Cooking is a versatile form of art. It is an activity that retains the potential to involve all the senses. Unlike other art forms, cooking requires various skills and experiences. The preparation of a good dish needs undivided attention, wit, quickness, and efficiency throughout the process.
In a professional domain, cooking simply does not mean a perfect flavor and aroma. The presentation matters as equally as the taste and the aroma. Thus, chefs have to develop multiple skills related to cuisine. Furthermore, the responsibility of a chef involves managing food production including the cooking staff, administrative matters, etc.
If your interest in cooking exceeds beyond your home kitchen, then starting a career as a chef will be an excellent choice. So, here are the top 10 skills that make you a great chef.
1. Love for the Culinary Arts
Expertise in cuisine is the key skill required to be a chef. Also, a chef should possess a wide knowledge about the kitchen- that include knife skills, tasting skills, perfect estimation of the ingredients, the balance of the seasonings and many others as such. A chef should be able to cook efficiently and perfectly. Passion for the culinary is needed for creating a visually appealing and delicious recipe.
Creativity and innovation is the key if you desire to be a chef. To be a great chef means knowing that the next best recipe isn’t drafted in the existing cookbooks. One should be open to incorporating creativity in cooking. From preparation to execution and the variety in ingredients, a chef should be able to find inspiration to create something that has never been created before.
3. Efficient and Motivational Team Player
A professional kitchen is a place of diversity and being a chef means you should be able to work well with a team. A great chef should be able to cope-up efficiently with the other staffs and address their problems. Besides managing the entire team, a chef should motivate and maintain harmony amongst the teams belonging from different parts of the world.
4. Desire to Practice
It is the consistent practice that makes a man perfect. Chefs in training should be prepared for failures and rejection. To earn the title of ‘Chef’ you should be willing to work hard. You should have the ardent interest to train yourself to gain perfection in culinary arts. You should be able to confront destined obstacles on your road to success and overcome the failures. Practice is the greatest key to attain the level of excellence in chef-dom.
Cooking is an amalgamation of science and art. So, a Chef needs to be observant for detail for every item. To prepare a perfect platter, the measurement or quantity of every ingredient should be accurate. A chef needs to be vigilant and specific when preparing a dish. Besides, a chef requires to be specific in other ways such as figuring out what time to cook certain dishes, whether ordering food stocks, employing the kitchen staffs for duties, etc.
Being a chef requires the ability to multi-task. Inside the professional kitchen, a Chef always performs multiple tasks at once. Apart from working on various elements of preparing a platter, a chef should also look into the matter of staffs. A chef is expected to an efficient multitasker.
Cleanliness is really important in the food industry. A restaurant and the kitchen should be hygienic under all circumstances. The unclean condition will not only destroy the quality of the food but also brings bad reviews and negative impression. Unhygienic food and kitchen brings down the reputation of a restaurant and can even drive a restaurant to shut down. Thus, its a crucial responsibility of a Chef to look after the hygiene of the kitchen.
8. Immediate Decision Making
The professional kitchen means a fast-paced environment. Under the steady pressure, a chef has to make various decisions at once. Thus, prompt and efficient decision making is the key trait of being a great chef.
9. Business Insight
A great chef also should have a great business mind. Apart from cooking delicious and visually pleasing dishes or cuisines, a chef should also know how to be cost-effective. A chef should know the utilization of the ingredients in an accurate scale, without wasting the resources.
10. A Head to Handle Criticism
If you are planning to become a great chef, then, you should remember that not all the cuisines that you prepare is going to be liked or appreciated by the crowd. While on the initial days of your training, you should be able to tolerate and handle the criticisms and negative remarks by the guests, instructors, or senior chef. You should learn from your mistakes and criticisms and consider them as a valuable means to enhance your skills as a chef. A good chef is also a good leader, who is organized, and a team player, who not only performs his task sincerely and efficiently but even appreciates the little tasks and encourages his subordinates in the kitchen to do better in their career.
Also Read: How to be a Successful Chef