Careers in the Food Industry: Connecting Education and Employment

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Practicum in Culinary Arts

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student uses employability skills to gain an entry-level job in a high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand field. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify employment opportunities
      • (B) demonstrate the application of essential workplace skills in the career acquisition process
      • (C) complete employment-related documents such as job applications and I-9 and W-4 forms
    • (2) The student develops skills for success in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (J) demonstrate verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic communication skills;
    • (6) The student applies the use of self-development techniques and interpersonal skills to accomplish objectives. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify and practice effective interpersonal and team-building skills involving situations with coworkers, managers, and customers
    • (8) The student evaluates personal attitudes and work habits that support career retention and advancement. The student is expected to:
      • (A) analyze the future employment outlook in the occupational area
      • (C) compare rewards and demands for various levels of employment in the area of culinary arts
    • (9) The student identifies skills and attributes necessary for professional advancement. The student is expected to:
      • (A) evaluate employment options, including salaries and benefits
      • (B) determine factors that affect career choices such as personal interests, abilities, priorities, and family responsibilities
      • (C) determine continuing education opportunities that enhance career advancement and promote lifelong learning
      • (D) demonstrate effective methods to secure, maintain, and terminate employment
    • (10) The student understands the history of food service and the use of the professional kitchen. The student is expected to:
      • (D) analyze how current trends in society affect the food service industry
    • (11) The student documents technical knowledge and skills. The student is expected to:
      • (A) complete a professional career portfolio to include:
        • (ii) official documentation of attainment of technical skill competencies
        • (iii) licensures or certifications
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • outline education opportunities available after high school graduation
    • investigate employment opportunities in culinary arts
    • explore advantages and disadvantages of employment in food service careers
    • assess salaries, duties, work environment, and job outlook for employment
    • evaluate personal job skills, aptitude, and interests with a state recognized assessment program
    • complete an I-9 and W-4 form
  • Rationale


    Are you interested in pursuing a career in culinary arts or other foods related field? Discover what careers are available in this area. This lesson will focus on career opportunities and necessary skills as well as explore the job outlook and potential salaries of this exciting career field.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Seven 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Apprentice: One who works under the guidance of a skilled worker to learn a particular trade or art

    Aptitude: A natural tendency to do something well, especially one that can be further developed

    Assessment: A method of evaluating student performance and attainment

    Certification: Proof that you are an expert in a specific topic, such as culinary arts, baking, and pastry making

    Employment: The condition of working for pay

    Entry-level: Jobs for which you do not need to have training or experience

    I-9 form: The Employment Eligibility Verification is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services form. It is used by an employer to verify an employee’s identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States

    Interests: A feeling of curiosity or concern about something that makes the attention turn toward it

    Internship: A program in which an advanced student works at business to get hands-on training

    Job rotation: A system by which employees are rotated through a series of jobs, allowing them to learn a variety of skills

    Opportunity: A chance, especially one that offers some kind of advantage

    Skills: The ability to do something well, usually gained through training or experience

    W-4 form: IRS tax forms are used by taxpayers and tax-exempt organizations to report financial information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States. They are used to report income and calculate taxes to be paid to the federal government of the United States

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for multimedia presentation
    • computer lab with internet access


    • card stock for flashcards and certificates


    • cookbooks
    • empty containers from fast food establishments
    • menus from local restaurants
    • copies of all handouts (see All Lesson Attachment tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Note to teacher – Become familiar with:

    • The Occupational Outlook Handbook Teacher’s Guide to assist the students with their career search.
    • The Texas Work Prep Learning Management System (LMS) designed and hosted by the Texas Workforce Commission. The Job Hunter’s Guide Course This course will allow the student to gain knowledge and skills to attain employment. The course is approximately an hour and a half long. Students will receive a certificate upon completion of this course. Certificate can be printed and added to their professional portfolio.


    Before class begins:

    Gather supplies and place on a table for students to see as they enter the classroom.

    When students are seated, have students brainstorm answers to the following questions. Assign a student scribe to record all answers on the board or chart tablet.

    • Have you considered a career in culinary arts?
    • How do you think Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s got started?
    • Would you like to work at a large chain restaurant or a small local venue?
    • How much money do you think chefs make?
    • What are some advantages to careers in food service?
    • What are some disadvantages to careers in food service?
  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Distribute the Slide Presentation Notes handout (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students may take notes while they view the PowerPoint™.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Careers in the Food Industry: Connecting Education and Employment (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Allow time for questions and class discussion.

    Stress the need for continued training opportunities throughout one’s career.

    View short YouTube video on McDonald’s® Hamburger University®.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • repeated review
    • check for understanding
    • peer tutor

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce the Texas Work Prep Learning Management System. Direct students to the Texas Job Hunter’s Guide Course.
    Inform students that this is an interactive free assessment for that will allow them to identify their job values, interests, aptitudes, and skills assessments as well as assist them in preparing a résumé and teaching them interview skill tips. Students must complete all six sections and successfully pass a short quiz to receive their printable certificate. Stress the importance of having this type of documentation in their professional portfolio.

