Do you enjoy cooking? Does your meal get a lot of recommendations? You should make a living doing what you enjoy.
This article on how to become a chef is all you need right now to start a career with your culinary skills.
World Scholarship Forum team wants you to earn a living while enjoying yourself. So, this article will give you accurate information on how to become a cook and the best schools. Also, it will throw light on the cost of being a chef and how much you may earn.
Well, a lot of people enjoy cooking. In fact, they all get recommendations on how tasty their meals are. However, what they don’t know is that they can make a career out of their culinary skills.
- Who is a Chef?
- What are the requirements for becoming a chef?
- Where do Chefs Work?
- Full Guide on How to Become a Chef in 2021
- How much will I earn as a Chef?
- Where can I get a Culinary Degree?
- #1: Culinary School
- #2. Community College
- #3 Vocational/Trade School
- #4: 4 year School
- Culinary Schools and Associations for Cooks.
- Best Culinary Schools For Bachelor’s Degree
- Becoming a Chef FAQs
Who is a Chef?
A chef is a professional cook who has the right training and is proficient in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on a particular cuisine.
Actually, the word “chef” is a french word that means the head of a kitchen. In addition, there are different terms that use the word chef in their titles.
While the second-in-command in a kitchen is called a sous-chef, one who handles a specific area of production is called a chef de partie. However, this hierarchy or kitchen brigade system is found in restaurants and hotels employing extensive staff.
A chef is someone who can cook his face off at the same time has the foresight to manage, lead, and create a successful kitchen operation, restaurant or otherwise.
What does a Chef do?
Majorly, a chef’s duty is to man the kitchen. A chef is in charge of the kitchen in restaurants or other places where food is served.
In addition, they watch all the activity and food preparation with any staff that would assist in the kitchen. Also, they supervise the preparation of food, seasoning, garnishing, and presentation for a perfect taste.
Below are responsibilities of a chef in a restaurant:
What are the available Chef and Culinary Career Paths?
Chefs may occupy one of the following positions. In fact, depending on the management’s decision, a restaurant may have:
Executive Chef or Chef de Cuisine
This is the highest in the chef hierarchy of a kitchen’s management structure. An executive chef in most parts of the world is called a head chef or master chef.
Even though they can help out with cooking, their primary role is managing the overall work output in the kitchen. So, they make sure supplies are ready each day, they control kitchen costs and operate the multiple outlets in a restaurant.
In the same vein, the sous-chef is to assist the Chef de Cusine otherwise known as Head/master Chef.
The compound word “sous-chef” is of French origin to mean ‘under chef’ or ‘second chef’.
Majorly, the sous-chef obligation is to carry out the instruction given by the head chef. His likely daily responsibilities may include:
Chef de partie
Unlike the other chefs, a Chef de partie or station is to manage a particular area of production. That is to say that a kitchen may have more than one chef de partie.
In large establishments, a chef de partie is to work hand in hand with his assistants and cooks to present the best meal service to clients. However, a chef de partie may also be the only staff in that department as obtainable in normal restaurants
Usually, station chef’s are in sub-divisions like ‘first cook”, ”second cook” and so on. This is just for hierarchy purpose and easy identification.
Finally, butcher-chef, fish chef, roast chef, grill chef, soup chef, vegetable chef, pastry chef, and pastry chef are the numerous types of chefs that are obtainable as well as the department they oversee.
He is the main cook who works directly under a chef de partie. He mainly learns the station’s responsibilities and operation. Most times, a commis is usually found in a big establishment.
What are the requirements for becoming a chef?
If you don’t enjoy cooking or working in the kitchen, please don’t choose this career path. Basically, chefs love cooking, working in a kitchen and enjoy what they do so much.
To become a chef, you may need to assess your love for the aforementioned and be certain you want to become one. This is the first requirement.
Also, you will need to meet stamina, knowledge, skills and the educational requirement to become a professional chef. Now, let’s look at and see how to meet up these requirements in detail.
Skill Requirement for a Professional Chef
Well, everyone can be a cook but to be a professional chef you must be creative, have a strong work ethic, be physically fit and have manual efficiency to excel.
