HOW TO BOOST YOUR CHEF CAREER
Food is booming business across the globe. There is a tremendous need for trained skilled chefs. Once you have gone through the years of grind, worked your way up the ladder and become a chef, how do you boost your chef career?
Experience is what hones a chef’s skill and boosts his or her career. So the effort should start right at the beginning. Whether you are a trained culinary professional or one who has joined the trade as a dish washer, the kitchens you work in show you the path in your career. Choose your place of work carefully. Opt for a kitchen that is well known for its professionalism and the quality of food it produces. It does not necessarily have to be a celebrity kitchen. A large number of aspiring chefs and recent graduates think that the way to a successful career begins in a celebrity kitchen. But high visibility does not always translate into good training ground. There are lots of restaurants that are not in the news or promoted by food critics or the media that are captained by professional chefs who run tight ships and consistently produce excellent food. It is in such locations that you can hone your culinary skills and thus take your steps up the ladder.
During your formative years as a chef here are a few things that you should look out for which will hold you in good stead in your career.
- Professionalism: In a kitchen this is a term that encompasses various things including the art of cooking, inventory management, safety and cleanliness, staff management, food portioning and storage, accounting and food costing.
- Demanding and competitive environment: This will not only compel you to use your knowledge to its fullest but also help you challenge yourself to perform better.
- An exacting boss who will not only criticize but also not hesitate to teach you the right way to do things.
- A kitchen with a demanding customer base so that again you are compelled to rise to the occasion and get inspired to better yourself.
- A committed owner and/or chef who work to run a well oiled establishment both inside the kitchen and at the front of the house. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can get from a well managed restaurant.
- While terms like ‘fusion cuisine’ and ‘molecular gastronomy’ might sound very attractive it is best to look for establishments that will strengthen your basic culinary skills first before looking for training in trending ideas.
- Look for kitchens that are non static. Kitchens where menus evolve and get periodically upgraded are great places to widen your repertoire.
- Look for kitchens where the environment is inclusive and without any racial, religious or sexual bias. This will open your mind to the possibilities not only in terms of the food cooked but also the various cultures that work cohesively.
- Finally there are intensive courses of approximately 300 hours offered by institutes like Chef Academy of London that are designed to hone a working chef’s skills. If you opt for them not only will you gain experience and get a certificate; it is a sure fire way to boost your chef career.