A Few Great Advantages Of Becoming A Chef
A chef is a highly-trained professional who has multiple jobs in a kitchen. Chefs do more than prepare meals; they also oversee the entire staff. Many paths can lead you toward becoming a chef, and if you take them, you’ll enjoy a wide range of opportunities. Becoming a chef might be ideal for you if you like constant learning and bringing your creativity to bear on ever-changing challenges.
Besides an extended description of the chef’s role, you’ll also find five great reasons to become one below.
The Duties Of A Chef
A senior chef manages every aspect of food preparation in a kitchen (usually, but not always, in a restaurant), including selecting the highest quality ingredients, such as smoke salmon. Chefs are responsible for the quality of the work performed by everyone on their team. A large part of the chef’s job is upholding the highest standard of safety by preventing staff injuries and maintaining a hygienic environment for food preparation. In many kitchens, the chef also personally handles plating and garnishing dishes. The chef is the one who’s ultimately responsible for the taste, appearance, and appeal of the food served to the customers.
The chef also must keep up with some administrative duties to keep the kitchen running smoothly. Chefs keep track of the kitchen’s inventory, order supplies, and equipment as necessary, and set the work schedule for their subordinates. Chefs also typically oversee the establishment’s menu, adding and removing dishes according to their professional judgment.
Great Opportunities Afforded To Chefs
1) Chefs Can Work With Many Cuisines
While you’re learning to be a chef, you’ll probably focus on one specific cuisine. Further in your career, you have plenty of culinary choices. You can continue to specialize in a single cuisine and become a true master of it, or you can branch out to learn from others. You could even move into ‘fusion’ cuisine, combining multiple traditions to create tastes that are uniquely your own. Learning multiple cuisines is also a good career move, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
2) Chefs Can Travel
There are restaurants in all but the smallest communities in every corner of the world, so it’s no exaggeration to say that you can be a chef virtually anywhere. If you work for a large company with multiple restaurants, you may be able to change cities or even countries without leaving the organization. And there are even opportunities that combine professional cooking directly with travel. Being a chef on a cruise ship, for instance, takes your job from country to country and culture to culture.
3) Chefs Get Flexible Schedules
The Chef’s working day rarely lines up with a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. If you’re looking for a more flexible schedule that helps you manage your work-life balance, picking the right kitchen shift can help. Many chefs, for example, work late into the evening and enjoy plenty of free time during the day.
4) Chefs Can Be Creative
As a chef, you can tinker with the recipes you know or even create entirely new ones. If you take control of the presentation of your food, you also get a chance to impress your customers visually as well as gastronomically.
Sometimes the constraints of the profession call on chefs to exercise their creativity. With limited time or a shortage of ingredients, you may have to use your creativity to make substitutions and solve problems. Thinking on your feet and outside the box is part of being a chef!
5) Chefs Can Be Scientific
Chefs are intimate enough with all the minutiae of cooking to understand that it is, at its core, a scientific discipline. Applying consistent cooking techniques to ingredients in carefully-measured quantities will reliably produce the same results. That’s applied science in action!
Today, many chefs get even more scientific in their kitchens, using high-tech tools (e.g. lasers and liquid nitrogen) to create innovative new techniques for food preparation. The importance of accurate measurement in cooking also means that detail-oriented individuals will appreciate the challenges of being a chef.