Tallow carving and sculpture is a skill required of chefs that specialize in garde manger: the skillful preparation and presentation of food in a kitchen or buffet. These skills can be learned in a culinary arts degree program. Students in these programs may gain cooking, baking, and presentation skills in each program, but the longer bachelor's degree program also encourages aspiring food service professionals to acquire business knowledge and to develop supervisory skills.
Additional admissions requirements might exist for bachelor's programs beyond a high school diploma, such as submission of standardized test scores (SAT/ACT).
Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
An associate's degree program prepares students to work as chefs. They learn many areas of sub-specialty within a professional kitchen, such as garde manger, pastry or ingredients prepping. Graduates are prepared for an entry-level positions within a retail facility, restaurant kitchen, catering company, deli, or other food-service establishment.
Individuals interested in tallow carving can learn the skill in a class on garde manger, along with skills in ice carving, food presentation, and the presentation of cold foods, such as terrines and patés. Other courses in a 2-year culinary arts program might discuss:
- Food sanitation and safety
- Baking and pastry
- Beverage and wine management
- Menu planning
- Kitchen management
Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts
This 4-year program prepares students for managing a kitchen or other high-level positions in the culinary industry. Featured business skills include ordering and cost-pricing food, accounting, and equipment management. Most programs also encourage students to develop their leadership and communication abilities. To round out their studies, enrollees typically gain knowledge of nutritional effects of foods on the human body and study a second language.
A student interested in the intersection of food as decoration and art--such as tallow, ice, and vegetable carving--can concentrate on design or food-styling courses. Other food design classes can include:
- Food photography
- Food styling
- Advanced garde manger
- Food presentation
- Cake decoration
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that between the years 2014 and 2024, job opportunities for chefs or head cooks would experience faster-than-average employment growth at 9%. Positions might be found in a variety of food service industries; those interested in tallow carving might explore garde manger jobs in the hotel industry, banquet, or catering companies as well as on cruise ships. The BLS also reported that in 2015, the median annual wage of a chef or head cook was $41,500 (www.bls.gov).
Popular Career Options
Graduates can find entry-level work in the food-service industry as a cook; with experience, they can work their way up to sous chef or executive chef. Some potential careers for those interested in tallow carving and garde manger are:
- Garde manger chef
- Buffet manager
The culinary art skill of tallow carving is usually taught through an associate's or bachelor's degree programs in the field. In addition to tallow carving, students learn the basics of working in professional kitchens and some supervisory and management skills.