Do you aspire to become a world-renowned Chef? Even top chefs once had to learn the basics of cookery. Good Food brings you the must-know skills that will take you from nervous novice to a confident cook! While they are with no doubt a few attributes that set aside the best talents from one another, there are also few similarities in these attributes that Chefs share that help them to hone and perfect their craft! Since Culinary profession is a difficult industry to get into, you will have to work on sharing some of these characteristics if you hope to find yourself atop the mass as a established top Chef!
Here, we’ve put together few key skills that everyone should possess in order to become a top Chef!
- Attentiveness to Detail
A chef’s job requires undivided concentration and acute sensory observation. Inattention can cause a huge difference in tasting. A pinch too much sugar or salt, a missing garnish, a steak cooked for a minute too long or a strand of hair in the salad can threaten the success of an entire dish. Whether its ordering food products or figuring out what time to cook certain items, a chef has to achieve balance between seeing the big picture and attending to details.
- Respect the Sanitation
As a Chef, you are working in the food industry where you make food for others to eat. It is your absolute duty to know how to keep your kitchen clean and respect any sanitary law. You need to get all your certifications and respect them; it’s your commitment to quality.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and a chef should always keep that in one’s mind. Being mindful of cleanliness should be a part of work routine to a chef.
You need to have a flow of creativity if you want to work in the food industry. Chefs must be creative about getting the freshest ingredients and combining them in a way that each one highlights and balances the taste of the other. Creativity is what inspires a food’s presentation which is very important to a customer’s overall dining experience. A chef should always be creative enough to incorporate new food items to the food menu and revise and improve old recipes to enlighten the customer’s taste buds with new flavors. If this is applied and practiced well, you can be sure for the customers to be patronized by your restaurant. Creativity, innovation and imagination will keep customers coming back to a restaurant.
- Dynamic Decision Making
Kitchen can get pretty hectic at times and it is the responsibility of a chef to make a fast paced decision. A chef has to make various decisions at once in a quick and efficient manner. Because you have to work in and around the clock with no minutes to spare in the food preparation industry, problem solving must be done quickly to keep customers satisfied and for the operations to flow smoothly.
- Endurance and Stamina
Being a Chef is not easy and it certainly requires all kinds of strength, be it physical or mental. A chef has to work his way through long hours from the middle morning to the late hours of the night, most of the time in feet exposed to heat, grease, high pressure and odd working hours. . And this is something all aspiring chefs need to be prepared for! A chef needs stamina to remain focused and consistently produce top quality food. Every muscle aches in a chef’s body counts!
A great Chef is adept at multitasking. In the kitchen, a chef will always be working on multiple tasks at once. Be it addressing some issues of staff or working on several elements of a meal, a good chef must always be able to juggle these tasks hand in hand while maintaining their own productivity. They are the ones who are overall in charge from the initial planning process to designing menus to raw material procurement and inventory management to finally ensuring that the right order goes to the right table at the right time. And these activities should be seamless only then will it result to satisfactory service. It is the chef’s duty to keep tabs on all of it.
- Ability to lead
It is always the chef who is responsible for the kitchen. They have to be able to give directions 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. Deflated, frustrated staffs are unable to deliver their full potential. And it comes to a great chef to inspire these staff and be able to keep every one of them working harmoniously at a fast and efficient pace. This might mean taking time to train struggling employees or helping to boost morale when times are at their most stressful.
If you seek to become a top chef, you will have to fulfill the leadership requirement. This will demand organization skills as well as you have to stay organized and work to ensure that every aspect of the kitchen is functioning with maximum efficiency. This could get stressful and trickier with added responsibilities like stock management, budgetary oversight, employee scheduling and more.
If you’re not a social person or don’t enjoy interacting with others, you better start practicing now as a great chef understands that he or she is part of a larger food preparation team and that everyone must work harmoniously to ensure the timely production of quality foods. When you are working in the kitchen, even with its apparent hierarchy of talent and renown, you have to appreciate your role in the team and realize the importance of working well with others in a team. You are never going to work alone; you will always find aides and helpers aplenty from the very first day to the last. You will have to work every day with prep cooks, chefs de partie, boulangers, potagers, sous chefs, executive chefs and more. Your ability to work with all of this added assistance can make or break your rise to top tier success.
- Business Acumen
A chef must have good business sense to run a profitable organization which is often developed through hands-on experience and trial and error in the kitchen. A chef should always be keen about how to make a delicious quality food considering the cost and wastage as well. As a Chef, you are also the kitchen manager: negotiating, leading and managing are imperative and necessary qualities.
- Rage for Culinary arts
When you’re passionate about what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. If you love food and cooking, you’ll do just fine on this checklist item. Attending a culinary school will provide you with the tools and the opportunities to convert your passion into a life career. All you need is passion to cultivate your skills and turn it into something meaningful.