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Become a Chef

A good chef stays behind the scenes in a kitchen and produces dishes that will please the guests. But there is more to being a good chef than this. Months of training will go into the making of a good chef, and beyond this months and years of practical experience in a kitchen will forge the best chefs of all.

Here you will find out more about how you can become a chef in South Africa.

What does a chef do?

A chef does more than just cook. A chef has passion for food and for recipes, and they love food and the creations they make with their ingredients more than anything else. A chef works long and often unsociable hours in highly stressful conditions. A chef must cope with hot kitchens and sharp knives and having to focus all the time in order to complete every task to the highest degree of excellence.


What training is required to become a chef?

Traditionally the majority of people wanting to become chefs in South Africa will enrol on a one or two year course at a Culinary School. This will give them all the skills they need to embark on a career as a chef. The preferred route is to take the two year course, which is a diploma course. The one year option is a certificate course.

The other alternative is to get an apprenticeship that allows for gaining experience in an actual kitchen while studying at a Culinary School at the same time. However these positions are not easy to find and there is a lot of competition when they do crop up.

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What kinds of jobs are available for chefs and what do they entail?

Once you go through the basic training to become a chef you can think about whether or not you would like to specialise in another area of cooking. If you take a look at some of the jobs available for chefs today you will see just how many different roles there are in the kitchen.

For example a sous chef is essentially the deputy of the kitchen. The executive chef is the one in charge, and if they aren’t in for any reason the sous chef will generally step up and take charge. Not every business needs a sous chef, but large kitchens or hotels may have room for more than one.

Basic chefs may fulfil many roles in the kitchen. For example one chef might be assigned to take care of all the sauces that need to be made. Another chef might be responsible for preparing meat for cooking. A third may be responsible for fish dishes.

As you can see there is a lot to consider when you are thinking of becoming a chef. The more you know and understand, the easier it will be to work out whether this is going to be the career for you. If it is, you have a promising career path set out in front of you.

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