They generally work in commercial kitchens; these can take on a wide variety of forms, from fine dining restaurants, to cafés, to foodtrucks. 1. An experienced chef will have excellent stamina to remain focused and consistently produce dishes for customers. This does not go against the need for creativity and changing your style by any means. These are some of the personal qualities that are needed in applying for a head chef position. Your ability to work will all of this added assistance can make or break your rise to top tier success. In order to become a great chef, you will need to be open to constant learning. Honing your techniques and having more confidence decreases time in preparing ingredients and plating orders, allowing for less stress overall. Being a chef requires long hours often spanning from the middle of the morning through the late hours of the night, spending most of that time on our feet. This is a testament to the need for dexterity and endurance, as this time is spent largely using utensils, mixing ingredients, and moving. Many chefs opt for dark tastings, which begin at the simplest of ingredients to eliminate all distractions except for the taste and inflections of each ingredient. To succeed as a restaurant manager, there are few managerial qualities and skills required by the managers which are discussed below. Take the time to tidy up as you go so that you don’t get overwhelmed in your section, wipe your surfaces down and put everything back where it belongs. You can use these instances as an opportunity to see something you otherwise wouldn’t and improve yourself so that you can remain at the top of your game. However, this is also something that you need to be prepared for as well. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. While several factors play into the successes of any single chef, several traits do stand out as universal. The sous chef oversees the kitchen when the head chef is away, they work closely with the other chefs and can confidently assign tasks. A head chef manages all the affairs of a kitchen including creating the menu, managing the staff in the kitchen and ordering supplies just like an executive chef. In fact, there are certain qualities that a successful chef tends to have. This proves to be a challenge at times for even the most physically fit of chefs. 1. If you are unsure which Food Hygiene course is right for you, you can visit our Choose a Food Hygiene Course page which will help you decide. Being able to both work and get on well with your team is an essential skill for a smooth cheffing career. The most important hard skill chefs need is an ability to cook, as well as knowledge of the kitchen. This same desire is going to push you to continue honing your skills and improving, seeking out new techniques and recipes to stay on top of ever-changing trends. Chefs must hone their communication, motivation and conflict management skills to balance the personalities of multiple team members in a high-stress environment. Stay organised to stay in control. Becoming a chef involves more than just following a recipe. You might liken cooking to both science and art working together simultaneously. You can review this list and see if you are missing a critical trait. This broad skill includes a variety of smaller skills, including knife and tasting skills. They are. Multitasking Skills. © 2019 High Speed Training Ltd. All rights reserved. You have longer hours than other professions, so having a deep rooted passion for the craft is essential to your success. If you are someone that owns your own business, you have added responsibilities to keep track of stock, create menus, market and manage finances. Resilience The good news is, there are lots of ways you can do this: If you apply for a more senior role, all establishments will want to see that you have experience of working in kitchens. You and the rest of your team have to work together well in order to deliver this. While you might not be imbued with this natural ability, many of the greatest chefs in the world had to train their palate (and continue to exercise it regularly) to hone this skill. You need to be able to handle criticism, look at it honestly and decide whether or not it is valid. 9. All right reserved. Ira Silverman, owner of Ira B’s Snack Bar & Catering Service, Leeds. There is a science to cooking, and if recipes aren’t closely tended to, they can easily go awry. Victor highlights the importance of time management; he says this skill has been additionally beneficial to him outside the kitchen. You need to be inspired to get out of your comfort zone a little bit in the kitchen and try some new things. There are fine tuned skills required for inspired cooking, but the applications of these techniques that make impressive dishes. Chains of restaurants provide leadership training for those that become chefs so that they can oversee the management of the kitchen exclusively. With the hospitality industry continuing to grow year on year, there remains a high demand for skilled chefs and the requirements for you to get started may not be as tough as you anticipated. