If you love food and dream of making your living as a chef; it is possible to do so. There are a number of required steps you must meet in order to make it as a chef, and while it may call for hard work and long hours, the awaiting rewards and the satisfaction of obtaining your ideal job can make it all worthwhile.
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Get experience in a restaurant
Like with most things, you will have to start at the bottom and work your way up. The best way to get a solid understanding of what you are letting yourself in for is to witness it first hand by exposing yourself to the inner workings of a kitchen. Get a job (or even offer your services for free) as a dish washer or waiting staff and watch the chefs at work; you could pick up tips and ideas that will last you a lifetime.
If you want to work as a chef, you need to feel confident handling food. Dedicate your spare time to cooking in your kitchen at home; working with ingredients, experimenting with recipes and developing your own culinary style. You can practice using certain tools and techniques and try your food on friends and family to help you be as prepared as possible when you finally get the break as a chef.
Take an interest in the industry
To be a chef, you need to know what is happening in the food industry. Keep an eye out for developments in the news; read culinary magazines and visit nearby restaurants to sample their cuisine. Being well informed on the issues that matter and the state of your competition can be an extremely valuable asset.
Cookery schools may not be a necessary step in becoming a chef. It makes easier for you to get hired by prestigious restaurants. This is not the only reason you should consider formal training of some kind, however, as this is the perfect way to gain an understanding of how to work with food and appreciate flavour making your job as a chef much easier later down the line.
Know the terms
It is easy to say you want to be a ‘chef’, but this is actually a very broad term. A top kitchen can have several chefs, all with different, yet equally essential roles to play. Be it the chef de cuisine, sous chef, pâtissier or chef de party (to name a few); you need to know which position your cooking is most suited to and where your interest lies.
Apply for jobs
Now that, you have the skills, you want to get the work. If you obtained experience and training, you would probably have build up a network of contacts within the industry which you should utilise to your advantage. Many aspiring chefs spend time in Europe – the culinary hotspot of the world, but wherever you wish to be stationed, you need to start making a name for yourself and finally get that dream job.
About the author:
This post was written by Focus Management Consultants, a leading recruitment agency based in the UK. In addition to getting people into work, they provide regular coverage of relevant news stories concerning all things related to the trade.