Becoming a successful and talented chef is about more than just good food. While having a natural knack in the kitchen will obviously get you started on the right foot, there are certain skills you’ll need to develop alongside this natural talent if you want to truly succeed. Some of the great cooks of the world have struggled as professional chefs because they lack some of these attributes. Make sure you have these 7 things if you want to excel in the restaurant business.
- The right qualifications: While experience will get you a long way in the culinary industry, you’ll also need some certifications on paper to prove to employers that you know your stuff. Check out courses like the certificate iv commercial cookery to get started, and don’t forget to study hard so you can display your achievements proudly on your CV.
- Technical knowledge: While natural vision and basic cooking skills are a great foundation for a career as a chef, you’ll also need to get plenty of technical knowledge if you want to make yourself stand apart from the average café cook. Practicing a range of technical skills at home, learning from your superiors and challenging yourself frequently will all help you grow as a chef.
- A creative vision: The best chefs have a clear creative vision behind everything they cook. This requires thinking outside of the box, coming up with interesting and unique new recipes, and learning to develop your own voice as a chef. This can take time, but it’s an essential skill to have if you want to succeed.
- A knack for numbers: Great chefs don’t have to be accountants, but they do need a certain degree of mathematical and pricing understanding to make their business work. This means being able to calculate how much any given dish would cost to produce, and making your margins work for you.
- Plenty of energy: It’s no secret that working in a kitchen, particularly at a busy and successful establishment, can be physically and mentally draining. If you want to work as a chef then you’ll need lots of energy and the ability to work long hours on your feet without burning out. Getting enough sleep when you have the chance, looking after yourself mentally, and getting a proper nutritious diet in while you work instead of picking at leftovers will all help keep your energy levels up.
- The ability to get along with others: Cooking is a team effort, which means you’ll have to be a team player at all times. Decent people skills are a must-have, as well as the ability to communicate with your colleagues, delegate tasks in the kitchen, and manage those around you to ensure the best possible results on the plate.
- Great organisational skills: Busy kitchens can easily descend into chaos and disarray if the chef in charge doesn’t have the right organisational skills to keep everything and everyone in line. You’ll need to manage the timings of all of your dishes, make sure that every ingredient is ready and waiting to be used on a daily basis, and keep an eye on the stock of the kitchen. Time management and general organisation are essential tools for any chef.