There are plenty of misconceptions and stereotypes regarding chefs and what they do. But how much do you really know about them and what goes on in the kitchen? Yes, they work long hours and work with food, but there’s still so much that goes on behind the scenes. Here are 15 interesting facts about chefs that you probably didn’t know.
1. Food Culture Knowledge
From African to Asian, one of the biggest perks of being a chef is gaining knowledge about different food cultures from all over the world. Chefs also get the chance to travel abroad so they can try new foods, cuisines and experience new cultures.
2. They’re Passionate
Kitchen environments can be quite tense. They’re fast-paced and there’s possibly a lot of shouting and swearing. But this doesn’t mean they’re unhappy - it means they’re passionate. They’re dedicated to making sure each dish is perfect and their diners enjoy their food.
3. It’s an Art and a Science
Chefs need to be artistic. They please customers and make them enjoy their meals through taste and also beautiful presentations. But chefs know their masterpieces are nothing without understanding the chemistry of ingredients to perfectly balance flavour combinations.
4. Chefs Have a Favourite Knife
Never touch another chef’s knife. Knives help chefs do their jobs and each one has a different purpose. They aren’t communal and available for everybody in the kitchen to use. Chefs often have their own special knives that only they can use.
5. They Aren’t Selfish
It’s easy to assume chefs save their skills and ideas for themselves, making sure they always eat the best food. But chefs are human and the long hours mean they don’t have the time or energy to cook elaborate meals. They might experiment in their spare time, but chefs save the best for customers and when they can, they’ll eat quickly before getting a well-earned rest.
6. Don’t Like Picky Eaters
Chefs will always try their best to accommodate their customers’ needs. Whether it’s intolerances or allergies, chefs will try their best. They love customers who have a broad food palate, but not those who are too picky.
7. Chefs Encourage Specials
If waitstaff have ever tried to encourage you to order a chef’s special, it’s because it’s the chef’s favourite meal on the menu and they genuinely recommend it to customers.
8. It’s a Passion, Not a Job
Chefs don’t work in kitchens just for the salary. They’re passionate and they want to create delicious food for customers. Their goal is to make diners smile and receive compliments on their food. This is their passion and guests can notice it with the presentation and taste.
9. They’re Food Connoisseurs
The best chefs that have worked with food for years can easily pick even the most subtle differences between good and bad recipes or ingredients when eating out. When they get spare time to eat at another establishment, they’ll know if the ingredients are cheap or fresh.
10. They Can Take Criticism
When chefs shout to each other in the kitchen or swear, they know it’s never personal. While it sounds like they’re arguing, chefs don’t have any hard feelings from their teammates. They know they have a job to do and they’re trying to make sure nobody drops their standards.
11. There’s More Than One Type
Chefs are usually grouped into one category, however, there are many types of chef you probably didn’t know. There are some obvious ones like the head chef and sous chef, but also some specific ones such as a poissonier, entremetier and rotisseur. You can find out more about each type here.
12. Chefs Rely on Technology
Chefs use the latest innovations in kitchen equipment, but they also rely on technology in their shoes. Slips, trips and falls are common hazards in a kitchen, so chefs reduce the risks by looking for shoes with slip-resistance, water-resistance and other features to maintain safety.
13. Chefs Have Creative Freedom
Chefs are in charge when deciding what goes on the menu and how it’s prepared for guests. Although it’ll fit with the restaurant’s cuisine, they’ll use any opportunity to get creative and try out new combinations to set the establishment apart from the competition.
14. They’re Forever Learning
New countries, cuisines, cultures, experiences, ingredients - chefs are students of food for the rest of their careers. Chefs love to continue learning and building on their knowledge.
15. There’s Always Room to Progress
With the many types of chefs there are, there are also plenty of career options. You might start out in a restaurant, but you can do anything you want from travelling around the world to cook, have a pop-up store or even open your own restaurant.
If you’re interested in becoming a chef, it’s likely you’ll start as a commis chef and work your way up. It’s an exciting role with plenty of possibilities. To find out more about each chef job, make sure to download our latest guide.
Your Guide to Chef Jobs
Our free guide lists every type of chef job available, the skills you’ll need, how you can progress, salaries and much more. To start pursuing your career as a chef, get your copy now using the link below.