Advice For Aspiring Chefs

When people hear you’re looking at cooking schools online, they may have advice to offer about how to become a good cook. While some might have some solid experience-based pointers, chefs who are currently working in the industry are a better resource to turn to. We’ve rounded up some advice from industry professionals on culinary careers.

Show appreciation and think like a kid
Pioneering Spanish chef Juan Mari wrote an essay in MAD Dispatches, a book about cooking by chefs and writers. In his essay, Mari said that restaurants of the future will be about smart service, excellent food and affection for the guests. The relationship between restaurant staff and customers will be less service-minded and more about “showing them you have heart and want to give them everything you have.” He also suggests that thinking like a kid will help if you are stuck on a particular dish or in a certain mindset. He advises going to a park or playground and seeing how kids interact with material things, other people and themselves. This will help you see the world in a new way.

Go to school
New York’s Marcus Samuelsson, the chef and co-owner of Aquavit, midtown and Riingo, told the New York Daily News that schooling is necessary for chefs. He believes that learning and studying the foundations of cooking will help to give aspiring chefs the knowledge necessary to survive in the industry. They can then build off of those techniques and use what they learned from working their way from the bottom of the culinary food chain, as a new student, busboy or dishwasher, to the top as a head chef.

Know the basics
According to an op-ed in the Huffington Post, chef Marc Vetri of Philadelphia’s Vetre Ristorante, Alla Spina, Pizzeria Vetri, Amis, and Osteria has more career-minded culinary advice. He told the source that your resume is not important, but knowing the basics and being able to work well with the rest of the kitchen staff are the keys to getting hired and succeeding in a position. He mentions that young chefs cannot worry about getting paid and should look to have the most beneficial experience rather than the highest wages. Don’t get into cooking to get on TV, he adds, stating that the chefs who are on television were chefs first. They know what they are doing and they’ve done it for years before their TV debut came along, so don’t think it’s a fast track to a television career.

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