Ever wanted to pursue a career in the food industry but felt like doing something a little more unique? If you’re aching to work in food but want to take your qualifications off the beaten track, there are hundreds of opportunities that combine culinary training and particular personal interests.

You can study for most of these careers in Australia before finding work locally or taking your skills overseas, with institutions like Le Cordon Bleu Australia offering the necessary training to get you started. To get you inspired, here are a few of the coolest careers in the food industry.

The Food Stylist

Perfectly melted cheese, a rich and mouthwatering chocolate swirl, caramel drips, and crisp vegetables – the job of a food stylist is to make food look as appetising and beautiful as possible for the camera. Working with photographers, magazines, restaurants, or on television or film, you’ll likely be preparing the food before making it look its absolute best using styling techniques and props. Food styling combines a creative mind with the skills of a chef: culinary techniques, problem-solving, and incredible attention to detail. So, if you have the necessary food qualifications and a keen eye for design, food styling might just be for you.

The Chocolatier

Yep, you heard right – a job in chocolate. Chocolatiers (or ‘confectioners’ if you want to work in the wider world of lollies and sweet treats) are devoted to the art and science of making chocolate. Chocolatiers work on both the creative and scientific sides of chocolate production. They think about the shape, colour, texture, and taste of chocolate, making it look as appealing as possible. They also consider the chemistry, from the way it melts in your mouth to calculating that satisfactory ‘snap’ when breaking off a piece.

Most budding chocolatiers will start with a qualification in confectionery or pastry before undertaking an apprenticeship with a senior chocolatier to master the art of chocolate. If you want to develop your own chocolate empire, you’ll also require business, marketing, and people skills to help establish your brand. In this instance, you might want to consider a business-focused culinary degree.

The App Developer

If you love food and technology, why not marry the two into a career? In an increasingly digitised world, app development is one of the most popular fields in tech right now. Demand is outgrowing supply, so the job market is open to qualified, enthusiastic developers to create, test and program new and innovative apps.

Malaysian student Joe Wee Lim, who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu’s Bachelor of Business (International Restaurant Management), has taken his love of food and hospitality to develop the app Kloopr. It’s a peer-to-peer food delivery service app focused on reducing food waste in Melbourne, with a portion of every order going to Foodbank Victoria in their hunger relief initiatives.

The Molecular Gastronomist

Molecular gastronomy blends physics, chemistry, and food to transform the texture and taste of what we eat. Whether by dehydrating food or using liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze it, or by developing delicious foams, edible paper, or faux caviar through spherification, molecular gastronomy makes the weird and wonderful edible.

To work in molecular gastronomy, graduates must be passionate about cooking, as well as be creative, analytical and logical. Training is necessary for a future molecular gastronomist, as you’ll potentially be working with chemical reactions and it can be dangerous. You should have a good culinary education as a base and then specialise in the field of molecular gastronomy.

The Coffee Roaster

Australians are serious about their coffee, and cities across the country are consistently rated some of the best in the world for their phenomenal brews. If you’re passionate about coffee and keen to explore a career in the coffee industry post-graduation, then working as a coffee roaster is the perfect path.

Le Cordon Bleu alumna Emily Raven took her love of coffee and made it her vocation. She first graduated with a Master of Arts (Gastronomy) and then trained with Master Roaster Peter Wolff, before becoming the owner of My Kingdom for a Horse in Adelaide. Emily roasts her own coffee in-house, focusing on buying local, organic coffee beans with exceptional quality, flavour, and aroma. If you also want to get into the coffee roastery game, business and people skills are important to help build professional relationships and to start selling your coffee to cafés.

Have we piqued your interest with some of these careers? It might be time to look into the right qualifications to start your journey in the culinary world. If you’ve already graduated, check out our guide to finding a job in the food industry.