One industry that is always booming is the food business. It is a known fact. People are always eating in restaurants, whether there is a special occasion or just an ordinary gathering of friends. It is also the standard beginning of most romantic dates – dinner then movies, dinner then dancing. Even television shows are filled with reality cooking shows. Many people are looking at this booming business as a career opportunity. Amateur cooks wondering how to become an executive chef will need to hone their kitchen skills.
Executive chefs are the main stars in any kitchen. They have the last say on everything that goes in and out the kitchen. They are responsible for supervising all the kitchen works and all the kitchen staff – the assistant cooks, the junior chefs and the food preparation personnel. The executive chef also plans all the dishes to be included on the menu. Part of the job is also to give assignments to the staff members in accordance with their skills.
Aside from the usual kitchen works, the executive chef is also in charge of the budgeting, account keeping, food supply control and all operations concerning the kitchen. This job involves managerial skills and is vital to the success of the business. One can say that the executive chef is the heart of any food establishment.
Other important tasks include creating new dishes, planning the menu, making sure that each dish complements the other and ensuring that every dish will be a delightful experience. Food should not just be satisfying to the stomach, it should ignite all the senses, from smell to sight and especially taste.
Having said all this, becoming an executive chef is not a walk in the park. It is comparable to climbing the highest mountain, but once you are there, the rewards are great.
The moment you decide that you will be an executive chef, start living the dream. Current executive chefs started during their early teens. Remember that it takes so much learning and experience to achieve this position.
If you have the money, send yourself to a good culinary school. There you will learn all the basic aspects of cooking. From the simplest dish to the most complex. Always be eager to learn new things and absorb everything like a sponge.
Since you are going to be handling food, get to know food. Go to the marketplace and be able to distinguish the different vegetables and learn how to choose fresh ingredients. This goes also for fruits. Lastly, be knowledgeable in all the different kinds of meat, as well as their cuts. You should be able to distinguish one from the other by the look of it.
Enhance your taste buds. A good cook should know what he is eating, even with a blind fold on. Taste different foods very carefully to distinguish one from the other. You should also be able to re-create a dish after you have tasted it. Do this in your spare time.
Keep on cooking! The very thing that a cook should do is to cook. Experiment in different dishes. You can start with an existing recipe then try incorporating other ingredients and techniques to make it your own.
Apply as an apprentice in restaurants. This will give you the experience needed to be a chef. You may start as a potato peeler, a chopper or even dishwasher. You have to do everything and anything just to get in the kitchen. A lot of famous chefs started just like that.
With a good attitude, high stress tolerance and good kitchen skills, you will eventually be a chef. Don’t stop learning. Get to know the managerial side of running a kitchen and a restaurant. You can enroll and study in a college or a university if you want, but you can also observe and learn through experience. With years of hard work, you will be an executive chef. When following these steps on how to become an executive chef, remember to live the dream.