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Things To Know Before You Become A Chef

by | Ideas

May 14, 2020

Pick up your apron and hat. We’re about to delve into the realm of the cooking industry and the factors to know before you become a chef. And for the aspiring chef out there, here are a few vital things to know before you become a chef.

No occupation is without its own stress, especially when it involves what we ingest. To become a chef might seem like a simple task, but it demands more.

The various responsibilities of a chef include hiring, teaching, and supervising meal-preparation staff, crafting original dishes, determining portion sizes, and writing menus.

With the increment of cooking shows like MasterChef, games, and videos uploaded on social media, with mouth-watering delicacies from every corner of the world, it is no surprise that people are more curious to learn more about becoming a chef. 

To become a chef, we advise a person to pursue a professional discipline like a culinary academy to hone the techniques needed.

Although it is not uncommon to find some chefs who never went to a cooking institute, but started apprenticing in kitchens before they moved up the ladder with their gained experience and are quite successful. 

The 6 different chef titles and their job descriptions

1. Executive Chefs

These chefs inspect the entire kitchen. They often do a little cooking, but they oversee menus, food ordering, kitchen staff, and the ambience of a restaurant.

Being an executive chef might look like a ball. The position requires a distinct dedication—the ability to organize and handle a major cooking crisis. 

2. Sous Chefs

Sous-chefs are the ones who are the second in authority in a kitchen, i.e., The individual ranking next after the executive chef. 

Like the executive chef, the sous-chef also holds major responsibility in the kitchen.

The Sous Chef of a kitchen has to make sure that the food a restaurant or commercial kitchen is using is of top quality. Also, that team is being mindful of the cost standards of the food prepared.

For example, if a fish costs $10 per 6 ounces serving, it is important that staff do not serve 10 ounces, making the restaurant lose through oversight. 

3. Pastry Chefs 

As depicted by the name, the pastry chef works with pastries, desserts, and other baked goods. They need their skills in large hotels, bistros, restaurants, bakeries, and some cafes. 

4. Pantry Chefs 

These chefs are in charge of icy foods, cheese plates, and other cold appetizers. They might also brew coffee as an assortment to the customer’s food. 

However, the duties of the pantry chef depend on the size and type of restaurant.  

5. Saute Chefs 

The English meaning of a saute chef is a sauce chef, which is self-explanatory. Besides preparing sauces, the saucier prepares stews, hot hors d’oeuvres, and sautés food to order. 

6. Grill Chefs 

These chefs prepare food items such as meats, vegetables, and cheese using a grill. The tasks comprise regulating grill temperature and portioning steak/fish.

In most diners, chefs decide what to serve and how they will bring it to life. Most chefs dedicate an impressive deal of time to menu development to keep their establishments fresh and innovative.

A chef must also be able to order supplies, supervise kitchen staff from dishwashers on up, oversee food safety, and work with the front of house staff, which may include hosts, waiters, and so forth.

Nigella Lawson says, “You could probably get through life without knowing how to roast a chicken, but the question is, would you want to?”

As mentioned before, many people are not aware that apart from the grease and ketchup stains, there is more to being a chef than what the TV portrays. 

If you are curious about the cooking industry like we are or intend to know more before you become a chef, this piece is for you.

If you also are an adventurous person who loves to travel and see the globe, number two on the list is definitely for you. 

To Become a Chef, Creativity and Art Knowledge is Vital

Apart from being lifesavers, chefs are also artists and scientists. The profession requires them to be artistic and please customers’ needs while presenting a dish. 

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The appealing look of food increases the appetite of customers and makes eating more fun.

Therefore, when learning to become a professional chef, it is vital that you understand the chemistry of the ingredients you’ll be making use of to make the tastes palatable. 

The combination of ingredients and spices is the best way to make a delicious food recipe.

It’s Not Like in the TV

Some cooking programs show the chef flying solo with a bright smile, clean apron, and well-arranged paraphernalia. 

Not that the shows aren’t real, but to become a chef, know that the actual performance comes with more pressure than one person can handle, hence the reason there could be over five people in a restaurant kitchen all trying to make a meal turn out well. 

Be really prepared to put in the hard work. And be ready to work with a team. If you are not a team player, you will probably have issues. 

Opportunity to Travel 

Do you love to travel and also enjoy cooking? Voila! A Chef might just be the right career for you because you can work in any part of the world while learning new recipes and cooking techniques. 

You Need to Perfect Your Skills

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This job will demand that you perfect your technique and stay on top of your game. However, the only way to do this is by always learning as much as possible. 

It is a wide industry, and the more you learn, the more progressive your career becomes. Whether you work with a particular cuisine or be an all-around chef, there will always be places that will need your skills. 

Being a Chef Requires Working Long Hours 

The reality of becoming a chef is to work long hours, especially when you might need to work in places where food is to be made at odd hours like a takeout joint, a hotel, a cruise ship, a hospital, private parties, catering companies, and so on.

Unless you have a passion for it, it might take a toll on a person’s social life and health because a chef is mostly on their feet all day constantly bending up and down, lifting heavy food products, and so on it leaves a toll on the body. 

One other side effect of staying up for so long in a stuffy and hot environment cooking with different spices and oil is the way they clog into the pores as the workspace is usually stuffy, causing the skin to stink. 

Work Hazards

Heat has never been a wonderful friend of the body and general health. Unless you’re taking a steam therapy, hot shower, ‘true’ heat is never therapeutic. 

Remember, a household kitchen can be a dangerous place in the wrong situation. Now imagine what a professional kitchen might look like with the steaming hot cooking to the many dangerous cooking objects. 

Scars and bandages are badges of achievement to a chef as it is unavoidable when working in such intense environments.

Bonus tip: Randomly turning around in a busy kitchen is never advisable for safety reasons. 

Thanks for reading. If you enjoy the article, consider supporting us. It’s 100% optional but it helps a lot.

By Grace Obisesan

Obisesan Grace is a freelance writer. She has worked as a reporter for a magazine firm called Ijebu Flavors and as a content creator with Jetheight Services. Obisesan is obsessed with creativity, and she likes to spend her free time learning how to improve her skills. She enjoys watching Sci-Fi and action movies, reading numerous fictional works, writing poetry, and listening to continental music. She is currently taking a creative writing course at Wesleyan University, USA.

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