Are You Chef Material?
The job outlook for qualified chefs is very good. And while cooking aficionados might think their love of food automatically prepares them to be professional chefs, this career requires much more than the ability to make a delicious meal. Answer the questions below to see how your interests and skills measure up against those of successful professional chefs.
|Are you creative?||Yes or No|
|Are you passionate about culinary arts?||Yes or No|
|Do you have physical stamina?||Yes or No|
|Do you have an interest in business?||Yes or No|
|Do you have strong communication skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you comfortable in a leadership role?||Yes or No|
|Do you manage time well?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy working as part of a team?||Yes or No|
|Does your lifestyle support non-traditional working hours?||Yes or No|
|Do you work well under pressure?||Yes or No|
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Analyze Your Answers
Are you creative?
One of the key qualities of successful chefs is creativity, which is necessary to develop original recipes and menus that help a restaurant differentiate itself from the competition and market itself as a leader in the field.
Are you passionate about culinary arts?
Whether they earn a postsecondary degree or work as an apprentice, aspiring chefs need drive to develop their culinary skills and work their way up to the rank of professional chef.
Do you have physical stamina?
Chefs must be physically prepared to regularly work long hours, most of which will be spent on their feet in the kitchen.
Do you have an interest in business?
While many aspiring chefs focus on honing their culinary skills, it is also important for them to develop a head for business. In many establishments, chefs are responsible for ordering supplies, scheduling staff and maintaining budgets.
Do you communicate well?
In addition to an ability to provide clear food preparation instructions to staff, chefs must be adept at customer service and possess the communication skills required to interact directly with restaurant patrons.
Are you comfortable in a leadership role?
A chef is to a kitchen what a captain is to a ship. They must be able to provide direction to staff while encouraging the teamwork and camaraderie necessary for an efficient operation.
Do you manage time well?
Effective chefs must have excellent time management skills in order to coordinate the preparation of customers' meals in a timely manner.
Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
In a kitchen, chefs and assistants might focus on an individual aspect of food preparation, but they must ultimately work together as a unit to present quality meals and ensure customer satisfaction.
Does your lifestyle support non-traditional working hours?
The typical work hours for a chef include nights, weekends and holidays because these are the times when restaurants are busiest.
Do you work well under pressure?
The kitchen is a high-pressure environment, especially during a restaurant's peak hours. As the leader in this setting, a chef needs to calmly and coolly juggle responsibilities that might include ensuring the proper preparation of meals, handling any equipment issues that may arise, interacting with service staff and addressing customer complaints.
Act on Your Quiz Results
If you answered yes to many of these questions, you're on the right path when considering a career as a chef. To take your next step, explore culinary training programs in your area, which are available at universities, culinary schools and community colleges. Additional training options include apprenticeship or mentorship opportunities with chefs at local restaurants.