The term ‘Chef’ is often misused.
The word ‘Chef’ is French, meaning is ‘I lead the kitchen’.
A professional Chef is a multi-skilled craftsman, a highly trained artist who can not only cook and identify ingredients by taste but also manage, train and supervise staff, the financial savvy to run a business, organizational skills for liaising with suppliers, the ability to plan a menu, deliver beautifully presented cooked dishes on time and excellent customer service skills.
Let’s talk about becoming a professional in any trade. This starts with a code of professional ethics. There are rules and standards that govern the conduct of the members of any profession. This starts with the moral choices made by the individual in the day to day operations of one’s business. Everyday a professional Chef must take the position seriously and direct the staff to do the same.
The following essential qualities are important for any Chef to move to the next level.
the great chefs of our time have passion and flair for food. They love people around them and love good and healthy foods; they are very passionate about preparing it.
The ability to take criticism from customers and staff is crucial. Appreciating correction will bring out perfection. Chefs should set a good example for their staff. Taking responsibility for your actions means that those around you manage will do the same. Treating colleagues and customers with respect and fairness is crucial.
Chefs can work extremely long and unsociable hours. Gordon Ramsey (A celebrity chef) once said that he often put in eighteen hour days at work. This means a lot of standing, moving heavy objects and working with heat and sharp objects which can cause a lot of injuries. We put in more than regular eight hours in a very busy restaurant kitchen or banquet kitchen and long hours at work ultimately mean a short personal life. Working in a kitchen can be very hot, claustrophobic, loud and pressurized. The wages for the beginner is not very high, My wages when I started then was not to write about. Believing in the Lord is very important, encouraging yourself in the Lord will keep you going.
A Chefs job is fast paced and physically intensive. Mental alertness is essential, knowing when a dish is ready, what ingredient is missing in another dish requires one to make the correct decision in an instant. Looking the part of professional Chef requires you to dress appropriately. The chef uniform helps to inspire history, love and curiosity from all those who see you. If you are well, presented then so your business. Remember a well-dressed chef means a clean practice and great food.
Sourcing and using good quality ingredients is the start of a delicious meal. A Chef who is lacks integrity will compromise.