Being a Chef or a culinary professional is not as easy as simply attending culinary school. Indeed, competition is fierce in the culinary world and to stand out from competition, a good Chef has to have a unique set of qualities:
First things first, a good Chef must master all his cooking and/or baking skills. These skills are the root of a great culinary career; from chopping to icing, everything must be mastered. A great chef never stops perfecting their techniques.
Passion is what brings you in a kitchen in the first place. It is also what keeps you going when times are tough. If you continue to feed your passion, it will help you excel with enthusiasm and professionalism, as an additional quality.
Creativity is key to new delicious flavors. A good Chef must always be on the lookout for inspiration of new blends of taste to create the greatest dining experience for its customers. Every famous dish has been created out of innovative ideas and willingness to experiment for the new rich flavors.
Being a Chef is like being a scientist, however you are creating an experience and transforming food. And as a “scientist”, a good chef has to be very precise, every ingredient and measurement has a specific role that a chef must be continuously aware of.
As a Chef, you are making food for others to eat, and it is your absolute duty to know how to keep your kitchen clean and respect any sanitary law. Get all your certifications and respect them; it’s your commitment to quality.
Any good Chef needs a keen business sense to run a kitchen that produces quality food but is also cost-effective and efficient. As a Chef, you are also the kitchen manager: negotiating, leading and managing are imperative and necessary qualities.
A great Chef must work harmoniously with the kitchen team to ensure the production of quality foods but also to keep a pleasant atmosphere in his kitchen. A good Chef must be the inspiration of his team as he manages it and works with it.
Things don’t always go well in a kitchen; this is why a good Chef must cope with adversity with calm and serenity. A good Chef must be able to self-control and make quick effective decisions.
A great Chef is adept at multitasking. A single chef might be responsible for several elements of a meal that all need to come together at the same time and must be able to ensure everything is completed at the right moment.
What is more important than enjoying your job? If you love what you do, you will always want to go further and you will shine at one point or the other. Dedicate yourself to becoming the greatest Chef and you will be noticed for your talent, your determination and steadiness.
Now that you know what makes a good Chef a great one, it’s your turn to get inspired and become the next Gaston Lenôtre of your generation!