Qualifications: NVQ, HNC or HND in cookery (not essential)
Salary: £8K – £150K
Contrary to what television would have us believe to be a chef doesn’t mean you have to be naked, someone who clearly has anger issues or a raunchy housewife. It is necessary however that you can cook well, be prepared to work long hours and be a team player. However the potential prize at the end of the tunnel outweighs all the hardship that you may go through. To be a top chef will open a new world of possibilities with regards travel, the people you will meet and the experiences you will have. Many of the worlds top chefs own restaurants in several of the worlds finest cities. For example Gordon Ramsay, as well as owning restaurants all over Britain, also owns restaurants in New York, Tokyo, Dubai and Paris.
But where do you start on your road to chef super stardom? Most future chefs begin working in a kitchen doing menial jobs such as washing dishes, cooking chips or just chopping vegetables and then progress on to becoming a sous chef. The role of a sous chef is to prepare food and to help the head chef oversee what others are doing in the kitchen and ensure that they are doing it efficiently and on time. He or she will also be expected to know the menu intimately and be able to cook any dish at short notice. It is only after lots of experience of being a sous chef do they progress to becoming a head chef.
It can also be helpful to gain experience at a cookery or culinary school where you will be taught some of the basics that will help you thrive in the heated environment that is a busy kitchen. Most culinary schools offer qualifications such as higher national diplomas (HND) or national vocational qualifications (NVQs), which can really enhance your CV as it shows commitment to the profession. Becoming a chef sure isn’t easy but the rewards can be out of this world.
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