If you are thinking about becoming a chef, you most likely already have the most important qualification: a love of food. Becoming a cook isn’t just about the love of food. Being a cook also requires math skills. Cooks always have to measure out ingredients so a mastery of measurement skills is necessary. Cooks also have to be able to calculate portions, making a high school diploma almost necessary. The reason that it is almost necessary is because there are some cooks that do not have a high school diploma. Instead, those cooks just have a lot of cooking experience and a huge love of cooking. A high school diploma opens endless possibilities for anyone wishing to enter the culinary field.
An apprenticeship at a restaurant or culinary school are two of the quickest ways to become a successful cook. Combining on-the-job training and academic coursework, an apprenticeship will help a beginner chef gain the experience and expertise needed to be successful. It will also allow the cook to know what items are on the menu, what that particular establishments rules and regulations are, and learn the computer system or the way they take orders. At culinary school cooks not only get the opportunity to learn hands-on cooking skills, but they also learn about nutrition, menu planners, and food storage.
Becoming a cook at most restaurants means starting out at the bottom. Often times you will get hired as a sous chef and must prove yourself to move up the line of command. A sous chef is a lot of chopping and peeling, but is necessary for advancement in most establishments. Depending on the specific restaurant, the next rung up the culinary ladder may be line cook. A line cook is in charge of a certain area of the kitchen and all of the prep work, cooking, and clean up associated with that area. Working hard at a line cook could get you moved up to sous chef in no time. A sous chef is the assistant to the head chef. With a lot of hard work and determination, becoming the head chef is usually every cooks goal. Head chefs order ingredients, design the menu, and are the most important person in a kitchen.
Being a cook is very rewarding. Cooks do what they love most and make people happy by providing them with excellent food.