Being the Emperor of the kitchen and ruling over it is often the ultimate goal in Chefdom for most culinarians. However, most of the young chefs fail to realise that before stardust lies years of unfaltering perseverance and a never-say-die attitude. The cost of success might not come easy. The price could be standing on your feet for hours on end and being expected to perform monotonous mechanistic chores. But let’s face it, all great chefs have been there, done that!
With times quickly changing on the hotel and restaurant scene, it goes without saying that you constantly need to evolve yourself as a chef. Let the learning never stop. Early in your career, you might start off with jitters and not too much experience on hand. However, what will have you covered is inculcating skills by following footsteps of great chefs.
Identify chefs you most admire and educate yourself regarding their talent and how they made it! You can also look for cookbooks of chefs that you really connect with. While you follow footsteps of seasoned chefs, don’t be intimidated by their high-profiles and years of experience in the industry. Instead, implant in yourself their wide spectrum of knowledge and crisis-management skills.
Another thing to bear in mind is that mainstream celebrities and foodies might offer a distorted and confusing image of what a chef is. Don’t buy every idea until you’ve learnt it through experience and seen it for yourself.
The best way to start off is to get oneself trained in the skill at a culinary school like ICCA which makes sure that all the foundations are laid correct. It has been a little over a year now that I have been grooming and working with student chefs getting them ready to join the industry taking with them the right mental makeup along with the skills they harness here at ICCA. Because to be able to mentor and supervise people, you need to be groomed and mentored yourself!
Don’t take the profession like a nine-to-five proposition but like your lifeline and you are sure to taste success. Say ‘Yes Chef’ with all the conviction, and you’ll have someone say it to you soon!