10 Cool Jobs in the Food Industry

Urban farmer
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When you think of jobs in the food industry, what first comes to mind? Probably roles like restaurant manager, bartender, barista, server, sous chef, and so on.

Key Takeaways

Beyond the basic food industry positions, there's a whole world of opportunity for those passionate about the culinary arts. For example:

  • Interested in capitalizing on the trend towards local and sustainable food? Work at a farmers market. 
  • Always dreamed of starting your own business in the food industry? Consider becoming a craft brewer. 
  • Keen to study the science behind what makes food taste good and how to manipulate those flavors and textures? Look into molecular gastronomy.

These are just some of the options available out there, and if you're after inspiration for a unique culinary career, keep reading to learn about some of the coolest jobs in the food industry. 

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Craft Brewer

Brewer looking at clipboard
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Craft brewing is becoming a popular endeavor, opening up a market for seasoned brewers and curious entrepreneurs to create and sell their own beer, wine, and cider. Although it can be difficult to get started, and hard to learn, craft brew is in high demand at bars, restaurants, farmers markets, and local stores.

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Farmers Market Manager

Various Fruits And Vegetables For Sale At Market Stall
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As the demand for healthy, local, and sustainable food grows, so does the number of farmers markets. There are more than 8,000 farmers markets in the U.S.

With the boom of farmers markets comes an increase in jobs, too. Larger market organizations, such as Greenmarket in New York and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, employ a wide range of individuals, from managers to business development staff to communications assistants. There are also employment opportunities at smaller local markets, too.

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Food Lawyer

Lawyer with hands on table
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From factory farming to GMOs, there are many legal battles occurring over food-related issues.

These legal controversies are bound to continue as more and more people take a closer look at the nation's food industry, an industry that some say is in dire need of fixing.

In addition to dealing with farming and food production, food lawyers also work with issues related to food allergies, food supplements, public health and safety, and workers' rights in the industry.

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Food Stylist

Scallop tartare, winter citrus on spoon
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Any aspiring chef knows it can be pretty difficult to make food taste good—and sometimes, even harder to make it look pretty.

Food stylists, however, tend not to be concerned with how food tastes. Instead, they're focused on aesthetic appeal for commercial and editorial purposes, consulting with restaurants, grocery stores, and publishers during photo shoots and making sure that the food looks as good—or better—than it tastes.

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Holistic Health Coach

Nutritionist working with patient
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Holistic health coaches integrate natural therapies into their medical practice, often focusing on the inclusion of health foods, herbal supplements, and wellness regimens like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.

Holistic health coaches who focus on nutrition help their clients plan healthy meals based on their individual goals and desires.

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Molecular Gastronomist

Carrots and caviar
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Carrot caviar. Cigar smoke ice cream. Mango foam. Balsamic vinegar pearls. Olive oil powder.

Molecular gastronomy, also called "modernist" cuisine or "avant-garde" cooking, uses chemistry and physics to examine and experiment with the texture and taste of food. Embracing this tactic can allow chefs to create creative and eye-catching dishes. 

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Mushroom Forager

Woman holding mushrooms
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There are a lot of mushrooms out there, some delicious and some deadly. It takes a refined set of skills to be able to determine which mushrooms are poisonous, and which are deadly. Mushroom foragers—also sometimes referred to as mushroom hunters—make a living foraging mushrooms to sell to restaurants, food distributors, and individual consumers.

Because certain types of mushrooms are in high demand—including morel, porcini, and chanterelle mushrooms, for example—finding and selling mushrooms can be an extremely lucrative venture.

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Restaurant Designer

Restaurant interior
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A lot of work goes into the birth of a restaurant. Sure, a bulk of that time and effort is dedicated to choosing a concept and crafting a menu, but there's a lot of work on the non-culinary side, too.

Restaurant designers work closely with the hospitality industry, hiring architects, interior designers, project managers, and many other individuals to help bring a restaurant from concept to creation.

From architectural planning to interior design to lighting style to fabric selection, restaurant designers have a lot to take into account when putting together their ideas.

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Urban Farmer

Woman at an urban garden
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These days, farming isn't just for people working and living in the countryside. Environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and even everyday city dwellers are figuring out how to turn unused urban spaces into horticultural gold mines.

You don't need a background in urban farming to get involved. There are many small businesses popping up across North America that are focused on urban farming, with demand not only for green thumbs but also for people with sales, marketing, fundraising, and communications skills. 

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Vegan Chef

Man cutting vegetables
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For many reasons, including ethical, environmental, and health concerns, people turn to a plant-based diet. 

Chefs play a big role there, developing recipes, restaurants, and meal kits for people who want meat-free food. 

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Food Industry Job Resources

Plate of food
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Ready to find your own cool job? Explore the Good Food Jobs search engine, which connects job seekers with a diverse range of gastro-opportunities in the industry.

Also check the top job sites using keywords that are a match for the type of position that you are seeking.