Career TraCK now hiring
Wegmans provides opportunities within all perishables areas for culinarians.
Some of the Pennsylvania stores have full-service, sit-down restaurants, and along
with kitchen opportunities, there are production jobs in bakery, pastry, seafood,
meats, pastry and pizza. “There are so many other areas where culinarians can use
their food knowledge,” says Berardi.
Wegmans also has a Culinary Management Trainee program designed to have a
cook ready to advance to sous chef level within two years. Many of the company’s
chefs have worked in various positions within the company and used that learning as
building blocks to take on
new opportunities. “There
are a number of lateral and
upward opportunities in
our stores,” Berardi says.
“Many folks learn and
grow new skills working
in different areas within
the perishables kitchens
During the past 20 years, people have become much more knowledgeable about
food, and look to supermarkets to provide more information about the products they
offer. Consumers also look for healthy food options that fit their busy lifestyles.
Supermarkets are meeting these demands and expectations.
Chefs will be charged with developing more creative, healthy ways to enhance
offerings. “The supermarket world as we know it will continue to evolve and become
even more competitive,” Publix’s Kammeraad says, “but culinary professionals will
remain an important part of the industry.”
It will be important, as well, to have chefs with a more complete understanding
of both the culinary and merchandising sides of food. “I’ve learned through my time
in retail that it’s not only what you sell, it’s how you sell it,” McKenna says.
Edgy, contemporary approaches to food, such as molecular gastronomy, may
never work their way into the retail environment. “Some of the more trendy food
preparations are better positioned to remain in the restaurant world,” McKenna
says. “But who knows, maybe there will be a time and a place for liquid nitrogen
ice cream pods in a supermarket—perhaps positioned right next to the dessert
The supermarket environment also will add a different set of challenges and
opportunities, but at the end of the day, it is still about executing fundamentals.
“Anyone entering this field will need to learn a new side of our business that
most of us who worked many years in restaurants and hotels never really had to
focus on,” says McKenna.
“It’s definitely a growing area within the culinary profession, and it may finally
be getting some well-deserved respect. So it’s probably a great time to explore what
opportunities there might be on this side of the fence.”
rOB BENES, A CHICAGO-BASED JOUrNALIS T, HAS 11 y EArS OF Ex PErIENCE WrI TING ABOU T CHEFS, FOOD, WINE AND SPIrI TS FOr Tr ADE,
EDUCA TIONAL AND CONSUMEr PUBLICA TIONS.
SuPermarKe T CheFS
show their stuff
Supermarket Chef Showdown is an
annual recipe competition celebrating
and honoring the prepared foods made
by supermarket chefs. Every chef who
works for a chain or independently
owned supermarket in the U.S., either
at a store or on the corporate level, is
eligible to enter.
Supermarket Chef Showdown is
presented by the Food Marketing
Institute (FMI) at FMI’s annual
convention. For more information, visit
"It’s definitely a growing area
within the culinary profession,
and it may finally be getting
some well-deserved respect."