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Jobs for chefs in humanitarian aid?

June 20, 2016

Q. Salutations Nick,

So I’m an 18 year old young man who wants to connect and aid people through food. I really do want to help people, but I don’t want to give up my passion for cooking. So I decided to make helping and bettering others lives the cause for why I cook. So this leaves me with two questions. One: In your years of experience can you gauge on how well I will do in this industry with an associates in Culinary and a bachelors in humanitarian? And two: How willing are corporations, organizations, and etc. willing to hire a chef/cook?

Christopher S.

A. Hi Christopher,

First off, I assume since you’re writing to me, and all I ever talk about is international humanitarian aid, that that is the line of work you’re interested in. If so, then the quick answers to your questions are 1. I don’t think the degree you have matters at all in getting your first job (unless you are an engineer, a medic, etc). and 2. Not very.

The unfortunate fact is that to the extent that international humanitarian organizations ever hire chefs or cooks, they hire them locally. People who can cook are always readily available, they understand cultural issues around food, and are much, much cheaper than shipping international staff around the world. Sorry. ;( What I would say is that the ability to cook well will certainly endear you to your colleagues, and you will never lack company in group housing!

On the off-chance that you are talking about domestic work, there is much more going on. I know several organizations that take chefs as volunteers to teach homeless youth jobs skills, and restaurants are always in demand for fund raisers.

Sorry if that wasn’t what you wanted to hear – good luck!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    June 21, 2016 4:01 pm

    Hi as a dentist …could I get any work in refugee camps? Could I help in anyway?

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