help, too. The pay may be low, but the
experience will be great.
“When you do find an organization
that’s hiring a recipe tester, do your
homework so you know not just about
the company, but, more importantly,
about the food it makes and why it
makes it,” says Ruth Mossok Johnston,
cookbook author and food innovations
Many jobs are not posted online, but,
rather, spread by word of mouth, so
networking is one of the best ways to
find employment. “No matter where
you work, always do your best and
try not to burn bridges,” says Gordon.
“You never know when your path will
cross with someone you once worked
for, or someone is asked to make a
recommendation and your name is
HOW TO GAIN
Most culinary schools require students
to complete an internship or externship
before graduating. Here lies a perfect
opportunity to explore if recipe tester is
the right career choice.
“Don’t pick a restaurant or job that
meets the minimum requirement of
your externship or internship,” Viola
says. “Challenge yourself by aligning
with a company that has a recipe testing
kitchen that’ll help develop your
culinary skills and palate.”
After finishing an externship or
internship, work in a professional
kitchen to gain real-world experience.
Again, challenge yourself to find
employment to help improve your
culinary skills instead of maintaining
the same skill set.
Many food companies hire summer
interns or part-time kitchen assistants.
“This is a great way to gain experience
and network. Internships and part-time
jobs sometimes turn into full-time
employment,” Johnston says.
Viola also recommends blogging.
It’s a safe place to develop and test
recipes from cookbooks or your own
recipes. You can practice your testing
skills, develop a testing style, perfect
communication skills and self-promote
if a prospective employer asks to see
published work. Her website and blog
can be found at www.dawnviola.com.
“Market yourself smartly,” Johnston
says. Facebook, Instagram and other
social media site are popular, and use
them to your advantage. Post pictures
about your cooking, build your
recipe tester resources
The Recipe Writer’s Handbook
(John Wiley & Sons, 2001), by
Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane L.
Baker. This book contains detailed
information on the development and
writing of recipes.
Will Write for Food: The Complete
Guide to Writing Cookbooks,
Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and
More (Da Capo Press, 2010), by
Dianne Jacobs. Best practices for
getting published as a cookbook
author, restaurant reviewer or food
magazine writer, as well the how-to-dos for food blogging, is outlined in
Food Blogging for Dummies (John
Wiley & Sons, 2012), by Kelly
Senyei. This book explains how to
join the blogosphere with your food
blog, including how to identify your
niche, design your site, find your
voice and create mouthwatering
visuals of your best recipes by using
lighting, effects and more.