How to Become a Chef after Growing up Nowadays
It often happens that a cook has finished courses, received a diploma, but on the first working day he cannot make even an elementary dish. After all, it’s one thing – a measured pace and a clear sequence of actions in educational conditions, and quite another thing – the cuisine of a popular restaurant during peak hours. There are dozens of dishes at work at the same time, there are screams, haste, movement and, as it often seems to beginners, chaos …
A good solution would be to work as a waiter or an assistant chef for at least a couple of weeks in order to take off your rose-colored glasses and understand how the restaurant works from the inside. You can also contact organizations that organize internships, for example, the partners of Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2020 – the Creative Search project. And after that, get a professional education – then the knowledge and skills gained will be built into a real system with a solid foundation.
How it works
Online chef courses with step-by-step video instructions are a good way to improve your skills and gain skills in cooking certain dishes. For residents of small towns and villages, this may be the only chance to gain skills to work as a cook. Of course, the online format does not provide a systematic professional base – you cannot ask questions and receive feedback from the teacher, and the teacher cannot correct your technique and evaluate the result.
However, the segment of distance learning courses for cooks is growing. Self-education skills, a broad outlook, and a penchant for experimentation are good allies for your professional development. However, so far this is only an addition to traditional education. A diploma from any provincial college will give you a better chance of getting a job in a restaurant than watching all the masterclasses by Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver on YouTube. By the way, these stars of world gastronomy received training in the most common state vocational institutions: Westminster College of Catering and Technical College of North Oxfordshire, respectively.
International cooking courses are a great career start. A prestigious education will impress a potential employer, even if you don’t have any experience yet. In addition, major culinary schools organize internships as well as job placement for graduates. If you’re lucky, you can complete an internship at a restaurant from World’s Best Restaurants or a Michelin guide, successfully pursue a career abroad, or return home with a higher status.
6 non-obvious tips for a novice chef:
1. Be visible
Maintain social media accounts, join professional online communities, comment on publications of colleagues, reputable chefs and restaurateurs. If you learn how to create not only dishes but also “delicious” content for Facebook with Instagram, success will come closer.
2. Protect your reputation
Try to ensure that only good things can be said about you at every workplace – both professionally and personally. The industry connections are pretty tight – you never know which of your former colleagues to turn to for referrals.
3. Maintain relationships
Be polite and friendly not only with the management and guests of the establishment but also with all the kitchen staff. After all, any novice waiter in a few years can grow to a manager and invite you to a promising project.
4. Play with a strong team
Well-known restaurateurs and restaurant groups are not always the most comfortable employers for aspiring chefs. In a family cafe near your home, you may be offered a higher salary and position, a loyal schedule, a pleasant team. But irregular, complex work on projects whose names are thundering in the media will give prospects, stress resistance, connections and a valuable line on the resume.
5. Follow trends
Changing global culinary trends is a chance to become a famous chef. The media, the general public, and industry professionals love innovators and experimenters. Today the world is “sick” with the search for new formats of healthy, eco-friendly, and ethical food (clean food, Zero Waste cooking, vegetarian gastronomy, sustainable cuisine) – in these niches, there is a request for new stars.
6. Become an Industry Insider
You can make useful contacts not only at work. Participating in industry events such as the WorldChefs 2020 Chef Congress will open the doors of a social elevator to new opportunities for you. There has never been such a concentration of insider information, leading trends and major players in the global restaurant industry in Russia!