There are some essential qualities of a chef, without these one cannot become a successful professional chef.
The fast-paced world of the culinary industry welcomes professionals who are skilled, passionate about the trade and innovative in their creations.
Below are some of the very essential qualities of a chef that will help them achieve success in the trade.
- Passion: A great chef has to be passionate about food and cooking. They have to genuinely enjoy the whole process of procuring, preparing, cooking and serving food and have to be able to design menus too.
- Stamina: An essential quality of a true chef is stamina. The commercial kitchen is a hard place to work; long hours on foot exposed to heat, grease, high pressure and odd working hours; a chef needs stamina to remain focused and consistently produce top quality food.
- Leadership skills: It is the chef who is responsible for the kitchen. They have to be able to give direction to their team and maintain an amicable atmosphere in their kitchen. They need to guide, coach and monitor their juniors so that the operations run smoothly.
- Creativity: It is taken for granted that a chef will be creative. It is this quality that actually brings in the customers. It is also what comes to aid when there maybe some ingredient missing and a great tasting dish needs to be produced.
- Flexibility: No job in the kitchen should be beneath a chef. It is only a flexible chef who can ensure that his kitchen is running smoothly, pitching in wherever necessary be it at the range or the wash basin.
- Organization: To run a well oiled kitchen the chef has to be organized. Every aspect of the job has to be planned out be it the proper utilization of staff, the traffic flow of the kitchen especially during rush hours, the kitchen layout and the food preparation or its plating.
- Business sense: A chef has to have a keen sense of business to run a profitable organization. The kitchen has to not only produce tasty food, it has to be cost effective and wastage should be minimal.
- Multitasking: The ability to multitask comes to great use in the life of a chef. They are overall in charge so from planning and designing menus to raw material procurement and inventory management to ensure that the right food goes to the right table, all the elements of a kitchen have to come together at the right time to result in seamless satisfactory service. It is the chef’s duty to keep tabs on all of it.
- Commitment to quality: Every chef has to be committed to quality using only the freshest and best quality ingredients and the best techniques to produce tasty food of the highest grade.
- Handle criticism: There is no guarantee that everybody will always love the food cooked by a chef. He will sometimes face criticism and he has to be able to handle it with equanimity, analyze the feedback and take appropriate action on it.