Sunday, 12 August 2012

Life and Career as a Chef..

“ .. Hi chef , can you tell me the recipe of… ”

“ …. egg less cakes ! how do you make them… ”

“ ……. am looking for some real low cal stuff, can you help.. ”

“ ………. how about some quick party snacks.. ”

…. Only a chef is familiar with these relentless, unavoidable questions the moment he steps out of his domain, trying to take time off his chefs jacket.. welcome to the social life of a chef .. off course he is a ladies man.. but to the extent of good food & recipes !

Nevertheless, life as a chef is highly interesting and varied. The package includes action packed days, tense moments, great ups and equally great lows, a lot of different people to meet and also a lot of riddles to solve. Overall, it is not as monotonous and routine as so many other professions.

A chef needs to have his creative juices flowing, it is a profession which needs skill as well as a lot of thought process. Results achievable are quite delicately balanced as the job involves coming out with the best, from the team. The job of the chef, incorporates most of the important management subjects; he needs to be a great organiser and planner, he is also a quality manager and materials manager and he needs to know his cost accountancy thoroughly. He also needs to understand the varied human resources aspect, as he works with so many different kind of people. He knows the best, as to how to market his food and he is also well versed with the technical angles and infrastructure of his kitchen. Overall the job is quite diverse. Added to this, leadership and charismatic skills go a long way, in making a great chef.

All these don’t come easy, a good chef is a product of years of toil and going through the grind, in understanding these finer aspects of his profession. It needs a lot of self motivation, self initiation and also a ‘go-getter’ attitude.

A fresher usually joins the kitchen brigade with the armoury of his love for food and cooking. He also finds it a lucrative profession. As he proceeds further, the diversity and magnitude of the operation , awes him. This is where it is most crucial. This is where he gets to see the realistic content of the profession , this either releases his ambitious nature and fuels his aspirations to get to the top and ignites his passion in true sense, to make a mark in the industry and go after his primary likeness, for food and cooking or it deflates his hopes as the going gets tough. This is where comes the saying, ‘when the going gets tough the tough gets going’ .

Once the young chef has decided and embarked on his journey in the culinary field, everyday becomes a myriad experience, he learns and becomes mature, he correlates his job with his own creativity and overcomes one hurdle after another. It is like a ‘mirage’ , each opportunity opens up newer challenges and the taste of success prompts to explore for newer and tougher challenges.

This profession does provide attainment of a high level of job satisfaction and the hard work and perseverance required, then looks quite worth it.

Just a word of caution though, fresh aspirants in the profession should understand that the foundation of the building needs to be strong for it to grow tall, any aspirations based on glamour does not last for long, it is the focused approach to learn the basics well, without shortcuts, and practise and perfect their skills, which take a chef a long way.

Life and career as a chef, is quite an experience. Go for it, if the words which describe you are, passionate, tenacious, creative, physically fit and you want to do something meaningful. In true sense, it is a profession for the brave yet warm hearted.
By : Devraj Halder

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