How to Become a Chef

Become a Chef

In our review of different careers we take a look at how to become a chef. When you think of the word chef you may think Gordon Ramsey or the BBC programme MasterChef. But the job of a chef is to give diners the best possible experience and food possible when out for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

What Does a Chef Do?

As a  chef, you are most likely to be working in a restaurant or hotel.  Your specific duties will depend on whether you specialise and on the size of your kitchen, but in general you will be planning, designing and cooking food.

As a chef, you will need to be passionate about food.  The job is busy, hot and you can be expected to work any and all hours from first thing in the morning right through to the early hours of the next morning depending on where you work.

Your responsibilities are to ensure that meals are prepared as quickly as possible, that all health and safety regulations are being kept to, ensuring consistent quality and portion size and ensuring levels of stock are sufficient.

Is Becoming a Chef Right For Me?

Anyone thinking of becoming a Chef will need the following:

Passion for food

Artistic flair - The food should look as beautiful as possible on the plate.

Strong communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team.

The ability to multi-task.

Decision-making skills, drive and self-motivation.

Excellent time keeping skills.

How Much Can a Chef Earn?

A trainee chef can expect to earn around £13,000 a year.  This can rise to around £16,000 when fully trained which can raise up to £30,000 as you progress up the career ladder and reach head chef. 

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Chef?

There are no official qualifications that you need as you can train on the job, but it is highly recommended that you gain relevant industry-specific qualifications such as a BTEC diploma or a level 3 NVQ.