Adding Expertise to your Resume: Culinary Nutrition Certifications
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
A key skill looked for when retailers hire dietitians is culinary ability. Proficiency as a good home cook is often a requirement for retail RD roles. Today we’re seeing that the pivot many programs made to digital food demos and cook-alongs is likely to continue into the foreseeable future, making culinary chops even more important for success in reaching shoppers. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to gain skill, expertise, and even certification, in culinary arts.
When considering advanced culinary skills, the discussion begins with whether you need a degree or a certification. Degrees require a longer, more in-depth curriculum that delves into management, ethics, and other topics in addition to culinary skills. These programs are generally designed for individuals interested in working in the foodservice industry. Certifications are generally shorter in length and may be more specific to building specific skills. The later will like advance proficiency for retail RDs. Even within the certification category, there are different options for retail RDs to consider, including the following:
- Culinary Arts Fundamentals. From knife mastery to what type of metal pan to use when to the various uses of eggs in cooking to how to perfect cut any of meat, these types of programs focus on food science and specific cooking and baking skills across a wide spectrum. Look for these courses online or through local community colleges or culinary arts schools.
- Culinary Nutrition Courses. Definitions of culinary nutrition vary, but generally it’s the application of food science and culinary principles to the creation of healthy meals. Some course, including those offered by Abbie Gelman, MS, RD, CDN and Julie Harrington, RD at Culinary Nutrition Studio target eating habits such as vegetarianism or affordable eating,
- Culinary Medicine Programs. These programs fuse the art of cooking with the science of medicine, positioning retail dietitians to help shoppers and clients create high-quality, delicious meals that help them manage a health condition. A course here might focus on sodium reduction along with potassium increase or food allergies, heart disease or diabetes.
As you consider coursework to advance your culinary skills, remember to check in with your retailer in regards to tuition reimbursement as well as with CDR in regards to gaining continuing education credits