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Culinary Arts vs Food Production


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“Is food production the same as culinary arts?” The answer is no. The two fields are quite different, working with various unique elements. While food production takes more of a scientific approach, culinary arts are artistic. In the food production industry, you will work more in the background of developing a dish, and in culinary arts, you can create a dish from scratch!

“Food production vs culinary arts, which one do I take as a career?” If you also have this question, you’re in the right place. These two unique career paths offer many attractive job roles with highly rewarding salaries and global opportunities. Here’s your guide to the two fields, discussing job scopes, remuneration, course cost, skills required, and much more!


Food Production vs Culinary Arts: Get your basics sorted!

Here’s a Quick Overview of the Two fields:


What is food production?

As the name indicates, food production converts raw materials into edible food. There are various stages, from sourcing raw materials to production, processing, packaging, and distribution. 

The final food production products go to your kitchen for consumption or the food processing industry. As a food producer, you must focus on food safety and quality control.


What is culinary arts?

The art of cooking is known as culinary arts. As a chef, you will create innovative dishes, plan the menus, whip up desserts, and much more. There's a lot of creativity in this field, be it in terms of flavor, texture, or dishes. 

As a chef, you will focus on sourcing high-quality ingredients to deliver Michelin-star dishes. You can choose to be a personal chef or baker or even work in hotels or restaurants. 


Culinary arts vs food production: Factors which set them apart

Choosing culinary arts or food production as a career can be tricky. If you need to know the differences, here are the factors that set them apart:



Culinary Arts

  • Most institutions ask for a high school diploma or a good overall percentage in higher secondary.
  • Some institutions have their admission tests.
  • Prior experience in cooking can be an additional benefit but optional.

Food Production

  • Most colleges ask for a high school diploma or an equivalent.
  • Some programs may have specific subject requirements like mathematics or science.


Course duration

Culinary Arts

  • You can complete a certificate or diploma program in 6 to 12 months.
  • An associate’s degree will take you 2 years.
  • Completing a UG degree in culinary arts will take 3 to 4 years.

Food Production

  • Depending on your institution, a UG program in this field will take 3 to 4 years. 
  • A PG degree takes another 2 years.



Culinary Arts

You can opt for specializations such as:

  • Baking and Pastry 
  • Culinary Management
  • International Cuisine
  • Food and Styling Presentation
  • Recipe Development

Food Production

You can opt for specializations such as:

  • Food Safety and Quality Assurance
  • Food Microbiology
  • Production and Research
  • Food Technology
  • Food Innovation


Course fees and expenses

Culinary Arts

  • Your course cost can range from INR 1 lakh to INR 6 lakh. 
  • The course fees vary depending on the institute and location.

Food Production

  • Your course fees will vary widely between INR 1 to 12 lakhs.
  • The fees depend on the type of institution, location, or specialization.
  • Laboratory fees and equipment costs are additional.


Career scope

Culinary Arts

In this field, you can explore the following job roles:

  • Head chef: As a head chef, or chef de cuisine, you will manage the entire kitchen. From menu creation to staff supervision, everything will be your responsibility.
  • Sous chef: You will be the second-in-command and assist the head chef. You will prepare food, source ingredients, and maintain food quality.
  • Catering manager: In this role, you will manage catering events. Menu planning, staffing, logistics, everything will be your responsibility.
  • Food photographer: This role combines food and photography. As a food photographer, you will click foods to be posted online or in magazines.

Food Production

In this field, you can explore the following job scopes:

  • Food technologist: You’d develop and improve food products in this role. You will improve the food quality and ensure nutrition.
  • Quality assurance manager: Your primary role would be to ensure that top-quality food reaches the consumer. You would check the quality by testing and ensuring it follows regulations.
  • Food safety specialist: You will work to ensure consumer safety and monitor food safety protocols.
  • Supply chain manager: In this role, you will oversee the supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to supplying the end products to the market.


Skills required

Culinary Arts

  • Culinary knowledge to be efficient in kitchen operations.
  • Creativity to help you create innovative dishes and mix unique flavors.
  • Time and stress management are essential as the kitchen can become chaotic during the busiest hours.
  • Teamwork is important because chefs work in teams with contrasting ideas in commercial kitchens.

Food Production

  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Problem-solving skills are important because you will often encounter hurdles in this industry.
  • Technical proficiency in managing food processing technologies.
  • Research mindset so that you can research and innovate on food production.
  • Communication skills, which will help you communicate efficiently with your team.


Food Production vs Culinary Arts: The more financially rewarding choice

Remuneration can be an important decisive factor when choosing careers. Here’s the culinary arts vs food production salary figures:


Average Salary in the Food Production Industry

In the food production industry, there are many job roles. One such role is food technologist, where you can start your career at INR 2.7 LPA.


Another attractive career choice in this industry is that of a food quality control officer. The salary for this role starts at INR 3.4 LPA. 



Average Salary in Culinary Arts

Culinary arts is an umbrella term under which you will have multiple job roles. One such role is executive chef. This role is financially rewarding, and you can begin your career at INR 11.5 LPA.


Another amazing option is being a private chef, where you can start your career at INR 3.5 LPA.



Choosing culinary arts or food production: Top tips for you

Here are a few tips on how to choose between culinary arts or food production:

  • Take some self-assessment tests. Try understanding what you like: the science behind making food or hands-on cooking.
  • Review the course content and curriculum to understand what aligns with your career goals.
  • Internships or shadowing a professional in each field will also give you clarity. You can get an idea of what your typical workday would look like.
  • Check for job security and stability. Assess the job market beforehand and understand factors like job availability or economic stability.



Here, we have covered the most important culinary arts and food production aspects. Now you know which career will give you good salaries and what skills you need to develop. Culinary arts vs food production—the final choice is yours. But, when you finalize, opt for a course from a reputed platform to enhance your knowledge and skills. 

ITM offers one such course: A Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts. This course gives academic knowledge with international internships and will open your door to global opportunities.

Explore this course and many more on the ITM platform!


Frequently asked questions

1) Is any formal education required for a culinary arts or food production career?

Formal education is not mandatory in either field. It depends on the employer whether they’re looking for any specific degree. However, a degree will set you apart from the crowd and give your knowledge base a strong foundation. 

2) How much does it cost to earn a culinary arts degree?

The total cost to earn a bachelor's degree in culinary arts can be between INR 1.75 and 3.5 lakhs; a PG diploma can be INR 4 to 5 lakhs.

3) Which field, culinary arts or food production, will give me better job opportunities?

In both fields, you will have several options. As a culinary arts graduate, you can work in restaurants, hotels, catering companies, or even as a personal chef. As a professional in food production, you will have opportunities in sectors like food manufacturing or quality assurance.

4) Can I combine culinary arts and food production as my career?

Sure, why not? Many experienced chefs have expertise in both fields. Knowledge of the food production process enhances a chef's knowledge. With this knowledge, you can create more creative dishes.

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