Things To Consider Before Becoming a Chef

by A Guest

Interested In Becoming A Chef?

So you think you are pretty special in the kitchen, seem to have a natural feel for how to cook? Family and fri love your food? Fancy donning the white jacket and hat and turning turning your hobby into a career?

If you have asked yourself any of these questions then you may be considering a career change and opting to go back to school, chefs school. So if you are in the research stage of your decision then hopefully this article can help as I aim to cover of the main factors you need to consider, before you enrol in culinary school.

Find out what you are in for

The thing about cooking is that it is hard work, far harder than things like an office job. If will work extremely long days, the majority of your day will be under high levels of stress as you try and get orders cooked and out to paying customers. It is in many ways an extreme environment. Before you decide to hand in your notice at your current job, or pay enrollment fees for a course you first need to experience a busy kitchen.

Alas that only way you are going to do this at this stage is by offering your services for free, a little spell of work experience. We all know what the bottom run on the ladder i a kitchen is - washing up. So the chances are that you will be giving up your evening to be a dishwasher, not the most glamorous but it will put you in a busy working environment and give you a chance to suss out the working environment you may have if you make it as a chef. So get on the telephone and tell people your plans and see if they can offer you a dishwasher role.

Test your palette

Tasting is going to become a major part of your abilities. You will need to taste things before they are sent out to customers. Can you taste if something has been seasoned well? Are you able to taste the subtle herbs and spices? Can you tell what ingredients are is a dish? You need to be able to answer yes to all the these questions. Being a tasting guru is all part of being a chef, without it you will inevitably fail. Go to restaurants and test yourself to see if you can blind taste the right ingredients, train your brain to be able spot a missing ingredient.

Be prepared for hard times

Speaking of being a dish washer we need to be realistic about your salary. Starting out in catering is going to test you financially, as wages are poor. Even if you pass your diploma with flying colours, you are still going to have to prove yourself in the kitchen, until you have then wages are minimal. You should be prepared to put some serious amount of effort into getting yourself noticed, a lot of hard work is ahead of you, climbing the ladder is hard and will test your resolve. Success is there but only for the few who have enough skill and prepared to work for it.

Flourish from criticism

The chances are that whilst you hone your skills you will be subjected to some criticism, some will be harsh and make you want to weep. Whilst others will offer you constructive criticism. Whichever type you get you need to learn from it and not take it personally. People in stressful jobs can be shouty snappy beast when the pressure is on, they can snap easily. Learn to grow for your criticism, take it in your stride.

Formal training

There is a chance that you can work your way up from the bottom and learn on the job  and become the chef of your dreams. However, for the majority of chefs a stint in culinary school is likely. There are a wide range of courses within the field of ‘culinary arts’ so you should be able to find a course to suit your strengths.

Degree level training will take four years and will include a period of on the job training, so you will be placed in a working kitchen to advance your cooking techniques.


Being a chef will offer many rewards and provide you with a lenghty and enjoyable career. Good luck if you  are looking to start your journey if you make it to the end you will be rewarded everytime you step into'your' kitchen.

Written by Teknomek - Commercial catering equipment

This post was written by A Guest

This post was written by a guest. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author box.

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