If you want to know how to become a chef, you should first set your priority right. You should know the basic features and other aspects of this job. You should have a flair for taste and food presentation. The job does not only include baking and broiling but a lot of other things as well. In fact, you have to learn kitchen culture. You should be familiar with general skills such as knife techniques, food packaging, using leftovers, food storage, preparing meals, deciding portion sizes, and menu planning. You should also be aware of public health and kitchen sanitation regulations.
Once you are ready to find out how to become a chef, you should understand the following two ways to go about it:
Culinary Schools– They offer vocational courses in different specializations. A typical course would extend from two years to four years. All aspects of cookery and kitchen management are taught gradually. The focus is on both practical training and classroom study. The major advantage of professional courses is the direct entry into the specialized field. In the long run, they are considered very effective as they provide a firm foundation. The certification carries a lot of importance in upscale restaurants and food joints.
Apprenticeship – It means you would work under expert cooks till you learn the art. The main advantage of this method is that it is quick and dynamic. It depends solely on talent and dedication of trainee how long he takes to reach next level.
You can use the following tips:
- Try to work with different mentors. That will help in learning various skills simultaneously.
- Keep yourself self-updated about latest kitchen equipment, cultures, and exotic foods. The eating trends change quickly and it is wise to know the current preferences.
- Read a lot of culinary magazines and journals. It pays to expand your knowledge in cooking.
- Take up a specialization if you are aiming for elite hotels.
Many people want to know how to become a chef. But only a handful of them is ready to face the challenge. This is a demanding job that requires a lot of stamina. You would need to spend long hours on your feet, while cooking, stirring, chopping, and lifting vessels. You have to be strong to handle the overload at the time of festivities. Initially, you might have to perform the unskilled tasks in the kitchen like peeling potatoes. Hold your horses. Patience and temperament are the key qualities for those who want to learn how to become a chef. You should be able to memorize new recipes and remember the impromptu changes you make while cooking.
You can become head of the kitchen if you work diligently for around ten years. People also expand their expertise in two ways. Either they specialize in a certain field. Or they try to incorporate different culinary styles and learn the skills of multitasking. Many professionals start their own restaurants or take up hotel management. The cooks at senior levels even take business-related decisions. It is a respectable profession that provides creative satisfaction.