How Much Money Do Chefs Really Make?
How to Become a Chef
If you love to cook so much that you want to make it your profession, consider becoming a chef. The path isn't easy - it involves long hours, physical labor, and heavy competition - but the reward is the opportunity to design creative dishes, run a kitchen, or even manage a restaurant. Learn what education and experience you need to start your career as a chef.
Deciding to Become a Chef
Get a job at a restaurant.You'll be exposed to an environment that you're choosing to embark upon. Learn from the Chefs there by showing enthusiasm as to what they're doing.
- Your first restaurant job doesn't have to be prestigious. And it won't be. You'll start as a kitchen hand as you claw your way to higher ranks and more prestige.
Practice cooking at home and be prepared to replicate your skills at work.When you cook at home, you're going at your own pace. At work you have to adjust your speed to the circumstances. You are essentially producing a set amount of output in an efficient amount of time. This is done during Prep where you are producing the ground work for a smooth service. In service you'll be cranking out high quality dishes to crowds of people. .
- Become confident with a knife and other kitchen equipment. Be confident with your tools but be prepared for the many cuts to come. It is a rite of passage to becoming a chef.
- Learn everything about the food you love. When you're a chef, food is no longer just what you eat. Food is what you speak, food is your lover and is the epitome of who you are.
- As you practice at home, think about what type of cooking best suits you. Do you see yourself working with a particular type of cuisine? Do you enjoy making desserts more than main courses? Your interests will determine where you seek education and experience down the line.
- Practice cooking for other people. Chefs are under a lot of pressure to perform well. If people's expectations aren't met, they send dishes back and write negative reviews. Find out early whether you'll be able to hold up under close scrutiny of your work.
Have a passion for the culinary arts field.Not just anyone can be a chef. It takes dedication to becoming an expert on how to cook, but also an obsession with new flavors and trends and an awareness of your competition.
- Visit good restaurants to get a sense of how they are run. If you can, pay attention to the roles the staff are playing, and how they work together to make the restaurant run smoothly.
- Read restaurant reviews, cooking magazines, profiles of head cooks and chefs, and other literature related to culinary arts. Gain a deep understanding of the field you are entering. Anthony Bourdain'sKitchen Confidential,The Professional Cheffrom the Culinary Institute of America, andBecoming a Chefby Dornenburg and Page are all great resources.
Getting a Culinary Arts Education
Enroll in a culinary arts program.Going to cooking school isn't a prerequisite for becoming a chef, but it can give you a leg up when it comes to getting hired at good restaurants.
- Programs are offered at trade or vocational schools, colleges and culinary institutes.
- Most programs offer a broad education in nutrition, sanitary food preparation techniques, butchery, pastry making, and other basic cooking knowledge.
- If you plan to eventually start your own restaurant, find a program that offers classes in business, management, human resources, and other areas of knowledge that will come into play.
Find an internship.Some culinary arts programs have relationships with local restaurants and offer internship positions to students. If you have this opportunity, take it. You'll continue learning new techniques and skills while also acquiring experience you can put on your resume.
- If your program does not offer internships, pursue one yourself. Talk with the head cook or chef at your favorite restaurant and ask if he or she would be willing to let you help out and ask questions.
Get certified.The offers a generalized certification as well as certifications in specialized areas, like pastry making. A certification from the ACF will help differentiate you from other candidates trying for the same job.
Working Your Way Up to Chef
Apply for jobs.Now that you have years of education and experience under your belt, find a job as part of the kitchen staff at a restaurant that appeals to you.
- If possible, use some of the connections you made through your culinary program and internship. If you've already worked with people before, you may be able to move up toward chef status more quickly.
- In Europe, the interview process involves working at the restaurant for a day for free. You see what their staff can do, they see what you can do, and if it's a good match, you're hired.
Understand you are going to start at the bottom.There is no such thing as graduating cookery school and buying your way to Head Chef, that mentality doesn't exist because a Chef is an individual who learns through experience and has to be tested to climb the ranks to a position of power. These tests come in the form of cuts, burns and guided by the Chefs that came before them.
- People who do well with scut work are promoted to garde manger, and are in charge of preparing appetizers, soups, and cold dishes.
- The next step up is to become a line cook, working directly with entrees.
- Talented people are promoted to sous chef, the head chef's second in command.
- Finally, an executive chef manages the entire kitchen, and sometimes owns the restaurant. This level is achieved after years of hard work.
Stay at the top of your field.As you're climbing the ladder, keep yourself abreast of the latest food trends. Eat at excellent restaurants, get to know other people in the business, and keep your culinary skills sharp. Start thinking creatively and with an eye toward what ensures the success of a restaurant. When the time is right, you'll be promoted to executive chef, or you'll have the knowledge and skills to branch off on your own.