    Distribute copies of the W-4 and I-9 (see All Lesson Attachments tab) employment forms to students as they complete their assessment. Inform students of the importance of these two forms before they begin to work. Instruct them in filling in the information.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • peer tutor
    • note taking assistance

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide students into subgroups of three. Introduce the scenario:

    You and your coworkers have been selected to investigate careers in the food industry. Work together as a team to research information needed to share with the class.

    Place Occupational Outlook Handbook Flashcards (see All Lesson Attachments tab) in a basket and ask one member from each group to select a card with a career they will research and present to the class.

    Distribute the Rubric for PowerPoint™ Presentation and Rubric for Multimedia Prezi™ Presentation (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so students understand what is expected.

    Distribute graphic organizer Pros and Cons of Employment Opportunities (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students should read through their selected career option and determine a minimum of eight advantages and eight disadvantages.

    Introduce and guide students through the website components of the Occupational Outlook Handbook

    Students will locate the selected career and gather information for their the multimedia presentation. The following information should be included:

    • Definition and duties
    • Work environment
    • Education requirements
    • Pay
    • Job outlook
    • Job prospects
    • Similar occupations
    • Contacts

    Students should include a short video on their selected career in the presentation from the Career One Stop website:
    Pathways to Career Success
    Career Videos for Hospitality and Tourism

    Guide and assist students as needed as they work independently on their research projects.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • reduce written assignment
    • peer tutor
    • check for understanding

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    At end of each class period, a team will be provided with an opportunity to share the pros and cons of their selected career with the class.

    Would the discovered challenges (cons) deter them from pursuing this career?
    Would the discovered benefits (pros) encourage them to pursue this career?

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Teams will present their multimedia presentations. Allow time for student questions and class discussion after each presentation.

    Student projects/presentations will be assessed with appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • assist student with presentation
    • encourage participation
    • give praise

  • References/Resources


    • (2010). Culinary Essentials, Johnson and Wales university. Woodland Hills: McGraw Hill Glenco.



    • U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services
      Federal law requires every employer and agricultural recruiter/referrer-for-a-fee hiring an individual for employment in the United States to verify his or her identity and employment authorization through completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Students may read the latest issue of Occupational Outlook Quarterly to find out the most up-to-date information about employment.

    Have students form their own questions about the text prior to reading or have them write down any questions that come to mind as they are reading.

  • Quotes

    I remember when I was in college, I used to watch Julia Child’s cooking show during dinner and joke with my roommates about becoming a TV chef.
    -Martin Yan

    I ended up turning down a full scholarship of music at the conservatory to pay to go to cooking school.
    -Emeril Lagasse

    I played from the time I was seven years old. My father was my first baseman coach. I had opportunities that I never really pursued – with some Miami teams and a few larger colleges, and then I ended up bailing and began cooking.
    -Todd English

    I’m obsessed with cooking shows, even though they make everything look so easy when it isn’t.
    -Joely Fisher

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Careers in the Food Industry: Connecting Education and Employment
    • Presentation Notes – Careers in the Food Industry: Connecting Education and Employment

    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • Pros and Cons of Employment Opportunities


    • Form I-9 Updated
    • Occupational Outlook Handbook Flashcards
    • Rubric for Multimedia Prezi™ Presentation
    • Rubric for PowerPoint™ Presentation
    • Slide Presentation Notes
    • W-4 form

    Files of downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • I want to continue working in the food service industry because …..
    • My plans to continue my education in the food service industry are ……
    • I hope to one day be a ………… (career in culinary arts)

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT
      • Role: student
      • Audience: Food Network executives
      • Format: letter
      • Topic: seeking apprenticeship with the Food Network
        Write a letter to the Food Network seeking an apprenticeship with their program. Skills learned would be priceless.
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    My favorite cooking show is ……
    I have a passion for ……
    I enjoy cooking for people because ……

  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Students can make a brochure listing all the careers in Culinary Arts and potential places of employment to promote the practicum course. The brochures can be distributed during registration and left with counselors to distribute.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Invite a local chef to speak or give a demonstration to the class.
    Invite guest speakers from culinary colleges to come and talk about their program.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    • Culinary Arts
      A team event – recognizes participants enrolled in occupational culinary arts/food service training programs for their ability to work as members of a team to produce a quality meal using industrial culinary arts/food service techniques and equipment.


    • Commercial Baking
      Challenges contestants to meet production and quality standards expected by industry. Students must scale, mix, prepare and bake six products (including breads, rolls, Danish, cookies and pies) and demonstrate cake-decorating skills. They must deliver a quality, salable product while working efficiently and under job-like conditions.
    • Culinary Arts
      The competition will encompass both hot and cold food preparation and presentation. Contestants will demonstrate their knowledge and skills through the production of a four-course menu in a full day competition. The contestants will be rated on their organization, knife skills, cooking techniques, creative presentation, sanitation food safety techniques, and above all, the quality and flavor of their prepared items. The high school competitors will work from one menu with standardized recipes. The college/postsecondary students will work from a market basket format and write their own menu and recipes the night before the competition.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see:

    Brainstorm with class for a service project pertaining to your lesson:
    Working with the local food pantry collecting and donating food for the homeless and underprivileged.

  • All Attachments