Careers Advice

7 things you may not know about being a chef.

Think you know everything about being a chef? Here are 7 fun facts that may surprise you!

  1. Many learn on the job – learning to cook in a live kitchen gives you hands-on, realistic experience as to what your future career is going to entail. A large proportion of chefs learn on the job and while qualifications will come along the way, training from the kitchen floor up is the best start!
     
  2. They do meet celebrities, but they don’t all want to be one – you can’t turn the TV on without stumbling over some loud, celebrity chef enthusiastically shouting ingredients and drizzling or sprinkling something over something. However, this is not the aspiration of every chef. The very best are committed to the true essence of the profession creating fantastic food that other people will adore. They work hard to gain the respect of their peers in their natural environment – the working kitchen.
     
  3. Sometimes it is hard to be a woman especially in this male-dominated field. And when you do actually find females, there are very few women of colour. As a woman, it can be a pretty isolating profession. For women, it’s not just proving you can do the job — it's about actually being able to do the job better than everyone else. Restaurants are working hard towards having a diverse workforce, but there is still a long way to go.
     
  4. Passion is the key ingredient – no, it's not salt, or olive oil, or the currently fashionable avocado. Chefs have passion and bags of it. They choose ingredients with care, they tirelessly select and test every aspect of their menu and are passionate about you enjoying it. If this passion has gone, you will taste it in their food. 
     
  5. They want to encourage variety so you cannot be a picky eater. Chefs want their diners to be daring, to try different things and take diners out of their comfort zone. Don’t go to a chef’s personal dinner party if you are a picky eater.
     
  6. The worst dinner guest but the best invite in town. Talking of dinner parties who doesn’t want to be friends with the local chef when he has a personal dinner party. Canapés, starters, and wines to compliment the food are the best ingredients and are all presented exquisitely. PROBLEM – you have to return the invite!
     
  7. Love to eat out. Checking out the competition is commonplace. They want to see where other chefs are sourcing food, what they are experimenting with and the service of the food in other places. They love to eat out and are secretly reviewing their host every time they do.