Sample Cover Letter
QuestionHow can I practice cooking as a teen at home?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHelp at home and other places, such as volunteer charity kitchens. Even learning the simple, basic yet fundamental practices at home can contribute to the proper understanding and essential learning of cooking skills that will underpin your future. Learn to appreciate flavors, textures and a wide range of different foods, so that you will know what goes well with what. Read many cookbooks and the biographies of cooks and chefs to learn their many secrets.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I become a successful chef?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFirst, you have to love cooking. Being a chef and not loving to cook is not easy. Doing something every day that you don't like is hard. Second, you have to learn a lot about cooking. Third, you have to move on with cooking, also known as learning new skills. Fourth, you should make yourself noticeable on the internet so that some other chef can hire you to work. Now the work begins!Thanks!
QuestionAre there any dangers I should probably know?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Never run in the kitchen, and always let know others if you're walking through behind them by saying, "behind you." Just be aware and communicate.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I become a good chef?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStart work at a good restaurant as a prep cook, if possible. Watch. Listen. Learn to do everything in the kitchen. Most important, show up on time.Thanks!
QuestionIs there an exam to become a chef?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhile this is a choice, it is a sensible thing to do as a restaurant is more likely to employ someone with known credentials, especially at the higher end. However, it's not essential but you do need to demonstrate that you can cook really well, you enjoy it and you're good at kitchen management.Thanks!
QuestionIs it better to start at the bottom of the food industry when aspiring to be a chef?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn general, yes. There is typically much to learn and it is a hierarchical industry. When you climb a ladder you always start at the bottom.Thanks!
QuestionWhen should I apply for culinary school?Imani CoxCommunity AnswerAs soon as you graduate from high school or get your GED.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible to work my way up and end up owning my own hotel?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, if you put your mind to it. Along the way, take classes in hotel and business management, and excel in your duties, no matter what position.Thanks!
QuestionDo I need a degree if I want to advance in the culinary industry, such as by owning a restaurant or hotel?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. You don't. You will just have to work your way up through the ranks. It wouldn't hurt to have some business experience.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make my food more attractive?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen cooking vegetables, immediately put them in a ice bath to preserve their bright color. Also, use fresh herbs. This adds not only flavor, but a freshness and brightness to any dish.Thanks!
What education should I get if I want to become a fusion chef?
How do I write an application letter for the position of a cook?
Can I become a chef if I don't have a degree or certification in the field?
Can I go to collage and be a chef at the same time?
How do I enter culinary art school?
To become a chef, start by getting a job as a kitchen hand in a restaurant so you can see what the life of a chef is really like. At home, hone your skills by cooking a variety of different dishes and testing out new and unique recipes. Consider getting an education in culinary arts, or finding an internship with a local restaurant to get more experience. After you have some skills under your belt, apply for jobs at various restaurants and advance as a chef!
- Check out culinary programs at the community colleges in your area. More and more schools are offering night classes, certificate programs, and full culinary degrees.
- Be nice to everyone in the kitchen. The pot washers and guests you meet today may be opening the hot new fusion restaurant tomorrow.
- Eat out! Cooking at a restaurant is nothing like cooking at home, and there is a lot of good information and ideas on menus.
- Try your best and try to make up your own special recipes. What seems like a bad idea may just be the next greatest hit!
- Have multiple people sample your dishes. What tastes right to you may be too spicy or salty for some. The larger the sample crowd the better idea of how your dish would do in a restaurant setting.
- Working in a kitchen is hard work, especially if you're not the executive chef. Be prepared to be yelled at a lot if you're just starting out in a kitchen.
- There are chefs that dislike their jobs, they are under constant stress, live nocturnal lifestyles and have social lives that deteriorated into non existence. Maintain a balance outside of work.
- Use caution when working with knives, as it is easier to cut yourself once you become good with a knife since you trust yourself more.
- Stuff the ego, nobody wants to hear you ramble incessantly about how good you think you are, or why your food is more technically sound than the competitors. It's about humility and using food as a medium to express yourself.
- It is not unheard of chefs to work very long hours in top hotels and restaurants, you will need to think of this if considering to work as a chef in a top hotel or restaurant. Many chefs (especially the top celebrity chefs) often work 10 to up to 18 hours a day!
- To embark on the path of becoming a Chef involves self sacrifice. You'll miss most holidays and birthdays. You will no longer live a civilian life of working 9 to 5. Nothing about your life will be normal, but who wants normal. You'll face obstacles and be tested.
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Español: , Italiano: , Português: , Français: , Deutsch: , Nederlands: , 中文: , Русский: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Čeština: , العربية:
Video: How To Master 5 Basic Cooking Skills - Gordon Ramsay
3 Steps to Treating Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Signs That She Is In Love With You in Hindi
8 Diet Rules To Ditch After 40
10 Articles of Clothing Every Man Over the Age of 30 Should Own
3-Ingredient Pineapple Skewers
Take Control Through These Simple Actions
Buzz Cut Hairstyles
10 Things in your Office and Home which Might be Aggravating your Cough
Can Sad Music Heal Your Broken Heart
How to Play Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock
There Are 3 Types of Eating Personalities—Which One Are You
More women than men are booking adventure holidays in 2019 and here’s why
How To Get A Whiter, Younger-Looking Smile—On Your Schedule
How to Prevent Chinchillas from Developing Hairballs