Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) when deciding to become a chef
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Here are the answers to some of the common questions you may have to become a chef
Q. How can BAChefUK help me become a chef?
A. We have products, advice and tips on how to become a chef in the UK. Much of the information is also transferable in other countries.
Q. Can I become a chef?
A. Anyone can become a chef with or without cooking experience. Chef’s do not need to attend a catering course, however, it is recommended to get formal training, either full time or part-time.
Q. How can you help me?
A. I am a current working chef and have over 20 years experience as a chef in the UK, working in a range of places all over the country. I have experience working in small village pubs to hotels in central London. My guides have been created to get what I have learnt out there in the world.
Q. Do I need to be really passionate about food?
A. As long as you have an interest in working with food and learning to cook then this is a good start.
Q. What if I decide to become a chef is not right for me after a year?
A. Anyone who works as a chef for a year will have picked up basic cooking skills and health and safety knowledge. This will help you as a life skill, don’t worry if you want to change. Focus on what you have learnt and move on, knowing you have learnt important basic cooking skills.
Q. I know that working in a kitchen is a high pressured environment and there can be poor management, maybe it’s not for me?
A. Over the last ten years, the industry has been moving forward and many places now promote a quality work-life balance. The management of chefs has improved a lot and carries on doing so. This can be a very rewarding industry if you find the right place to work. It’s always worth investigating a business before deciding to work for them.
Q. What doors open up after a few years of experience?
A. Once you have a few years of experience and become a strong chef de partie other routes start to open up. Possible routes such as; Ski seasons, summer seasons, cruise ships, national agency work, promotion to sous chef, running a small kitchen team and starting your own business all open up.
Q. How can I start my own business as an experienced chef
A. Many chefs start by setting up pop-up restaurants, a part-time street food operation or a home cake business. Once they have a viable business they will expand and take it on full-time.
Q. I got bad grades at school and have lots of tattoos!
A. You won’t be judged on your grades as a chef as long as you have the right attitude. Apprenticeships are available to most people. A chef career is one where you can have as many tattoos as you like.
Q. I heard it is a low paying job, tell me about this.
A. You will have to start on a low salary as a commis. The money goes up once experience has been gained. A good tip here is to work somewhere with a staff house that offers cheap accommodation.