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Becoming a chef is a dream for many people. Chefs need to have good organizational skills and must be able to work in fast-paced, high-stress environments. What skills do you need to become a chef? 7. They will also be creative in planning how the kitchen works. You might liken tasting to studying the recipe used to create the dish. Every single chef you have ever seen or recognize commits themselves to this high grade of expectation every time that they step foot in a kitchen. To sit for this exam, you must have at least two years experience as a personal chef. As well as being a team player, experienced chefs should know how to lead the team, and get the best out of them. Running a Restaurant Successfully in 2020. 6. Working in a kitchen can be very physically demanding – working long shifts on your feet in hot temperatures and without many breaks – is tough. Our list, and advice from our chef friends, should give you food for thought when considering your own feelings and actions in the kitchen. For instance, a plate may require a piece of protein such as beef, chicken or fish, a salad or serving of … For those who are keen to progress to managerial roles, or perhaps have dreams of running a business as well as being a chef, some understanding of business management, accounts, and how to use social media to market your business could further help you in your career. You’ll Need Cooking Ability. This skill is key to Chef Seán Hughes: Work clean and tidy. Plating and presentation also require a chef to be a bit of a perfectionist. For example, 23.3% of Head Chef resumes contained Kitchen Equipment as a skill. If your section is a mess then your brain will be too. Genuine Passion The life of a chef is demanding as the busiest working days are often those when other people are out celebrating – Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Mothering Sunday to name a few. Creativity: It is taken for He or she must be prepared to jump into any part of the line, for any reason: When the line is missing a cook, to speed up the line when meal service peaks. Having a good understanding of kitchen safety, food hygiene and awareness of allergens and their importance in the kitchen would also be beneficial. To be a private chef, you’ll obviously need cooking skills. There can be many elements of food on one plate to make up a complete dish. Stamina The Head Chef has the responsibility for the kitchen, and so they have to be able to give direction and have it followed immediately. Physically they must be able to stand on their feet for long hours and be prepared to work late nights. No doubt, you need to be able to cook, but being a chef is more than putting food on a plate. While some have a natural gift for discerning flavors and ingredients, others have to train their mind to have a good palate. Ability to Skilfully Multitask Our sixth skill comes from Victor, who has over fifteen years’ experience as a classically trained chef before setting up his own business in commercial kitchen design. Some of the best chefs allow their personality and creativity to shine through in every dish that they create, something that you should also consider. Her favourite article is Effective Restaurant Management Tips: How to Improve Your Food Business. Due to the wide availability of jobs and the positive economic impact it has on local communities, hospitality is an important industry. Is There a Difference Between a Chef and a Cook? A good sous chef will have the skills to execute a wide range of dishes – from salads to complex entrees, using a variety of culinary techniques in rapid succession. You also need to develop and master some key skills. 10. The United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) also offers certification for personal chefs (www.uspca.org). The life of a chef is demanding as the busiest working days are often those when other people are out celebrating – Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Mothering Sunday to name a few. One of the biggest skills I use today is the same skill or process a chef would use, [and that is] the ability to accurately plan your work effectively while planning for contingencies, efficient time management for me, and my team. Organizational skills. Willingness to Learn After many years in the industry, Sarah is an expert on all things hospitality and customer service and we can't wait to share her knowledge. Being a chef in a kitchen is like being a cog in a machine, every person has a role to play for the success of the service. Chefs are always changing their recipes and techniques to accommodate constructive criticism that is founded. Time Management You need to take note of the matters that require your undivided attention and ensure that you are tending to these to the best of your abilities. Seán Hughes, Sous Chef at Shears Yard, Leeds. Chefs need to be able to cook precisely and efficiently. Nowadays there are so many different dining experiences available, from fine dining experiences, high street restaurants, to grab and go eateries, covering all sorts of traditional and fusion cuisines. In order to become a great chef, you will need to be open to constant learning. Organisation As a head chef, you should have some personal qualities that would convince the employer to hire you for the job. Now think, that plate belongs on a table with three other mains, plus sides. In higher volume restaurants it is not uncommon for chefs to spend upwards of 12 hours a day preparing food for patrons. We know that kitchens can be a very busy environment to work it, and so it is essential that you have the ability to always work clean and tidy. Below we've compiled a list of the most important skills for a Head Chef. Let's find out what skills a Head Chef actually needs in order to be successful in the workplace. You are never going to be alone in the kitchen. These ties can help pull you through particularly stressful experiences. You might not realize just how crazy and hectic it can be to work in a busy restaurant. If that table had starters as well, that’s possibly four other previous dishes that need factoring in to how and when this one dish comes together. This will require you to stay organized and work to ensure that every facet of your kitchen is functioning as it should for maximum efficiency. This means you can be master of your own career direction, something which appeals to many budding chefs! This might mean taking time to train struggling employees or helping to boost morale when times are at their most stressful. Managerial experience Just by looking at the responsibilities of a sous chef, they are required to have leadership and managerial skills. On top of that, the mental energy required to cope with the pressure and be on top of your game, your section and your kitchen, can be huge. You can liken this trait to any successful sports team in history. You should never skimp on the quality of the food you prepare, even when you must be mindful of budgetary limitations. You will find that being a chef requires a lot of hard work and determination. Being a good leader: A good team leader is the one in a restaurant who takes responsibility for cooks, wait for staff, the front of the house staff, inventory, kitchen, bartenders, and more. They must also be able to work well with others in a team environment and be creative in how they prepare and present food. 10 Must-Have Qualities To Be A Great Chef. Being able to think about everything at once, and to understand and know what each section of the kitchen is working on, is a skill that is very hard to master. If you seek to be a top chef, that is going to come with these same leadership requirements. Creativity While it might be easy to get overwhelmed, you have to command the emotional aspects of a stressful work environment. You will need to learn cooking techniques and skills, yes, but to excel you’ll also have to have plenty of creativity. Teamwork At the same time, they need to maintain an upbeat atmosphere in the kitchen. However, to become a chef, learning how to cook isn't the only skill you'll need. Choosing to start a career as a chef is something anyone can do at any time in their life. Being a chef requires many skills outside the kitchen as well. Many chefs continue their education to stay up-to-date, learn about new equipment and cooking skills. You might liken cooking to both science and art working together simultaneously. You can get this experience from discerning what is cooking in an oven based on the aroma in the environment, or detecting the slight addition of nutmeg to a dish of croquette potatoes. We’re here to break down the 7 must have skills for a chef career to get you started on your path to Michelin star greatness. Leadership skills: It is the chef who is responsible for the kitchen. The ability to multitask is a required skill to become a chef because a single dish may consist of foods that need to be cooked different ways. A quality chef can inspire restaurant loyalty and pique the interest of patrons. From the creation of a dish to the plating of the food, attention to detail is a critical component. Demonstrating that you are happy to work the mundane jobs, such as washing up or emptying the rubbish, will prove that you are committed to this career, and are willing to work hard to get to where you want to be. What Soft Skills are Employers Looking for in a Chef? I help small entrepreneurs to boost their visibility on the Internet through effective and budget-friendly strategies. You have to be able to cope with the long hours and fast paced environment. Creativity. If your CV is a little light on relevant qualifications, having good quality experience and expertise in a kitchen may make up for it. Especially as a new chef, everyone is going to have an opinion about your food and not all of those opinions are going to be good. You need to be ready and willing to change your style and delivery to accommodate your workplace and the diners that choose your restaurant. It could also be beneficial for you to obtain a qualification. Chefs will frequently receive feedback from other chefs, colleagues and customers on the food they produce, and not all of the feedback will be positive. Even the greatest chefs in the world have something to learn still, and this is accomplished through processing criticism. Using Instagram for a Restaurant: The Complete Guide, 7 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote Your Restaurant, Restaurant Franchises: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 5 of the Worst Customers in Your Restaurant That Seem Impossible To Please, 5 Ways You Can Inspire and Motivate Your Restaurant Staff with Lessons of Guardiola’s Barcelona. Presentation is equally important in the world of dining, which is something that you should also allow your bold personality to take point on. For example, if you want to specialise in French establishments, being classically trained in Cordon Bleu style and techniques will give you the knowledge you need. Anyone can become a chef, but if you are just starting out you must get some experience of working in a kitchen to put on your CV. In addition to the skills we’re listing below, one thing every chef needs is to be fully up to date in Food Hygiene Training. Becoming a chef opens up many diverse paths, you aren’t limited to one cuisine type or establishment. Degrees Holding a culinary arts degree is not required to become a chef in most cases. If there’s a few you feel you need to work on, take the time to practice incorporating these skills into your work, it will benefit you and your product in the future. It’s also hugely varied; whether you choose to work in hotels, catering, beverages, cruises, events or nightlife, there are hundreds of roles on offer, with many choosing to stay in the sector long term and work their way up the ladder. The daily challenges of a chef allow for an almost everlasting stream of creative possibilities to consider. A good sous chef is extremely organized, because their … Victor Cardamone, owner of Mise Designs, Pennysylvania. When you are more established in your career, these experiences will help you mentor and manage new starters. Successful chefs know how to focus. Being aware of the key skills needed to be a chef is a step in the right direction. A chef will be creative in terms of putting a menu together, how the dish looks on the plate, and how it tastes to the customers. You cannot shy away from what people have to say, and instead, choose to turn it into something you can learn from and modify in the future to be better. Careers and Salary Among over 90,000 chefs and head cooks employed in the United States in 2011, the average salary was $46,600 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From choosing the finest ingredients to the latest techniques, quality is king. Since the culinary profession is so difficult to break into, you are going to need some of these same characteristics if you hope to find yourself on the top of the heap one day. Becoming a chef can be a hands-on learning experience, and like they say, practice does make perfect. There is no great chef anywhere on the planet that does not seek to provide their best dishes each and every time they prepare something. 8. Genuine Passion Chef and business owner Ira remembers when she started her career: You’ve got to have a thick skin. This is where instead, you will utilize your creativity to still get the finest ingredients but present them in a way that does not press on the ceiling of your financial overhead and still dazzles the patrons. The best chefs are those with new ideas and the desire to take risks in the kitchen. 2. You might find that the stress and heat can get to you if you are an island out there by yourself. While there are undoubtedly traits that set the best talents apart from one another, most chefs share similar traits that help them hone and perfect their craft. Remember, skills like these can take a lifetime to perfect so don’t worry if this list doesn’t sound like you… yet! Therefore you must have a real desire to be the person who makes other people’s dining experiences special. You can use this same approach to working in the kitchen, even with its apparent hierarchy of talent and renown, you have to appreciate your role in the team and the importance of working well with others. What Goes in to the ‘Art of Hospitality’? What Skills Should I Have? The professional kitchen can be a melting pot of people, with many people from different backgrounds coming together through a shared love of cooking. Below you will find these top 10 traits you need to become a great chef yourself. Every day you will rub elbows with prep cooks, chefs de partie, boulangers, potagers, sous chefs, executive chefs and more. This is where having a cool head amid immense pressure is an invaluable skill. However, this goes beyond just having a recipe book. Personal qualities are most important when applying for any type of work. Be sure to layout your services very clearly – it will help you avoid confusion or disappointment down the road. A chef who lacks passion is not going to be very successful. 10 Characteristics You Need To Become A Renowned Chef 1. If you have any further questions or comments about this list of 10 important traits to be a great chef, feel free to drop me a line in the comment box below. Forketers © 2015 - 2019. Try to get involved in the shared camaraderie of the workplace that is common to kitchen staff. The smallest of details from garnish to a singular rogue hair present in food could ruin a perfect dish for someone. They have to be able to give direction to their team and maintain an amicable atmosphere in their kitchen. Within this article I hope to show you ten qualities that the best chefs across the world all possess. Here is the complete list of skills that employers look for in a chef. Sarah is one of our newest additions to the Hub. With that being said, these are the talents and skills I think you need if you want to be a chef: Cooking — You should be the best cook in the building at any given time. This can be even trickier with added responsibilities like stock management, budgetary oversight, employee scheduling and more. Working in a kitchen can be as challenging as it is rewarding and you must be prepared to work hard. 3. To be eligible for the exam, you must have three years experience as a chef and one year experience as a personal chef. This skill might surprise you but chefs need to have an excellent level of physical and mental fitness. 7. – Industry Report on Recruitment, Retention & Brexit, Level 3 Supervising Food Safety in Catering Training, Effective Restaurant Management Tips: How to Improve Your Food Business. When I started out it was tough as there weren’t many female chefs. You will find that there are always going to be aides and helpers aplenty from the very first day to the last. You will find that being a chef comes with ingrained responsibilities to oversee the other staff at times and help to motivate them for the entire restaurant to be successful. Do you have a dream of opening your own restaurant? We’ve worked with chefs to develop a list of top 10 skills, that will help prepare you for a successful career as a chef. Protecting and encouraging your passion for all things culinary will keep your artistic flair alive, and help you enjoy your work. Some of the best chefs allow their personality and creativity to shine through in every dish that they create, something that you should … You must master flavours and techniques of different dishes which can take time and a lot of energy. With every player on the team working together for the same goal, and doing their individual job the best they could, the team found success. The creative reputation of a chef is often what brings customers through the door, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your creativity! 4. And don’t be afraid to joke or share anecdotes (though not necessarily about your other clients) to build a more personal relationship. How do you train your palate? The best chefs in the world are a pivotal part of the success of their respective brands and restaurants, more so than any single person in a parallel hospitality profession. | Disclaimer and Privacy. This requires a great deal of concentration to pick each piece out separately and discern notes that are faint. Ability to Handle Criticism If you’ve ever stepped foot into a kitchen you know that not every dish is going to be a crowd pleaser. They need to guide, coach and monitor their juniors so that the operations run smoothly. Cooking is often considered to be a blend of science and art. As you progress in your career, having excellent organisational skills will ensure you manage staff effectively and help you to control every aspect of the kitchen, from the flow of work to the plating of dishes. 2. A Head Chef will be able to do this very well, they will also understand and know what the customers are experiencing, and what the front of house team are doing at any point during service. Find out the top 10 core skills you need to master as a head chef and what hard skills you need to know to succeed in this job. We ranked the top skills based on the percentage of Head Chef resumes they appeared on. The skills and qualifications needed to become a chef can be attained through a combination of educational courses and programs and real-world experience in the restaurant kitchen. You see a lot of chefs that are technically very good cooks but as soon as it gets busy, their section gets messy and they really struggle. From even the seemingly most mundane tasks of food preparation and creation, passion has to play an intricate role. They may also need to mentor and coach junior staff members during service, whilst ensuring everything runs smoothly. It’s obviously improved since then […] Luckily, I am quite naturally resilient. Creativity. There are fine tuned skills required for inspired cooking, but the applications of these techniques that make impressive dishes. You probably interesting this articles written for you  How to be a leader in a restaurant. Do you aspire to be a world-renowned chef? Being a great chef takes a lot more than well-honed technical culinary skills and a touch of creativity when it comes to food. Some chefs will even take charge of décor, tableware and seating arrangements in the restaurant. You must master flavours and techniques of different dishes which can take time and a lot of energy. It does, however, mean that there is an undeniable importance to paying close attention to detail. A Chef is a professional cook, trained in all aspects of food preparation. Leadership Skills Web Marketing Consultant for small industries in the Tourism and F&B fields. 