Anthony Bourdain scholarship announced for culinary students
Anthony Bourdain’s alma mater is paying homage to the late chef with a scholarship in his memory. Source: Shutterstock

The late Anthony Bourdain was arguably among the coolest and most memorable food and travel personalities to have graced our television screens, drawing in legions of fans from across the globe.

On top of being a celebrated chef, he was also a gifted writer with several published books to his name.

A year after his death last June, Bourdain’s alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), is creating a scholarship in his memory to provide budding chefs a platform to study and travel – in true Bourdain style – to complement their learning.

According to The New York Times, the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship will be awarded every year to one or more students to study abroad. However, as funds are still being raised, it is still too soon to know the quantum of each award.

“Travel was such a part of who he was; it was life-changing for him,” said L. Timothy Ryan, the schools’ president. He added that he hoped there would be enough money to award more than one grant a year and to establish the scholarship as an endowment fund.  

According to the CIA, Bourdain began his culinary career as a dishwasher before enrolling at the school and graduating in 1978. Following this, he worked at top restaurants in New York City and eventually rose up the ranks to become an Executive Chef at Brasserie Les Halles – a French restaurant.

Global job prospects

While Bourdain made being a chef look cool, what are the job prospects for a career in culinary?

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, chefs and head cook occupations are projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for other occupations. Such individuals can find employment in a variety of settings, including in cafes, restaurants, private household and hotels, among others.

The occupation is also in demand in the US’ neighbour, Canada.

Emigration Canada notes: “Chefs are eligible to apply to immigrate to Canada under the Canadian Government’s Immigration programme due to the demand for chefs in Canada being so great they have included the occupation on the targeted occupations list, known as the NOC list (National Occupation Code List).”

Meanwhile, a Deloitte report – 2019 US Travel and Hospitality Outlook – notes that the US travel industry has experienced nearly 10 consecutive years of growth.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said travel and tourism generated 10.4 percent of the world’s total economic activity in 2018, and that worldwide growth was aided by the growth of travel and tourism in these regions: Oceania (Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Southwest Pacific islands), Southeast Asia, India and China.

The WTTC said in its Travel & Tourism: Generating Jobs for Youth report that based on the 10 countries examined, the travel and tourism sector employs a higher share of youth workers (15-24) than the overall economy of the countries, in addition to employing more young people than any other economic sector.

This would present prospective hospitality students, including chefs, with great employability prospects.

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