Although aligned in the same industry, these degrees are quite different areas of study. Culinary Arts study is heavily focused on cooking techniques, food service and professional kitchen management, while Hospitality (including Hotel Management) is like a business degree with focus on the hospitality industry needs.
Chefs oversee all food preparation and supervise the staff preparing all meals. They are essentially the bosses of the kitchen, creating unique recipes and planning menus. Chefs also manage the inventory of the kitchen (supplies, ingredient freshness). They can be responsible for the hiring and supervision of cooks and inspection of work areas and equipment. Sanitation control is also something a chef will oversee.
Caterers prepare meals at an offsite location and often serve large crowds at social events such as weddings, fundraisers or corporate events. They meet with clients to discuss and arrange menu items and determine how the meal is presented at events. Caterers frequently work with Event Planners to create contracts and develop menu ideas based on each clients’ specific needs and wants.
After receiving your Hospitality Associate’s or Hospitality Bachelor’s degree, becoming a hotel manager may be the job for you! Hotel Managers are responsible for managing all hotel employees and for overseeing the planning, marketing, coordinating and administering of hotel services such as catering and accommodation facilities. Rapid career progression is possible quickly in this field, with many opportunities worldwide.
An event planner helps plan and design an event within the clients’ budget and time frame. They work with clients on a one-to-one basis to organize facilities and provide event details such as décor, catering, entertainment, transportation, and all other needs including promotional material and invitee lists.
Other career possibilities for someone holding a culinary diploma include Sous Chef, Banquet Chef, Pastry Chef, and Food Production Manager. It takes approximately two years to complete a culinary or hospitality certificate, and another two years for a bachelor’s degree.