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Anna Cruickshank

Senior Lecturer in the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology,
Technological University Dublin

The food industry is changing. Anyone looking for a career in the sector will need the right education to cope with its challenges — and capitalise on its opportunities.

Climate change is affecting the food industry. Now, everyone — producers, manufacturers and consumers — is thinking about sustainable food that’s better for our own health and the health of the planet.  

“We’ll increasingly see a shift away from menus that are dairy and meat-heavy,” says Anna Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology at Technological University Dublin.  

Modern food education for passionate foodies 

“Chefs, producers and manufacturers will have to prepare for an increase in consumption of hybrid products, insect and plant-based meals. Everyone will have to become more involved with their ingredients and suppliers. Plus, they will need to understand the importance of seasonality and sustainability — because the consumer is more aware of these things,” says Cruickshank. 

This new culinary world needs people with a broader range of skills, which is why Technological University Dublin is offering students food-related undergraduate and postgraduate courses in everything from Professional Cookery to Botanical Cuisine and Global Food and Drink Leadership.  

Infinite possibilities. Find your ideal course at TU Dublin.

Students on the courses are taught in state-of-the-art facilities — including kitchens, bakeries, wine-tasting labs and sensory analysis rooms — and teaching is underpinned with a significant ‘hands-on’ element. “That’s critical because students have to be able to put theory into practice,” explains Cruickshank.  

Career opportunities are varied. “Our students have gone on to work in top-level restaurants around the world and won Michelin stars,” says Cruickshank. “Many have set up their own businesses or become technologists, teachers, food safety consultants, university lecturers and speakers. Others are working for major manufacturers as product developers.” 

The food industry is undergoing big changes, but those changes are creating lots more career opportunities.

Bridging the gap between ‘cookery’ and ‘science’  

“We have several master’s courses, and students on most of them – including the MSc in Culinary Innovation and Food Product Development — don’t need amazing culinary skills to start with. They do need to be ‘foodies,’ however, because they’ll be reading about food, talking about food, eating food, thinking about food and dreaming about food.”  

Product development will play a vital part in the food industry’s future, says Cruickshank. “Manufacturers want people with science know-how, but they also want innovation chefs who can apply culinary skills. In the past, there was a divide. You could study cooking or science, but the two never met. This MSc in Culinary Innovation and Food Product Development bridges that gap.” 

The food industry is undergoing big changes, notes Cruickshank. “But those changes are creating lots more career opportunities,” she says. “And that’s an exciting thought.” 

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