7 tips on how to become a professional chef
Do you love cooking? Consider becoming a chef and turn preparing food for others into your career. Cooking is your chance to unleash your creativity and earn an income at the same time. There are plenty of strategies that you can use to become a professional chef. Find vacancies for chefs on Job Mail and apply today.
Definition of a chef
A chef is the professional version of a home cook and typically works in a restaurant or hotel. Chefs need to be proficient in all aspects of food preparation, but they usually focus on a particular cuisine. The word “chef” is derived from the term “chef de cuisine”, the director or head of a kitchen.
Tips on how to become a professional chef
1. Develop leadership capabilities
Chefs need to know how to manage people, but more importantly, how to work as part of a team. Leadership skills help to create a pleasant work environment so that everything runs smoothly. With a good leader, the kitchen staff can thrive and deliver their best performance on a daily basis.
2. Understand the finances
As a chef, you’ll need to know when to cut costs and when to spend a little extra to get the best results. If you try and spend as little as possible, you can jeopardise the quality of your food. To succeed in this profession, you’ll need to plan a budget to keep the profit margins up while making delicious meals that keep customers coming back for more.
3. Be passionate
A passion for food is at the heart of any successful chef’s career. If you want to get ahead of your competition, you’ll need to love what you’re doing. Besides passion, you’ll also need to have a good work ethic, physical endurance, and a lot of creativity.
4. Get work experience
Get a job working in a kitchen at a hotel or restaurant. Entry-level jobs will help you gain the skills you need to launch your career as a chef. You’ll also learn how to work under pressure and adapt to the fast pace of preparing food in a commercial kitchen. Relevant work experience will give your CV a boost and show prospective employers that you’re dedicated to your profession.
5. Study further
Enrolling at a culinary school is an excellent opportunity to develop your cooking capabilities. Not only will you learn to prepare a wide range of delicious meals, but you’ll also discover more about what it takes to manage a kitchen. While a qualification isn’t mandatory for chefs, it can increase your chances of getting hired. You can complete courses and diplomas at a wide range of educational institutes across South Africa.
6. Dedicate yourself to continuous learning
The food industry is constantly changing so you’ll need to dedicate yourself to keeping up with the latest trends. If you want to become a professional chef, set yourself a goal to learn something new every day. A commitment to learning is an attractive attribute to potential employers.
7. Be persistent
Working as a chef is stressful and it involves long working hours. You can expect to work outside of regular business hours, in the evenings, and on weekends. Completing tasks under pressure is all part of the job for chefs. If you have your heart set on becoming a chef, you’ll need to be persistent.
Now that you know how to become a professional chef, you can get your career off to a great start. Browse the vacancies on Job Mail and find your dream job today.