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  • Do You Have the Right Ingredients to Be a Chef?

    Become ChefThe title may be a pun, but it doesn’t take anything away from the job itself. If you think you would make a good chef, it is worth considering a few points before you jump in. This can be a demanding profession to enter, as well as a rewarding one, so it makes sense to ensure you are indeed the right person for the job.

    Here are some of the skills and abilities you’ll need to make a good go of it.

    Recognise that being a chef is very different from being a cook

    No matter how good you are in the kitchen at home, it doesn’t mean you’ll make a good chef. In fact some people who love cooking would absolutely hate being a chef. Could you make the transition from one to the other?

    You’ll need to be a hard worker

    Chefs work extremely hard in hot conditions. You have to stay cool and calm under pressure – in fact you need to thrive in these conditions to really enjoy your work. It’s not just the training process that is challenging: the job itself is immensely challenging as well and is far from being easy.

    You need to know rules and regulations concerning hygiene

    There is no room to forget about the importance of health and hygiene in the kitchen. You’ll learn a lot when you take your training to become a chef, but a basic understanding of the issues surrounding food safety is a good place to start.

    You’ll need the patience to master all the basic skills in the kitchen

    There are many specialist paths you can take when you become a chef, but before you get that far you must be able to master the basics. This will enable you to build a career on solid skills that will underlie everything else you learn in the future.

    Practice really does make perfect!

    Perseverance is perhaps one of the most important traits of all when it comes to choosing chef as your job title. This is no easy job to learn; there is a lot involved in it and you can be sure you will be tested many times as you go through the training process and beyond.

    You need to be just as good at the detail as you are at the bigger picture

    A good example would be to focus on the unseen things, such as the seasoning, just as much as you do on the visible things, such as the appearance of a dish. Most people have some appreciation of this – at least those who are interested in food – but a far more in depth appreciation and knowledge of every detail is essential in order for you to become an excellent chef.

    So you can see it is wise to make sure the above points don’t put you off if you want to become a chef. This is a challenging career, but hugely rewarding for those who have the right attributes.

    Being a good cook won’t necessarily make you a good chef

    You may well be the best cook in the world when it comes to preparing and making meals for your family at home, but bear in mind being a professional chef is a totally different experience, one which will require training and a high level of dedication. And for those that are successful; the rewards can be big!

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    • Amy says:
      November 11, 2012

      My favorite part of cooking for my family at home is seeing them enjoy my food. I wounder if I will ever get to see the customers enjoying the meals I cook if I’m working at a restaurant? I feel that would make my work day a little easier. Anyway, thank you for this info.

    • dan says:
      November 14, 2012

      Hi Amy, Thanks for your question.

      It is likely that if you are the head chef at a restaurant that most of your time will be spent in the kitchen, especially during busy periods and therefore you won’t get to see people enjoying your food as you would at home.

      However you will receive constant feedback from the other restaurant workers about the quality of your food and the customers satisfaction.

    • Vinesh says:
      December 2, 2012

      All good points.

      I was a chef while in the SA Navy for many years. We had to learn all the points presented here.

      I’m hoping that cooking in a restaurant will be as enjoyable.

      At the very least it should be less stressful than preparing meals for hundreds of hungry sailors 3 times a day.

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