Either as a Head chef, a Sous-chef or a Chef de partie, you will need to incorporate new food items or improve the existing food menu.
Also, apart from preparing your dish, your presentation skill must be creative. In fact, creativity and the ability to create new designs will keep customers coming back to your restaurant.
So, you must be able to collaborate, experiment and come u with beautiful designs.
As a chef, your duty demands long hours of standing and you may work long hours non stop. So, you must be healthy and physically fit to improve productivity and efficiency.
Good work Ethics
If you want to be a professional chef you may have to be patient, tolerant, a good teammate and a good decision-maker.
Basically, you will be working with a lot of people and may need to make a personal sacrifice to get the job done. Also, you must be emotionally intelligent, possess strong interpersonal skills and be compassionate.
Other Skill Requirements for a Chef include:
Educational Requirement for a Chef
One of the requirements to meet up is the educational needs to become a professional chef. Basically, there are numerous educational paths to fulfill the dream of being a chef.
On the contrary, there is no best degree to become a chef, choose a degree after considering what you know at the moment and what you seek to understand better.
You may get a culinary certificate, culinary associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.
So, if you love cooking and would love to learn cooking techniques and skills to take your cooking skills to a new level but don’t have the time to enroll for a traditional degree. Then, you may try getting an online culinary certificate.
Also, if you not only like cooking but will like to run and manage a restaurant, then you may need to opt for a bachelor’s degree program.
If you just want the basic knowledge to become a chef and start practicing as soon as possible, you would consider enrolling for an associate degree.
Furthermore, these degrees are available in different learning edifice. While Culinary school offers a diploma or certificate degree, a community college offers both an associate degree and a diploma.
However, a 4-year school will award a bachelor’s degree upon completion of your course work.
What do these degrees teach?
Now, we know the available degrees you may get as an education to become a chef and which to consider if you wish to become a chef. Let’s see in detail what each of these degree program cover.
A Culinary Certificate
This program which may be an online degree program offers either a diploma or a certificate in an area of specialization.
This culinary Certificate program includes:
Basically, students learn how to produce various bread and dough food such as pies, cookies, and pastries. At this point, you gain skills in yeast dough preparation and baking techniques that are proper for large scale production.
actually, this course for chefs allows students to know, understand how equipment in kitchen work. Also, you will know the specific tool and cooking techniques that are best for each food type preparation.
Additionally, a student after this course will gain skills in food sanitation procedures that are effective and other cooking methods and tools that are common for preparing different varieties of dishes.
Majorly, this course work for a culinary certificate for chefs tends to inform students on how to create certain dishes.
Also, it informs them of how and why certain methods of preparing food may affect the taste.
Furthermore, upon completion of this course, a student will understand why ingredients react a certain way to tother ingredients.
Additionally, they get to know what cooking method is best at each point in time to get an end result you desire.
Culinary Associate Degree
In as much as an associate degree is one of the most popular and easiest ways to launch a career in the cooking world as a chef, it may take at least two years to graduate.
Holistically, this degree covers essential knowledge on:
Majorly, this course work allows students to learn how to prepare international dishes, what ingredients to use. Also, it says what tools to use and the best preparation method for each.
However, upon completion students will gain skill in preparation of authentic intercontinental dishes and be able to invent and try out new methods of cooking.
The culinary associate degree teaches the importance of sanitation protocols and avoiding foodborne illnesses in this course food safety. Students learn proper food handling and storage methods.
Also, the gain insight on effective and efficient training and management techniques that work in teaching other kitchen staff food safety basics.
Actually, another course work that allows students to practice as a chef upon getting a culinary associate degree in Food procurement.
This course teaches students how to acquire ingredients and supplies. Majorly, it brings into limelight efficient logistic and profitable ways to get it right.
hence, if you enroll for this degree program you will learn how to identify proper ingredients and understand the food purchasing method that will ensure a steady supply of ingredients.
Culinary Bachelor’s Degree
Actually, if you want to maximize your skill and knowledge as a chef, you should get a bachelor’s degree.
It is more holistic and covers not just culinary skills but also presentation skills. Some of your course work will include:
basically, you will learn proper etiquette procedures and techniques. Also, it teaches you the fundamentals of a la carte restaurant service.
Furthermore, a student will get skills in understanding a guest’s need and how to meet up and what it takes to act as a waiter or waitress.
Well, this course work makes sure that a student understands the nitty-gritty of french cuisine which includes french cooking methods and how to make classic French dishes.
Introduction To Marketing
Interestingly, a bachelor’s degree in culinary will introduce you to principles of foodservice and restaurant setting.
So, students learn menu development and course selection and external marketing tactics alongside customer service techniques.
Where do Chefs Work?
Even though chefs work in restaurants mostly, they can also work in private households and other establishments where food is served.
So, a chef maybe a pastry chef in a pastry shop, hotel or restaurant. He can also be a chocolatier for an industry that produces sweets or candies.
In addition, with basic managerial skills, a chef can work in a restaurant as either a restaurant manager or as an executive or head chef.
Furthermore, a chef may work as a commis or chef de partier in a hotel restaurant or other organizations as a cook.
Interestingly, not all chefs must work in a hotel or for other establishments. A chef may choose a specialty as a caterer or personal chef where he works remotely for everybody yet for nobody in particular.
The chef’s job outlook is enticing. Though some states have a need for more chefs than others but becoming a chef simply means you may not have to work for anyone.
So, if you would love to be an employer of labor or enjoy working remotely this profession is for you. Complete this article to see a full guide on how to become a cook.
Full Guide on How to Become a Chef in 2021
Well, if you have no prior knowledge and would like to start practicing as a chef in 2021 here is what to do.
The best degree for you right now is a Culinary certificate. This may take you from one week to a year to get basic culinary art training that will allow you to practice.
So, an online school that offers certificate programs in culinary arts will help you achieve your dream of becoming a chef in 2021. Therefore, academic courses online school is your best bet.
#1. Develop your Cooking skills
Actually, before embarking on a career journey as a chef, it is very important to improve your cooking skills. In fact, becoming a chef starts with becoming a cook. Well, a basic way to do that is to find a job as a cook ina restaurant kitchen.
Also, you may practice cooking at home to build skills. You will need to experiment with your daily cooking. Try out own recipe and find out what works.
In addition, cook for other people to get feedback on your meals, this will help you grow and know where to make changes. Furthermore, while working in a restaurant watch other professionals, if you cant get a chef job then watch television chefs and learn from them
Finally, try online cooking tutorials and keep improving your skills.
#2 Train to Become a Professional Chef
After improving your cooking skills, it’s important to get basic formal training to become a professional chef. firstly, get a high school diploma.
Just like every other degree course at the university, you will need a high school diploma to gain a bachelor’s degree in culinary school.
Secondly, enroll for a culinary school depending on what degree you want to pursue. If you want a bachelor’s degree then you will need a four year school.
While formal education may not be prerequisite it is important that you get a degree: be it associate’s or bachelors. So, don’t lose focus the endpoint is to become a professional chef.
Finally, train either at home or get internships to work for hotel restaurants and establishments. Practical experience is very important
#3 Work your way up as a Chef
Basically, when you get basic training and commendable cooking skill, launch your career as a chef. Though it may seem rough at first but be consistent and intentional work your way up.
Start by applying for entering levels, then network with other chefs and restaurant owners to build connections. Then, move restaurants to get a better experience and a better position.
Finally, remember to frequently enroll for certificate programs from The American Culinary Federation founded in 1929 to learn new and trendy methods and remain on top your game.
How much will I earn as a Chef?
How much a chef makes depends on several factors such as the level of experience, qualification, current employer and geographical location.
Also, your position in a firm and salary structure may affect a chef’s take-home pay. According to Learn How to Become a Lodging Manager median annual salary is about $49,720 while Food Service Manager may earn $48,690 on average.
In addition, Bureau Labour of Statistics opines that the average earnings of the lowest-paid chefs is about $23,630 while the average pay of the highest-paid chefs is $76,280.
Where can I get a Culinary Degree?
Depending on where you are currently and what you intend to achieve, there are about four academic institutions you may attend.
#1: Culinary School
Basically, the curriculum of a culinary school is usually focused on what it takes to become a chef. Most of them are dedicated to just one thing which is the culinary arts. Actually, how long you spend in this school depends on the program you have enrolled for.
