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How to become a Chef

avg. starting salary

Are you passionate about food? Want to follow in the footsteps of Gordon Ramsey, Delia Smith or Jamie Oliver? If you want to take your family recipes one step further then becoming a chef could be the perfect career move for you.A chef’s role involves preparing, creating and cooking food. However, a chef’s duties will vary greatly depending on the size of the restaurant/kitchen and their specialism. Aside from a general chef, you could choose to specialise in areas as varied as pastry and desserts through to sauces and sautéing. Most entry-level candidates start as commis chefs.Although duties will vary, daily tasks for most chefs will include the following:
  • Preparing and cooking food
  • Delivering food promptly, adhering to serving deadlines
  • Measuring ingredients and controlling consistent portion sizes
  • Stock control
  • Adhering to relevant hygiene and health & safety guidelines

Being a chef involves long hours and hard work and, in order to be successful in this industry, you’ll need to have drive and ambition. It’s a position based on team work, with all the kitchen staff needing to work together harmoniously in order to produce a final outcome.The kitchen is a fast-paced, stressful environment, so the ability to keep calm under pressure is also essential.Other key skills include:
  • Strong communication and organisational skills
  • Excellent decision-making skills
  • Drive and self-motivation
  • Efficiency, and the ability to prioritise tasks
  • Excellent timekeeping

"I’d always enjoyed cooking and preparing meals for friends and family, but it wasn’t until I finished university with a degree in economics that I realised it was more than just a passion, I wanted to make a career out of it. Now I’m working as a sous chef in a top London restaurant. It’s long hours and hard work but I can honestly say I’m doing a job I love."

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