Every country and culture has a unique approach to culinary arts and cooking. By starting a cooking job abroad, you can master the skill set required to cook up any kind of dish in the world, while gaining impressive work experience to add to your CV too. So, where in the world will your taste buds take you?
Working abroad is something that every chef should try at some point in their career. It’s not just the excitement of learning all about the culture and cuisine of another country which makes the prospect so enticing; with a huge amount of seasonal cooking jobs abroad, and positions available all over the world, it’s most definitely a professional opportunity as well. Finding a international cooking job is easy for trained chefs, and the work itself will prove to be an immensely rewarding challenge for any newbie in the field.
Asking which country is the best place cooking jobs abroad would lead to a never ending debate among professionals in the field. Every nation across the world takes pride in the quality and type of cuisine they serve up, and the answer will almost certainly differ from one chef to the next. Really it comes down to your own personal culinary aspirations, particularly what type of cookery you strive to improve in or explore and learn about.
Some countries are particularly infamous for the greatness of their cuisine, and thus are the first choice for many chefs looking for cooking jobs abroad. Italy, France, Greece, and Spain are typically thought of as the most prestigious countries in Europe where you can gain experience as a chef. The cuisine of China, Thailand, Japan, and India come with equally high regard in Asia. Elsewhere in the world, in countries ranging from Mexico to South Africa to the United States, you can find more great cooking job opportunities that will allow you to master a unique style of cooking.
These are just a few of the most popular countries for international cooking jobs, but there are culinary jobs abroad almost everywhere in the world. Some regions will certainly present a more challenging linguistic and cultural adaptation than others, so remember that there are many additional factors beyond culinary considerations that you should take into account when deciding where to work abroad.
Many international cooking jobs are seasonal, which can be beneficial for many reasons. Since available positions tend to be open for only a few months at a time, you will be able to avoid the tangle of visa considerations. You will also be able move around frequently, gaining experience cooking in a variety of different cuisines and formats. Most seasonal cooking jobs abroad are in the tourism and hospitality industries. Manning the kitchens of hotels, resorts, and cruise ships are all examples of the type of culinary jobs you might find abroad. Working for private catering services, language schools, or camps are also promising places to look for culinary jobs abroad.
Competition is typically more stiff for permanent cooking jobs abroad at restaurants, and you will also have to jump through the hoops of organizing a work permit and residential visa with your employer. However, if you have the proper culinary training and prior experience as a chef, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be considered for permanent international cooking jobs. When you begin working abroad you may have to take an entry level position below your qualification, but with hard work and patience you could end up working alongside some of the top chefs in the world.
Seasonal cooking jobs abroad will typically pay chefs fairly well, and also typically offer lodging as part of compensation packages. This can be a huge bonus; for example if you work at a resort in the Alps or on a cruise ship, you will likely have access to many additional luxuries and amenities while working abroad.
Relative pay rates for more long-term culinary jobs remain fairly constant around the world, but will fluctuate according to the economic level of the country you are in. You can expect to make considerably more money working as a chef in France, for example, than in India. However, the low costs of living in developing countries, such as India, will allow you to save up a considerable amount of money working abroad, so there is certainly a tradeoff.
Master a New Art. By working abroad as a chef, you can bring yourself closer to the origins of whatever country’s cuisine you seek to master. Working alongside chefs who have grown up cooking their native dishes will undoubtedly give you new insight into the culinary tradition.
Be Mobile. Since many culinary jobs abroad are seasonal, you will have the freedom to move around and work in different places all over the world. Not every profession allows you to have so much freedom to venture around the globe!
Make Yourself Stand Out. If you ever decide to settle down into a permanent cooking job abroad, or even want to open your own restaurant someday, working internationally will make you a more enticing candidate for the people with the power to make it happen. You will stand out as a very well-rounded chef, and have the experience to back it up.