slicing, and washing necessary to prepare the ingredients for the chefs. Even cleaning appliances, sweeping and mopping floors, and other seemingly unaffiliated "chef" work gets done by the apprentice as part of his or her learning experience. Often this "trial-by-fire" period separates the truly devoted caf├ęs-to-be from those who are merely good cooks.

It is not impossible to attain the status of executive chef without the benefit of formal education, but in today's job market, most establishments (especially the finer hotels and restaurants) now require some type of certification to work in this capacity. Like a degree of any sort, formal training in the culinary arts may not mean you are another Julia Child or Paul Prudhomme, but it does at least signify that you've got what it takes to get through the school. So stop trying to think of ways to take shortcuts, get your tuition together, and go learn what you need to attain your dream!

Three Benefits of Private High Schools

Are you a parent who children are getting ready for a new school year? Are you troubled by the prospect of sending them to a public institution? If so, then it might be beneficial for you to consider sending them to one of the private high schools in your area. There are several benefits to this type of education. First, these institutions are generally better funded than their public counterparts, they employ high quality teachers, and they are free from any outside political influence. For all of these reasons, they make an excellent option for your children's education.

When it comes to funding, private high schools generally do much better than public institutions. While they may be more expensive, this is more than made up for the quality of their facilities and the resources that they make available for students. The educational opportunities that they offer are greatly enhanced due to the availability of quality textbooks, scientific equipment, and classroom technology. So, if you are looking to equip your children with as many resources as possible, these institutions hold a definite advantage.

You will also be very pleased with the quality teachers that private high schools employ. In general, these institutions offer higher wages for their teachers, and, as a result, they are able to attract more candidates for their positions. This results in the acquisition of extremely well qualified instructors who are able to offer some of the very best educational opportunities to your children.

Finally, private high schools are also free of some of the outside political influences that public institutions have. Since public institutions operate on government money, they are accountable to the local politicians. In recent years, the political environment has changed dramatically, and this has been resolved in a decrease in funding to educational programs. As a result, the expectations for public institutions have changed dramatically, and much of the public curriculum is focused on answering the political demands that are being made. This leads to educational institutions that are focused on meeting certain quantifiable outcomes rather than offering a quality education. This problem can be avoided by choosing a non-public institution.

Overall, private high schools offer several advantages over their public counterparts. So, it is important that you take these into consideration when deciding where to send your children as they may offer a much better option for your student's education. You will surely be grateful for the opportunities that they afford.

What Are the Graphic Design Career Options?

Graphic designers have a wealth of new opportunities opening up in the workplace. The importance of web usage in business today has put virtually every operating concern in need of some sort of employee or consultant who can assemble a good graphics and / or multimedia driven web page.

Career oriented graphics designers today need a bachelor's degree. It is required for most entry level jobs. Graphic designers bring creativity and imagination to their work, but they must also bring a mastery of the tools, and those tools include sophisticated software programs and computer techniques as well as paper and drawing utensils. Computers are use to generate images, animation and multimedia presentations. It takes a lot of study to master the programs in use today and to keep up with the constant changes in graphic design technology.

There are several major business functions that require the services – and sometimes the leadership – of a graphics designer. In general, the use of graphics and multimedia is only expanding as more communications options are brought into the marketplace, such as the social networks and now the rapidly improving platforms for mobile devices.

Graphics design is at the heart of every advertising agency's products. It is one of the principal job sources for graphics professionals. Sometimes a graphics designer comes up with a design for an ad, but often the designer is also responsible for color, animation if needed, sound, shading and other effects. For ad campaigns, an account manager may want storyboards for presentation of an ad campaign's conceptualization and it is the graphic designer's job to prepare those, either on paper or as a digital slide show.

Graphic designers are also the anchor talent in many web development and design businesses . It is in this environment that the importance of understanding computer software for multimedia use becomes crucial. Web sites have become critical to all types of businesses, from small retailers to major corporations. Web presentations may include sketches and well lit photographs, or elaborate video presentations, or anything in between.

The video game business uses graphic artists and multimedia professionals in game development. In these environments, a graphic designer may work with a computer programmer on an animation scene and focus on such issues as shading, character movement and simulated lighting in the scene.

Over twenty five percent of all graphic designers are self employed . People who contract out their services may work for advocates who need graphic presentations, for publishing houses, for real estate firms, for fashion designers, for architectural forms or for sign companies . These are a few examples of businesses that occasionally need the services of a graphics designer. Many professionals become specialists in one business sector or another; and build a clientele based on recommendations.

Overseas Manufacturing and Clearing Goods Through Customs

When importing into a country, there are a number of terms, regulations and procedures an importer should be familiar with. The following is a guide of different issues to be aware of when importing.

For first time importers, it is highly advisable to pay a customs broker to enter and clear goods through customs. Customs brokers are licensed by the countries in which they operate, and they act on behalf of the importer to file the necessary documents for products to enter a country at the port-of-entry. Depending on their relationship with their client, they may also pay customs duties and other importing expenses on their client's behalf. Finally, they advise importers about issues of which they may need to be aware such as country or origin marks and other issues importers need to be aware of.

When choosing a customs broker, the importer should first make sure they can enter goods at the arrival port. In the US, customs brokers are licensed by the US Customs and Border Protection Service.

Prior to placing an order with a manufacturer, the relevant nation's customs agency and the importer's customs broker should be consulted to avoid possible problems such as the following:

  • Any legal issues that may exist with the product in the country of import.
  • Finding out after the product arrives at port that the it is subject to import quotas.
  • Possible health, safety or other regulations which apply to the product to be imported.

One easy to avoid, but common problem encountered when importing is the failure to mark the product in compliance with country of origin regulations. To avoid this, contact the relevant customs agency of the nation where the merchandise will be imported to ensure the goods are in compliance. For example, custom laws in the US require each imported good be marked with the English name of the country of origin (eg China) as reasonably, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article permits. Furthermore, this marking must be visible to the ultimate purchaser of the product.

The tariff rate levied by customs must be paid before the importer can take possession of the goods. While tariff rates in countries like the US average around 5% for most products, they can be significantly higher for some goods, particularly those with higher labor content. Therefore, it is important to know the rate before product arrives at port.

Before the goods are shipped, ensure the packing regulations for the destination country have been adhered. For example, every box, bale or case may need to be numbered with the exact quantity in each.

Other regulations include the type of pallets that can be used.

Problems with customs clearance often center around paperwork. Different goods often require different types of documentation, but the three major types of documentation the shipper must prepare include the following:

1. A bill of lading: This document, issued by the carrier or shipper, is basically a receipt of the goods acknowledging that they have been received on the vessel for shipment. This document indicates the particular vessel on which the goods have been placed, the destination of the goods, and the terms for transporting the goods to their final destination.

2. A commercial invoice: This is used as a customs declaration by the entity that is exporting an item across international borders. This document is required by customs to determine the value of the goods to assess duties and taxes, and goods must be invoiced in a systematic manner.

3. Packing list: This document is an itemized detail of the merchandise in a particular shipment. A copy is usually attached to the outside of the shipping container or inside the container itself so the merchandise may be counted by the person opening it.

It is crucial to make sure these documents, and any others that may be needed for a particular shipment, are carefully completed and reviewed before the goods arrive.

To avoid excess storage fees, arrange for a freight forwarder or some other type of transporter to ship the goods to their final destination as soon as they have cleared customs.

Being aware of these points, as well working closely with customs and a customs broker, will make the importing process smoother and will reduce the possibility of unnecessary difficulty or expense.