What It Takes to be a Chef
The restaurant industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. There are many people aspiring to work in the kitchen, which contributed to the industry’s diversity as well. People from all over the world having different backgrounds can pursue a culinary career.
But not everyone who can cook can venture out into a career in the culinary industry. There are specific skill sets and requirements a person needs in order to carry the name of a chef. It requires specialization, training, education, and expertise.
If you’re thinking of becoming a chef, here are the qualifications you need.
The reason why not everyone can be a chef is because of the level of commitment it takes to pursue a career. You can’t just decide to apply to a restaurant the day after deciding to join the culinary industry. Most employers would require certain educational attainment, e.g. culinary school. And obtaining a degree can take as long as 2-4 years.
Others have an additional requirement – experience. Before anyone can really start cooking, making food, and adding dishes to the menu, they’re required to have a credible background. That’s why most chefs start off as dishwashers first and slowly make their way up the ladder. A career as a chef would require a great deal of commitment.
Although not all restaurants would require a culinary degree, it would help to get employment opportunities in up-scale restaurants. A culinary degree can take as long as 4 years, depending on specializations. There are natural chefs course providers that can be taken for a shorter period to earn a certification.
Chefs who attended culinary schools have a significant advantage. It’s where people can mold their skills and get the training and experiences they need to succeed in the industry. Culinary school will develop good habits in the kitchen, instill good values and techniques, make connections with teachers or colleagues, and open up plenty of job opportunities.
In the kitchen, there is a ranking system. The highest possible attainment is the title of the head chef. Entry-level chefs would have to work their way from the ground up, starting with basic tasks like dishwashing, chopping ingredients, and assisting their colleagues.
Those with a lot of experience can enter a new restaurant and be put in a high position automatically. This is the advantage of taking the time to build your skills through experience. As they say, experience is the best teacher. The longer you’ve set foot on the culinary industry, the more you learn and grow in your profession.
Having a solid educational background and a ton of experience is not all that it takes to become a chef. There are skill sets that employers look for in a person to decide if he or she is fit for the restaurant.
Chefs need to have the ability to work under pressure because they will be working in a fast-paced environment. They need to be able to multitask in order to accomplish everything needed to satisfy the customer.
Creativity is another plus because chefs constantly reinvent their talents in order to offer something new to the table. Having these skills will certainly serve a great advantage when pursuing a career in the culinary industry.
Becoming a chef involves having both hard and soft skills. Educational background and experience are important. But personal characteristics like dedication, creativity, and passion are assets that make one a great chef.