10 Uncommon Culinary Careers

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A love for food doesn’t necessarily mean that you love to cook it. You might find the most joy in tasting new delicacies, finding the perfect recipe, or sharing your love for certain foods with others. They say your most successful career can grow from a hobby, so this article is for all those who would love nothing more than to grow their career from a love for food, but who aren’t necessarily interested in the normal culinary professions out there. Well, did you know that you can have a career in researching the history of foods, or even in being an assistant to one of the great chefs you see on TV? If not, read on for a list of 10 uncommon culinary careers that you may not have heard of yet!

Food Stylist

If you’re a true foodie, then I’m sure countless time has been wasted browsing delectable food photography. Or perhaps there’s that one restaurant commercial that makes you want to pick up the phone and make a booking straightaway! Those beautiful images are the work of a food stylist, a creative soul who combines their knowledge of advertising regulations with a passion to drizzle that cherry sauce just so. Salaries can range anything from $26,000 to $77,000, not bad for a creative job!

Celebrity Chef Assistant

If being a food stylist isn’t fabulous enough for you, how about mingling with the stars by becoming a celebrity chef assistant? As a personal or executive assistant to a celebrity chef you could be organizing anything from their social media accounts, emails, or planning their diary. You may even get to escort them to their TV appearances, a definite added perk for a job that can also earn you as much as $75,000! Of course your pay-check will depend on their celebrity status! All in all, you could meet some great people, make some awesome connections, and have a delightful time.

Molecular Gastronomist

To become a molecular gastronomist (mouthful without the need for food!) you will need a strong background in science as well as a love for food! These laboratory chefs can earn any where from $25,000 to $75,000 but their job entails creating new delicacies as a result of chemically altering the appearance, texture, and tastes of pre-existing foods and ingredients, which doesn’t make them too popular with organic foodies! This niche within the industry is on the rise and there are even certificate programs popping up around the world to teach this craft.

Food Activist

A food activist is concerned with the nutritional and ethical value of what consumers put in their mouths. Their title as food activist refers to their lobbying for stricter food safety controls and clearer details on food packaging in reference to food sources and chemicals that farmers or producers use. Activists that promote healthy meal planning and organic production are becoming increasingly productive. Their salaries hit $52,000, although the average salary is around $29,000.


Thanks to the work of food activists, small farming businesses are on the rise and becoming more successful. Farming offers true foodies a chance to cultivate ingredients that go into the recipes they love. With the expectation for the farming industry to rise more than any other industry in the near future, you could be earning up $60,000 yearly! If you have a love of nature and a love for food, this may be an option for you to pull both of them together in one.


Unlike farmers, who cultivate produce for the culinary industry, foragers are sent out by executives and chefs to find wild ingredients that go into unique restaurant speciality dishes. While salaries have appeared to decrease in recent years, the average is still at a respectable $51,000. One could deduce that this role is kind of like getting paid for doing a scavenger hunt.

Culinary Tour Guide

If you are a genuine foodie you probably know the wait staff at tons of local restaurants. So why not show others around these locations and earn a profit at the same time? This is especially good business for those already living in popular tourist locations. However, if you were genuinely interested in this culinary niche, then what’s to stop you from operating a food tour business in a number of cities? Of course, you get to charge what you want, but the average salary has been estimated at $46,000. What could be better than touring people around to amazing restaurants and sharing your passion for culinary.

Government Chef

This is for those chefs who aren’t put off by a hard-working environment, with possible threat of danger! Prison and military chefs focus less on five-star ratings and put their focus to creating menus that are full of nutrition, while also sticking to a strict budget. A military chef also has to go through basic training, so this is not for the faint-hearted! The average wage for a military chef stands at $42,000 while a prison chef earns a little lower at $34,000.

Culinary Historian

If you are less interested in the taste of food and more in where recipes came from, or how certain ingredients came to grow in certain countries, then food history is for you! The lucrative salary, from anywhere between $26,000 and $96,000, is indicative of the different types of roles you could work in as a food historian. Some are employed to provide flesh to celebrity cookbooks, others work on productions to ensure the accuracy of foods portrayed in films or TV shows, while many becoming professors in culinary schools.

Culinary Trendologist

A lot of research goes in to working as a culinary trendologist (or trend analyst) in order to ensure that future products match the consumer need. You’re ability to predict sales based on blogs, newspapers, surveys, industry reports and popular TV shows can result in a lucrative salary (over $70,000) when working for a big brand name. This takes a plethora of skills in addition to culinary, but if you have what it takes, it can be very interesting.


We hope you enjoyed hearing about some uncommon culinary careers. As you can see above, there are different types of roles that a culinary background could be combined with various other skills to form interesting opportunities. It should be noted our salary ranges were calculated by using indeed.com and glassdoor.com. We hope you enjoyed!

Do you know of an uncommon culinary career not here?

As always, feel free to comment below!