Julia Child said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” We can agree that most all of us love to eat, either by necessity or just for the pure enjoyment of the taste of the food paired with good fellowship with others. However, is everybody cut out to be a cook? Probably not. Therefore, if you are interested in a career in culinary arts, you should know that it involves more than just knowing your way around a kitchen.
Let’s just assume you are already an excellent chef. What other important qualities should one exhibit? First and foremost, you must have excellent communication skills. Without a doubt, a chef must be able to communicate effectively to prepare a customer’s meal without a mishap. When delegating tasks, clear and detailed instructions are mandatory for proper food preparations.
Are you in good physical shape? Often, the Head Chef, as well as other kitchen personnel, must be on their feet for long shifts overseeing or preparing meals. Breaks can be few and far between based on restaurant occupancy. Assistants and Sous Chefs must be well-versed in knife techniques to avoid dexterity issues. All safety regulations must be followed to the letter to avoid accidents in the kitchen.
As a Chef, you must have an exemplary sense of smell and taste. You must rely on your keen senses to test food quality and to create original dishes for your customers.
Are you a leader or a follower? An Executive, Head Chef, or a Food Service Manager must display excellent leadership skills. You must be able to delegate effectively what you need other kitchen staff to achieve, be motivational, and maintain good working relationships with all involved in constructing a finished product for the consumer to enjoy.
Are you good at managing your money at home? If so, perhaps you will understand the importance of running a tight budget within a place of business. As an entrepreneur, you will need to manage tasks such as ordering food and beverages and other pertinent supplies, setting food prices, and paying worker salaries. If you open your own restaurant, you will need to understand all aspects of business and management to minimize costs and maximize profits.
Within the culinary field, one must be well-organized, a critical thinker, and time management skills are a must. During peak serving hours, managing your time, in addition to your staff’s time, can make the difference in a happy customer or an unhappy customer, which usually translates into bad reviews.
To truly be a successful chef, one must be passionate about food and extremely creative. Creating new dishes for your customers is exciting, fun, and expected by most employers, particularly in top-rated restaurants. Don’t be afraid to tap into your imagination to create a signature dish you can call your own, a form of your own creative expression through food.
As you can see, a career in the field of culinary arts might not be for everyone; however, with hard work and dedication, you can embark on a career that will be rewarding and fulfilling, no doubt. If you would like to learn more, please see our list of the America’s Top Online Culinary Schools that we have compiled for your review.