how to be a chef

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More About the Pros & Cons of Culinary Schools, Colleges & Universities

This is step 11 in your multi-part online course about how to become a top chef.

Culinary schools can train you to work in any locale, which is their best benefit. Of course, they are also much more expensive and are often located outside of the United States, and require that you cover your room and board at their institutions.

Colleges and Universities offer the most extensive training out there. They will get you a level III certification and will let you meet AQF in commercial cookery. It is the best method next to culinary institutes.

In colleges you can expect to study any or all of these subjects:

• Business: you need to know business as you will be responsible for the ordering of foods, and supplies. It is also good if you plan to someday run a restaurant of your own.

• History, cultural studies, and sciences: The study of the social sciences is a necessity when becoming a chef, because you will often be cooking foods from a different culture. Knowing the history of a country is an asset when trying to emulate their foods.

• Economics and even politics: Understanding economics is needed in every profession as you will have to keep up with economic trends in the locale that you are working in. For example, you can’t expect an expensive restaurant to thrive in an area that is generally poor.

• Math: As a chef, you will often be required to estimate pricing for foods that balances out with the cost of preparing it. You will also be required to estimate the cost of supplies and ingredients, and you must remain on or below your budget.

• Biological sciences: Knowing biology will help you to steer away from poisoning your clientele. It will help you to identify any poisonous or harmful food stuffs.

• Human relations: You must be able to relate to other people on their level if you are a chef because you will be dealing with quite a few of them daily, and none of them will be the same.

• Art and communications: Art will help you to present an attractive dish and will help you to effectively blend the right foods together in a way that will be more appealing to the customer.

• Foreign Languages: Knowledge of foreign languages is an asset to a chef. It is quite common for a chef to travel to foreign locations when looking for inspiration for a new dish. So it helps to speak the native language.

You will have to study a great deal but it will be worth it.

You need to study all of these subjects so that you can effectively learn to calculate, estimate and organize food stuffs; communicate effectively with your clients and other kitchen staff, know what foods are eaten in what cultures, and how to effectively imitate the taste.

Advancement as a chef is easier than in most jobs, and can happen relatively quickly as you are always proving yourself. This is the one job where moving from job to job will actually benefit you.

The reason for this is because you can transfer to a higher paying job, or simply to a better position. Being able to minimize waste and monitor other employees that are working under you can help you advance quickly.

Your ability to accurately estimate how many perishable foods you need is also a good way to start. Many cooks advance to managers, supervisors, and executive chefs that way.

To continue to the next section of your chef training, please click this link: What is the Salary of a Chef?