So you want to be a great chef, but you are not sure how to go about it? We are here to help after some interviews with existing chefs who have been there done that! The journey to becoming a great chef may be rough hence be prepared to put in hard work. Check out these steps that you can follow in order to be a successful chef.
1. Get a job in the food industry
If it entered your mind that you want to be a chef only because you like to cook, then you need to be sure that it is what you really want. Being a chef is not easy, it can be a very competitive industry, and it’s not all about cooking. Give yourself a taste of what the industry is and apply for a job in the food industry. You don’t need a luxurious job, even being a waiter and a dishwasher will give you an idea of what it would be like to work in the kitchen. Then you can decide if it is something you really want to be a part of.
2. Practice your skills at home
While it is imperative that you get formal training, that does not mean that you have to wait until you are enrolled in a culinary school to make sure that you have mastered the basics.
Read as much as you can, watch videos of your favourite chefs, and of course, practice your skills. Aside from the obvious of cooking your favourite dishes and experimenting with others, it is also important that you get the basic skills down, like your knife skills for example.
3. Get formal training
While it is true that there are some who are gifted when it comes to cooking, and again there are some who get their training in their very own home kitchens in the presence of their mothers or grandmothers, try to get into a culinary school to get formal training. It may not be a prerequisite to being a chef, but in culinary school, you’ll learn more than just cooking, but also in other areas like nutrition or sanitary food preparation, which will come in handy when you want to open your own restaurant.
4. Apply for an apprenticeship
Aside from getting training, you would also want to learn by experience. What you can do is to find an apprenticeship program where you will actually be in a restaurant setting and be mentored by really good chefs. What’s good about going to culinary school is that some of them have partnerships with local restaurants that can take you as an intern or apprentice. If your school does not offer one, why not try your favourite restaurants and talk to the head chef if you can become an apprentice for them.
5. Invest in good tools
Tools for a chef are very important. Many professional chefs can spend thousands of dollars investing in a good kitchen knife. Aside from that, you also want to invest in not just knives and the like, but also in the most comfortable chef shoes. Remember that you will be standing up in the kitchen for hours so you want something that will not add stress to your feet.