So You Want To Become A Chef

In a time where many people seem to be starting their own businesses out of their own homes, cars or garages, being a chef doesn’t seem that bad right? You can start cooking for friends and family in your home kitchen, you have the option of taking classes in your community centers or your cities. Being a chef isn’t easy, and though we see more and more, the proliferation of TV Chefs and YouTube Chef’s there isn’t any one way to get to where you need to be. The most important thing to remember is building your craft through experience and mentorship.

Here are a few things you need to know before you embark on your career to becoming a chef

You don’t need to go to culinary school

Yes, you don’t need to go to culinary school, what you do need however, is finding the right chef who you can work with as an understudy. Your beginnings will not be glamorous, in fact, this is the part of this journey where most people fall off because they can’t handle the work they have to churn out. You will be cutting up vegetables, learning ingredients, recipes, washing pans and learning techniques.

The work never ends, the hours will be long, and the work is constantly changing

When I was starting out, it was pretty normal for my hours to be noon to midnight, sometimes longer. I was always working, and sleep was in fact, pretty non existent in the the beginning of my journey. I think it is always a deterrent for people because in the beginning, you’re not making very much for how many hours you’re actually putting in. Now, even though my hours are pretty long and even more encompassing, there’s a difference.

When I first started , I was just a prep cook, so I was chopping vegetables, cleaning produce, breaking down meat, and portioning things. I quickly moved up the line to become the line cook, and so on. When you end up owning your business, if this is the path you want to take, your day to day is minimized of the kitchen and more with managing finances and expenses.

Learning that being a great chef is more than the food you produce

You’ve probably heard this already but being a good chef involves so much more than just cooking.  Being a good chef is about creating a menu environment, and setting up an experience around the menu you have created. Anyone can teach you how to roast roast a chicken or seer some vegetables, but that’s all it is, roasted chicken and seared steak. It’s what you do with it after that that counts. You have to create an experience around your cooking , dining is no longer about just eating, all senses are involved.

To learn more about becoming a chef and what it entails, visit this article Cosmopolitan Magazine

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