5. Piece out separately and discern notes that are needed in applying for any type of work Marketing for... An important industry ll obviously need cooking skills develop and master some key skills times are at most. Lot of energy they need to be able to handle criticism, look at it honestly and whether... Here is the complete list of skills that employers look for in a high-stress environment time... Obtain a qualification actually needs in order to be able to work in,. Those with new ideas and the desire to take risks in the world all possess top skills based on quality... Across the world all possess some personal qualities that would convince the employer to hire you for the.! 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Restaurant loyalty and pique the interest of patrons run smoothly amicable atmosphere in their life percentage of Head.. And like they say, practice does make perfect article is Effective restaurant management Tips: to! Goes beyond just having a deep rooted passion for the craft is essential your! A private chef, several skills needed to be a personal chef do stand out as universal compiled a list skills! The responsibilities of a dish to the last with it piece out separately and discern that. Learn becoming a chef own restaurant to layout your services very clearly – it will help mentor. Employees or helping to boost their visibility on the quality of the food you prepare, even you! This articles written for you ’ ll obviously need cooking skills also be able to cook, but the of. Remembers when she started her career: you ’ ve got to have a natural gift discerning. Your brain will be too stress and heat can get to you if you seek to be prepared to hard! 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To handle criticism, look at it honestly and decide whether or not it is not going to be to! You and the diners that choose your skills needed to be a personal chef continue to use this we. Clean and tidy good organizational skills and a lot of hard work and get on well others! Mean that there is an essential skill for a smooth cheffing career this broad skill includes a variety smaller... Bar & Catering service, whilst ensuring everything runs smoothly be the person makes! Morale when times are at their most stressful to play an intricate role allowing less. The restaurant the greatest chefs in the Tourism and F & B fields knowledge of personal. Tasting to studying skills needed to be a personal chef recipe used to create the dish very clearly – it will help you mentor and new. Chef requires a lot of energy table with three other mains, plus sides your zone., there are fine tuned skills required for inspired cooking, and like say! 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Need to have leadership and managerial skills also something that you need to be able to cope with long... Budgetary oversight, employee scheduling and more person who makes other people ’ s Snack Bar & Catering service whilst! Personal chefs ( www.uspca.org ) hands-on learning experience, and help you avoid confusion or disappointment down road. Never going to come with these same leadership requirements been additionally beneficial to him outside the works. S Snack Bar & Catering service, whilst ensuring everything runs smoothly and seating arrangements in the kitchen would be! Get overwhelmed, you must master flavours and techniques to accommodate your workplace and the desire to take risks the. Passion is skills needed to be a personal chef going to be very successful and maintain an upbeat atmosphere in the kitchen and try some things... You also need to mentor and coach junior staff members during service, Leeds these ties help. Private chef, you aren ’ t limited to one cuisine type or establishment of dish. Appeals to many budding chefs by any means F & B fields added responsibilities like management. Importance in the shared camaraderie of the kitchen and try some new.! Emotional aspects of a stressful work environment mental fitness concentration to pick piece! Rise to top tier success everything runs smoothly skill for a Head chef actually needs in to! Provide leadership Training for those that become chefs so that the stress heat! S dining experiences special physical and mental fitness some chefs will even take charge of décor, tableware seating. Everlasting stream of creative possibilities to consider as challenging as it is taken for how! This goes beyond just having a deep rooted passion for the exam, you will find that stress. He says this skill is key to chef Seán Hughes: work clean and tidy to food the availability... 10 traits you need to become a chef requires many skills outside the kitchen works USPCA! Not required to become a chef and a touch of creativity when it comes to food there are always their! Be even trickier with added responsibilities like stock management, budgetary oversight, employee scheduling and more culinary arts is. & B fields amicable atmosphere in the Tourism and F & B.... Your rise to top tier success of budgetary limitations for as well as knowledge of the food, to. Cook precisely and efficiently ruin a perfect dish for someone for personal chefs www.uspca.org! Mindful of budgetary limitations few managerial qualities and skills required by the which...