Attending a culinary school equips you and is one of the surest ways to launch a career as a Chef.
#2. Community College
Most community colleges offer just an associate degree, diploma or certificate in Culinary Arts. Also, they offer few general education classes which churn out a well-rounded degree. Interestingly, they are usually cheaper to attend when compared to culinary schools.
#3 Vocational/Trade School
This is obviously the quickest way to obtain culinary training of any sought. Specifically, their curriculum is designed in a way that focuses on a particular culinary skill. Generally, they prepare their students and equip them with the right knowledge to move right into the kitchen once they complete their course.
#4: 4 year School
This could basically be a university. Often time, its curriculum is designed to cover management, business, marketing concepts, and other issues that could arise from managing a restaurant or other food-related business.
They usually cover a wide variety of cuisines and its cooking methods
Culinary Schools and Associations for Cooks.
American Culinary Federation
This professional organization promotes and enhances the culinary profession by providing certification, accreditation and other educational resources.
The federation has released its program for 2021 which includes chef connect, and a national convention in Dallas 2021. This usually starts on July 19 and ends on Thursday, July 23.
Also, it offers an online learning center for individuals who wish to advance their careers and maintain their Certifications from ACF.
Finally, you may enroll and participate in 2021 competitions to improve your culinary skills and earn a degree. For more information click the button below.
United States Chef Association
USCA is a professional association that helps chefs achieve their goals. So it offers certification and education opportunities to its members.
Apart from taking a certification program to improve your skills, USCA is quite different from the usual as it recognizes chefs from around the world.
Also, it offers online certifications for chefs and awards certificate in the following programs
Other Associations to Identify with
Best Culinary Schools For Bachelor’s Degree
Alabama Aand M University Normal Al
The university offers a four-year degree program that awards a bachelor of science degree upon completion of coursework
Interestingly, it also has available Masters and doctoral degree programs in food science. With an acceptance rate of 32.25% and a student population of 5, 591, its tuition fee is about $7,500 dor in state and $15,000 for out-state.
California State Polytechnic University – Pomona
Tuition Fees= $5,472 in-state Out-state=$16,632
This university awards a bachelor of science in Food Science upon completion of course work. Its acceptance rate is 56.38% and this degree program is available for both on-campus student and distance students.
Chemeketa Community College Salem OR
Tuition fee: $3,600 In-state $10,890 Out-state
Well, this community college has an acceptance rate of 13.15% and awards an Associate degree in food science.
Interestingly, this associate degree is available to both on-campus and distance students. Visit the school website below for more information.
Other schools to Get a degree include:
Becoming a Chef FAQs
How long does it take to become a chef?
It takes at least two to four years to get a bachelor of science degree in culinary or food science. However, it may take less than a year if you desire just a Culinary certificate to enhance your cooking skills. This is to say that there is no specific lenghth or duration to become a chef.
Do I need a degree to become a chef?
Even though no basic educational qualification is required to become a chef, you may need a degree to appear profesional as employers usually ask for one.
How do I become a Top Chef?
To become a top chef make sure you’re not just a cook by getting certification and degree to back up your culinary skills. Then, you must work your way up, get a brand name, build your network and change position to assume better positions. In no distant time, you will become a top chef if you’re consistent.
What educational qualification do I need to become a chef?
There is no basic eduactional qualification to become a chef. However, it is important to enroll for culinary school and earn either a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. Usually, employers ask for this and it can help make you a top chef in no distant time.
A lot of people enjoy cooking but what they don’t know is that they can earn cool cash by just cooking. This article lets you know how you can become a professional chef with your culinary skills.
Also, at the end of this article, you will know the basic difference between a cook and a chef. While no formal training is needed to become a cook, you may have to go the extra mile in becoming a chef.
Well, don’t let your heart skip because we got your back. This post shows you simple degree options for you to pursue to become a great chef.
So, read through, find the amount you may make, where you can work, and how you can improve your skills. Actually, there is no better thing in life than to do a job you enjoy. Now, scroll up to pick a program that best suits your preliminary skills and start your journey to greatness.
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