Love cooking and experimenting with flavours? If you look at food as being more than something that sustains you, something like an art form, then perhaps you are designed to become a chef. Good food is about wafting aromas from the cooking pot, palatable colours and textures, an amalgamation of rare, exotic and everyday ingredients, a spectacular culinary delight that leaves you wanting more. If this is how you feel about food then go ahead and explore the wonderful world of food and cooking, by becoming a chef.
What does a Chef do?
A Chef’s job has many elements to it and is not limited to only creating dishes. The responsibility of a chef can be categorized as having many dimensions to it. The prime duty of a chef is to craft new recipe or prepare tried and time tested dishes. A good chef must be a genius at cooking and be able to prepare different courses of a meal with élan. These include hors devours, soups, salads, cakes, snacks, desserts, main dishes, side dishes, different cuisines and gourmet dishes, cocktails etc.
At the senior level, a chef graduates to directing kitchen help, managing the kitchen and planning the meals to be served. Chefs also need to master the art of determining the right portions of servings. They must be capable of planning menus and have the ability to supervise and delegate work. Ensure that the required supplies from vendors are stocked up. Maintain consistency in their recipes. Lay stress on presentation and quality. Possess thorough knowledge of kitchen gadgets. To accomplish the above mentioned tasks a chef must also have exceptional managerial skills and be good at multi-tasking.
- Minimum qualifications – 10+2
- Bachelor/Diploma of Hotel management
- Certificate chef courses that last 6-12 months
- Hygiene – This is very important as a chef is constantly handling food
- Organizational Skills – A disorganized person may not make a good chef
- Confidence – This is the key to be able to create new recipes
- Aptitude – The aptitude of wanting to learn, adapt and experiment is desirable in a chef
- Passion for Food – Without a love for food it is not possible to create new dishes
- Intense sense of Smell and Taste – Taste and smell are the two most vital ingredients of preparing and presenting a dish
- Intuition – The art of combining flavours to perfection is inborn but can also be acquired by a chef
- Perfectionist – A chef must be a perfectionist only then can he create food that has the right elements
- Innovator – There has to be an inherent desire to churn out new dishes using different ingredients
- Purpose – Determination is another essential quality desired in becoming a good chef
- Memory – A good memory helps remember not only exotic recipes but also flavors and textures which can help with developing new dishes
Courses to pursue:
- Bachelors in Hotel Management
- B.A Culinary Arts
- Bachelor of Catering Technology and Culinary Arts (BCT & CA)
- B.Sc. in Catering and Culinary Arts
- Bachelor of Hotel Management and Catering Technology
- B.Sc. in Hotel Management and Catering Technology
- Diploma in Culinary Arts
- Diploma in Food Production
- Diploma in Catering Technology
- Diploma in Food and Beverage Science
- Diploma in Bakery and Confectionery
- Chef Certification Course
- Certificate in Food Production
- Certificate in Catering Technology
- Certificate in Food Production
- Certificate in Food and Beverages.
Colleges offering culinary courses:
- Institute of Hotel Management (IHM)
- Institute of Hotel Management (The Taj Group of Hotels)
- Indian Institute Of Hotel Management & Culinary Arts
- Culinary Academy of India (CAI)
- The Oberoi Group’s Systematic Training and Education Programme (STEP)
- Delhi Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology
- The Welcome Group Graduate School of Hotel Management
- College of Hospitality & Tourism (CHAT), Rai University
Most candidates begin their work as trainees. With time, they rise through ranks such as – station chef and sous chef. The highest title one can get is that of Chief Chef/Executive Chef. The initial salary starts with Rs. 8000 and as experience increases, the salary of an executive chef can go beyond Rs. 1 lakh.
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