Chefs Life

Watch your Career as a Chef Take Off by Following this Simple Guide

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Some people eat to live and few people live to eat. If you belong to the latter category and simply love churning up scrumptious meals or experimenting with existing recipes, then surely you aspire to be a world famous chef one day. While the gap between aptitude and aspiration may seem sky high at first, it is important for you to bridge that gap if you hope to fulfill your dream.

Here is your 5-point guide on how to become a chef:

Do your homework well

A chef is a broad term for professionals who prepare meals, supervise dishwashing, serving and all the culinary aspects of hospitality. To avoid squandering your energy hither thither, ensure to carve out a niche for yourself. If there are certain food items that you love experimenting with or are drawn to, consider becoming a chef that specializes in preparing those items. For example, you can be a fish cook, a saucier, a vegetable cook or a pantry chef, to name a few.

Understand your behavioral nuances

It takes more than culinary knowledge to become a successful cook. You also need to hone your interactive skills and welcome criticism without resentment. Apart from that, dedication is important too as is a keen sense of consumer behavior. To fulfill your food entrepreneur dreams, it always helps to have sound business acumen.

Enroll yourself for adequate training

On-spot training is sufficient for short-order chefs and fast-food chefs, but to qualify as an all-round cook you must seek training at a culinary school, wherein you can take up subjects like Human Relations, Business, Nutrition and Foreign Language. Additionally, vocational programs offer holistic training on kitchen etiquette and basic cooking methods like grilling, baking and broiling. Programs of longer duration often lead to a three-year degree that qualify you as a chef specialized enough to handle banquets, lavish brunches, barbeques and even small weddings single-handedly.

Scout for chef jobs far and wide

Once you have a recognized degree in formal culinary training under your belt, it is time to hunt for commercial kitchens that can hire you for apprenticeship. Take care to design your resume with great detail and ensure to back it up with a flawless cover letter. Hone your communication skills and shake off your nervousness to brace yourself for the interview.

Become invincible

Once you have landed a chef job for yourself, don’t just stay smug and sit on it. Instead go out of your way to innovate on the kitchen recipes and showcase your talent in the most unique way possible. When you stay one step ahead of your boss, success will knock at your door. Mind your P’s and Q’s and be as polite as you can. Remember, however superb your cooking skills may be, if your work ethics are questionable, you can never make it to the top.

This completes the beginner’s guide on how to become a chef. Writing these 5 steps was easy but following them will take immense time and hard work. At times you may feel like giving up but your dream should urge you to try just one more time. Remember, mistakes are the portals of discovery and no job fits this description better than cooking. After all, the best recipes of the world didn’t spring up overnight; they were the result of trial-and-error, repeated failure and above all, rock-solid determination.

A Day in the Life of a Chef

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Most of the time, chefs are mistaken for cooks with the notion that their job only involves cooking day in day out. Surprisingly, the responsibilities of a chef are much more than the culinary arts and are even at times outside the kitchen. Depending on the setting of the business where he or she works, a chef can also easily fit in as a part-time personnel manager, businessman, special events coordinator or a public relations specialist. A chef’s business is not only about the food, but also good business practices too. A typical day for a chef can include prep work, ordering and purchasing, developing ideas for future specials and menu options, menu planning, safety standards compliance and much more.

A day in the life of a chef unfolds as listed below;

Early Morning

A chef usually arrives at the restaurant before the other staff. His first immediate task on arrival is to start taking inventory of all food and beverages. Most supplies are often delivered in the morning; hence he has to ensure that all fruits and vegetables delivered are fresh. He must also check the rest of the inventory to see to it that nothing is expired.

Mid-Morning

The Kitchen staff starts streaming in shortly after the chef’s arrival. The chef ensures that all employees have reported on time as he also doubles as the supervisor of all employees in the kitchen. He oversees the commencement of work, starting with preparations for dishes that take longer to cook such as soups and desserts.

Midday

At this time of the day, the chef’s attention is solely focused on the performance of his staff in the kitchen. He will often give advice and directions to the staff members on varying issues. He may also join in and help with whatever task or duties that may be lagging behind in the kitchen.

Early Afternoon

This is when the chef and his staff take some time of to relax and take a lunch break following the hustle and bustle of the lunch rush. It is unlikely for any kitchen personnel to leave the restaurant for lunch, as they also get to sample some new additions to the menu. Majority of beverage distributors make their deliveries during this time, hence, the chef has to ensure that the delivered items are the exact match of those ordered.

Late Afternoon

This is when preparations for the dinner crowd begin. The chef supervises his staff as they chop and slice vegetables, make sauces and start to cook any foods that may take longer time to cook such as baked poultry or roast meat.

Early Evening

This is mostly the busiest time of the day as the dinner crowd starts to stream in from around six up to nine or ten o’clock. During this time, there is a lot of activity in the kitchen and it is the chef’s responsibility to oversee everything to make sure all the activities are well coordinated.

Late Night

After a long and busy day at work, the chef will still be planning the activities of the following day, including reviewing the menu and placing orders for supplies and beverages for the next day.

Conclusion

A seen from the above set of daily duties, the chef is usually responsible for a 100 percent of the work in and around the kitchen. Other cooks and the sous chef only assist in these duties, but it is the sole responsibility of the head chef to see to it that all tasks are performed to his specifications and satisfaction, as he is the leader in the kitchen. A chef often thinks about preparations for lunch or dinner way before that time even arrives. Inventory taking is also another huge part of being a chef so as to make sure there are enough ingredients to be able to cook off the menu.