People who follow their passions in life are generally rewarded with a great deal of happiness. For many people, cooking is one of those passions. However, most people donít know how to turn this passion into something more than a pastime. Thereís actually quite a few different ways this can become something bigger for those who are serious about it. One way a cook can capitalize on their talents is of course seeking a position where they do this for a restaurant. Owners are constantly looking for new help in their kitchen, especially for those that are already talented in this type of environment. While the starting wages for a cook will vary tremendously depending on the establishment, even the lowest paying gigs could just be that foot in the door to greater opportunities. Not all cooks are diversified enough with their dishes to tackle the position of a lead cook in a restaurant environment. Thatís okay too. Thereís plenty of opportunities out there for specialists as well. Take a cake decorator for example. These professionals have fine tuned their craft in a specific niche of cooking, or rather baking. Itís not a terribly difficult business to get started with either. Many cake decorators have gotten started in this field as a side job by handing out their business cards to future bride and grooms, and others for birthday assignments. It will require a great deal of creativity, but itís also easier to focus on this dish opposed to managing several of them. Another way new cooks are getting their name out there is through a catering service. Catering will always be in hot demand. Again, this is another one of those simple start up ideas to make money as a cook. Thereís also a much bigger market here to cater to than just a decorator would have available to them. Birthday parties and weddings are still huge events to cook for, but thereís a lot more. Schools, church events, and local businesses are also great avenues to get this profession cooking. Companies are constantly ordering a catering service to pander to new customers, and even show their appreciation for the employees of their business. This is a great launching pad for an up and coming cook to get some recognition within their community. Cooking is a soothing activity that a lot of people actually enjoy. However, for those looking to take things further with their skills in the kitchen, thereís plenty of opportunities out there to showcase their talent. Keeping a few of these ideas in mind will get them started in the right direction. 0 How To Become A Cook August 5th, 2012 / / categories: Cooking / If you are thinking about becoming a chef, you most likely already have the most important qualification: a love of food. Becoming a cook isnít just about the love of food. Being a cook also requires math skills. Cooks always have to measure out ingredients so a mastery of measurement skills is necessary. Cooks also have to be able to calculate portions, making a high school diploma almost necessary. The reason that it is almost necessary is because there are some cooks that do not have a high school diploma. Instead, those cooks just have a lot of cooking experience and a huge love of cooking. A high school diploma opens endless possibilities for anyone wishing to enter the culinary field. An apprenticeship at a restaurant or culinary school are two of the quickest ways to become a successful cook. Combining on-the-job training and academic coursework, an apprenticeship will help a beginner chef gain the experience and expertise needed to be successful. It will also allow the cook to know what items are on the menu, what that particular establishments rules and regulations are, and learn the computer system or the way they take orders. At culinary school cooks not only get the opportunity to learn hands-on cooking skills, but they also learn about nutrition, menu planners, and food storage. Becoming a cook at most restaurants means starting out at the bottom. Often times you will get hired as a sous chef and must prove yourself to move up the line of command. A sous chef is a lot of chopping and peeling, but is necessary for advancement in most establishments. Depending on the specific restaurant, the next rung up the culinary ladder may be line cook. A line cook is in charge of a certain area of the kitchen and all of the prep work, cooking, and clean up associated with that area. Working hard at a line cook could get you moved up to sous chef in no time. A sous chef is the assistant to the head chef. With a lot of hard work and determination, becoming the head chef is usually every cooks goal. Head chefs order ingredients, design the menu, and are the most important person in a kitchen. Being a cook is very rewarding. Cooks do what they love most and make people happy by providing them with excellent food. 0 Good Cooking Gifts July 14th, 2012 / / categories: Cooking / Cooking gifts are great for any person who loves to spend time in the kitchen. The right gift can be useful, affordable and long lasting. If you are thinking about getting someone an item for their kitchen, here are some products to consider. A bacon press makes a great gift because it prevents your bacon from shrinking and improves the quality of your food. Along with bacon, the press can be used with steaks and other foods to prevent them from curling. A heavy, cast iron bacon press also helps food cook evenly. Anyone who loves to cook would like a cast iron pan. A well-made pan is affordable and lasts a lifetime if cared for properly. The pan distributes heat evenly, which allows for perfectly cooked food. It can be used for all types of cooking, such as searing, frying and even baking. Cast iron cooking can also be used as a method of fat free eating. If it is seasoned the right way, the pan does not need any fat or oil to keep foods from sticking. Another great kitchen item is a cheese slicer. It can be difficult and time consuming to slice cheese with an ordinary kitchen knife. A cheese slicer is made with a wire that does the cutting, which makes a nice clean cut. It easy to slice through any cheese, even tough varieties like parmigiano. It can also be used on other foods such as butter, boiled eggs and fruit. A meat tenderizer makes another fun gift. It is very simple to use and tenderizes the toughest of meats and hardly takes up any space in a kitchen. Look for a heavy tenderizer made from quality stainless steel. Custom t-shirts about cooking are also a funny gift to give your friend that loves cooking. A mortar and pestle also makes for a great, small addition to any kitchen and a good cooking gift for people who use fresh herbs. The mortar is a bowl and the pestle is the object used to crush the ingredients in the mortar. Both items are often used to crush spices and bring out the flavor in them. You can also use it to crush and mix other food ingredients. They come in a variety of materials such as wood and marble, and theyíre the perfect tools to give your food a delicious pop of flavor. The right kitchen gift will delight any person who spends a lot of time cooking. Consider the options above for birthdays, weddings and other gift-giving occasions. 0 Importance of Testing While Cooking

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