If you have a passion for fine food then you may wish to consider a career as a chef.
Top chefs are in ever increasing demand thanks to people having larger disposable incomes and also in part to the wide variety of food programmes that are available on television. Many people are also considering becoming chefs due to the improved awareness of the profession because of the popularity of celebrity chef’s such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.
In order to become a chef you will first need to undertake some formal training.
Training can be received either by attending a college based course or alternatively as an apprentice / commis chef. As a commis chef you will get to spend time learning the functions of each station within the kitchen. You will also learn the theoretical side of food and food hygiene.
This type of on the job training is often the quickest way to learn a new skill.
Once you have reached a level whereby you are deemed competent enough to progress you may be offered the job of Chef de Partie. The chef de partie is in charge of a particular station within the kitchen. For example you could be in charge of meats and poultry or sautéed foods.
Depending upon the size of the establishment you work for there may be between 3 and 10 stations. From station chef you can progress up the pay scale towards the position of Head Chef. Head Chefs carry a great weight of responsibility on their shoulder and as such are financially rewarded accordingly. To become a chef you will need to be dedicated and hardworking.
Chefs often work long hours.
The job can also be physically demanding – working in a fast paced and often hot kitchen can be tiring and therefore a degree of fitness is required. Being competent at maths is also of benefit to chefs. A large proportion of a chefs preparation time is spent measuring and weighing ingredients.
The ability to understand these weights and measurements is vital to the overall outcome of the dish you are preparing. However most importantly you must posses a passion for food. If you don’t appreciate what make a good dish and understand the basic tastes and flavourings you will not be able to create dishes that reach the highest standards.