Want to become a chef but you've never had any previous experience? Or you've just come out of school and don't know where to start? It's never too late to become a chef. The road is a competitive one but if you're willing to work hard, learn and show your passion then you can build your culinary career. Here's how to become a chef...
How To Become A Chef In 7 Steps;
1) Read recipe books
Learning is the first and most important step to becoming a chef. Reading plenty of recipe books and understanding the functions of different ingredients is the basics you need to know. Most of the time in the kitchen, you will be following a recipe but you may sometimes need to think fast and find ingredients to fix a situation.
Read about ingredients and different recipes to improve your knowledge. Make sure to test out your new knowledge by practising them in the kitchen.
2) Practise the techniques
Along with learning about ingredients and recipes, you need to know about the different techniques. Learning cooking techniques and different ways to prepare food is what all chefs have to know. Commis chefs (entry-level chefs) are expected to know the main cutting techniques.
Practise different techniques in your own kitchen. It's expected for all chefs to have practical experience, otherwise you won't be taken seriously.
3) Go to school
Many chefs go to specialist culinary schools. Whilst there they learn the basics, specialise in certain areas of cooking and get valuable experience. However, to become a chef, you don't have to attend university, you can attend evening classes or short courses.
Going to school gives you the opportunity to learn from experienced chefs and get experience that will help shape you into a professional chef.
4) Get work experience
Being an expert in cutting techniques and knowing 100's of recipes is one thing, but most employers want to see you have work experience. Working in a restaurant, bakery or hotel kitchen are all examples of valuable experience to have on your CV.
If you want to be a chef, it's important to get work experience where you're working in a kitchen. Chefs spend their entire shift in a kitchen and they need to know how they work.
5) Talk to other chefs
Talking to other chefs is an excellent way of understanding what it means to be a chef. Being a chef means you have to work long hours and you're constantly on your feet. It's a high-pressure job. But chefs love it.
You need to know if being a chef is the job for you. Talking to different chefs helps you learn more about the responsibilities of a chef and it also gives you useful insight.
Working in a kitchen means you have access to different types of chefs. If you haven't worked in a kitchen yet, there are online forums where you can ask chefs questions.
6) Look like a chef
All employers will expect their chefs to be dressed smartly. There is a uniform all chefs have to wear. It's important you follow the dress code so you look professional and stay safe at work. Chefs have to wear slip-resistant work shoes to help reduce the chance of slipping or falling at work. When you're working on your feet for long hours, your shoes need to be comfortable too.
Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd. specialise in slip-resistant work shoes for chefs. Have a look at our shop:
7) Understand the career path for chefs
As there are many different jobs for chefs, we've created a Free Complete Guide To Chef Jobs that describes each role and what experience/skills you need to get the job. It also includes salary expectations. Download it now to start your career: