There is a big difference between good chefs and great chefs. Becoming a great chef is highly demanding, yet incredibly fulfilling to anybody who walks down the path. In today’s blog from the Hurst Campus, we are going to dive into how to become a great chef in 2020. This applies to everybody from our first years that have just started their journey into the culinary industry, to graduated chefs who are looking to become the best that they can be. Here is our list of how to become a great chef:
Learn to lead people
A kitchen is a team. When a team doesn’t work together, then they do not achieve the desired results. You’ll constantly be working with plenty of other people in the kitchen. Executive Chefs, Head Chefs, Sous Chefs, Chef de Partie, Kitchen Porters – you’ll never be alone with your thoughts. Learning how to lead and manage your kitchen team effectively will make the whole environment that much better. Also, taking charge of the leadership of the kitchen is a surefire way to grow in your career.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
-John Quincy Adams
Take Pride in your work
It is easy to spot somebody who is genuinely passionate about their work, compared to somebody who is just ‘working’. Chefs come from all walks of life, and you’ll meet a bunch of different people during your time in the kitchen. Great chefs pay close attention to their work as cooking is a delicate process. An incorrect garnish, a steak overcooked for a minute too long, or an insect in a salad can all ruin a perfect meal. It is all about the attention to the smaller details that will allow you to excel. Be known for what you do, and do it well.
Handling Criticism Well
Think of every criticism as an opportunity to learn to improve your craft. Many companies are spending millions to get truthful criticism on their products or services because then they know exactly how they can improve. Unfortunately, it is tough to handle your emotions when somebody is complaining to you about your work. The best thing you can do is to say thank you and then prove to them that you listened by taking action and fixing whatever was wrong.
Having a growth-based mindset is important to take your career to the next step. Use all of the criticism you get and keep constructing an even better version of yourself.
Becoming a chef is a career that you need to be dedicated to and passionate about in order to become truly great. Of all the ways to prove that you want something from life, nothing says it more than having extreme discipline towards something meaningful to you. The only way to grow as a person, and as a chef, is by facing the biggest challenges in life and enduring them long enough to succeed, no matter how long it takes or how hard it gets.
If it’s to be, it’s up to me” – William Johnson
There is no set definition of the perfect skills and qualities needed to become a perfect chef, but a balance is needed. A chef can have the best culinary skills ever seen but if there is a lack of discipline, teamwork, or creativity nothing will change for the growth of a restaurant. If you are a chef in training or seeking to become the best version of yourself, remember to always educate yourself on new skill and techniques, and refine the ones you already have.
p.s This is the final week to apply to Hurst’s 3 Year World-Class Chefs Course. Apply now to get one of the last spots! https://thehurstcampus.co.za/apply