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Unconventional ways to make money utilizing my cooking skills


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I currently work from home and I have an excellent talent for cooking. I really enjoy it and it is a well known rule in my house that no one is allowed to even walk through the kitchen while I am cooking and in my mode. I love the look on people's faces when they have that first bite and especially love when I see them getting up for seconds, thirds and fourth servings. There are rarely leftovers in my house. I became a good cook through trial and error, google, and watching cooking shows when I was out of work. I'm not happy with my job now and would like to start making money off of my culinary capabilities. I have never worked in a restaurant, so I'm not sure attempting to become an owner of one would be a good idea. I also don't have money for a start up. Can anyone think of an unusual way I could utiliize my cooking skills to make good money?


I've been brainstroming and just can't seem to come up with anything other than owning a restaurant or a food truck. I've thought of hosting cooking class/parties but my apartment is not big enough for something like that. Any other ideas and useful information?

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Unfortunately, you can be the best chef in the world, but unless you've been grandfathered in, culinary school is all but required for most professional cooking opportunities. If you wanted to be head of anything, it would come down to owning.


In the NYC neighborhood I live in, there's actually a lady who has a direct exit to the street from her apartment and she leaves the door open every morning and early afternoon for people to come in and buy homemade empanadas. She gets a decent amount of people, but I can't imagine her making a living off of it. Plus, I'm sure it's pretty illegal. No one seems to care here, though, nor do I think they should.


And the legality thing is going to be your bottleneck. Not a lot of municipalities are fans of running a business from your home, particularly when it's an apartment and you're talking about something as tangible as cooking food for folks.


You could probably use your cooking as a supplement, though. Or go out and offer samples and see if anyone who tries is willing to give you an opportunity.

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I'd suggest something that will perhaps not be profitable from beginning but if you put your soul into it you could earn some money.


You could do youtube cooking show and be sponsored by adsense. You'd need to invest a lot of your time into promoting yourself and video editing etc. But,at least you'd have hobby with potential of earning money.

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What if you offer cooking lessons either out of your home or going to someone else's house? I took a great class from a woman who had put together 6 lessons that were grouped into categories starting with basics like knife skills and how to use spices and herbs. Each week she would send me the list of ingredients to buy and then she would come over to my house and teach me methods and we would cook together and then she'd leave me with some cheat sheets and recipes. It was a great hands-on way to learn, and she offered all sorts of different classes like holiday meals, cooking with meat, etc.

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Not sure this would interest you, but my mother lives in a retirement community and one of her younger neighbors is a great cook and loves to do it.


She cooks and delivers meals for approximately 6 individuals 2 to 3 times a week.

She creates a weekly menu and delivers lunch and dinner to people who wouldn't otherwise cook for themselves.

She fees are reasonable and the food is delicious.

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Food trucks and owning restaurants are not the only way to go and sorry to say, many fail because it's so competitive and people don't have business heads just "passion".


Think outside the box. Eat out more so you can see what kind of food people want to pay for.


Take pics of your dishes and begin to advertise on social media for home delivery or pick up. Make sure you don't need a business license to do this and keep things simple.


Info if you want to own a restaurant or become a chef. Great place to have an amazing meal prepared by senior students.I have never worked in a restaurant

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I'm not sure of the stats but I'm fairly sure restaurants have like a 95% failure rate.


That being said - you need a combination of cooking know how, restaurant management, finances, supply chain, etc. I second the notion to work in a restaurant for a bit. Go on Yelp and figure out what your region is missing. The suburbs of Houston, for instance, are lacking in breakfast joints. Build up your skills and pitch it to a bank in a year or so. I think that's the best way to "make a living".


I know you wanted outside of the box answers but they probably are less likely to work.


Or, you could author a recipe book. People don't buy those so much, so trying to start a blog may be good (check out Chef in Training - I like her recipes generally)

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I think cooking can be a great side business to help you bring in extra money. Here are a few ideas:


1. Set up a YouTube channel where you cook specific dishes. You'd need a decent camera, a good number of videos, and an advertising strategy to get views.


2. Offer to teach some reasonably priced cooking classes (maybe out of your home). If it's not too expensive, and you live in a biggish city, people will be interested. You just need a good cooking/demonstration space.


3. Consider becoming a caterer. You might set up a nice side business by cooking and catering for events (weddings are a good example). If you can do it for friends as a start, that would be great.

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If your apartment is too small for cooking classes, could you limit it in size and stress the personal or private coaching, perhaps offer it to couples? Or offer to come to people's homes to teach them (you could bring supplies, do the shopping as part of the offering, or take them shopping as part of the package so they learn how to buy the best ingredients.) Maybe offer different packages, by age, by experience, by season, by health concern…so you might get repeat customers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm currently employed as an employment recruitment consultant in Australia. If you were one of my clients, I could just about guarantee you work in one of many upmarket cafes. You don't even need a qualification to do it. There is such a shortage of "cooks", that there has been some type of program of bringing workers here from Asia to fill positions. The organisation I work for is thinking out a program of negotiating with employers to hire people as kitchen hands instead and providing some funding for training in hospitality.

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