The modern chef owes much to a man named Marie-Antoine Careme, who elevated "the profession of chef to the status we know today" as well as was credited for "several significant professional reforms." It was during the Middle Ages that the title of chef or "chef cuisinier" which means "head cook" came about, thanks to the guilds of the period. You can become a chef today by following more than one path or all.
Is it really for you?
Before you start, you need to examine yourself and decide whether becoming a chef is really for you. The job is a pressure cooker where you must work, providing all people who enter the restaurant's door with food.
The food must go out in a timely fashion and all have to be cooked not only to the high standards of the restaurant, but safely as well. Poisoning your diners will end any possibility of profession as a chef.
You must be able to work well with others as a team, as well as communicate well with others. You must love food and be able to work with it creatively. You must be organised and work on a budget.
If these qualifications do not suit you, you should not enter the kitchen.
One method of becoming a professional chef is to garner training qualifications. These qualifications are not necessary. However, many employers today require them. According to Career's Guide, some of the qualifications are as follows (as listed on the site): - GCSEs in Catering, or Hospitality and Catering - Level 2 Diploma in Professional Cookery (awarded by ASET and City and Guilds) - BTEC National Certificate/Diploma in Hospitality or Hospitality Supervision - BTEC HND in Professional Cookery - Foundation degree in Culinary Arts Management Fortunately, many of these courses include hands-on experience in the kitchen, allowing you to apply the school knowledge to the kitchen.
Another method of working towards chef jobs is by working in a restaurant itself. You will have to start at the bottom if you have no experience. Even Gordon Ramsey started out by washing dishes. Your first jobs will be the ones requiring less skill. As you prove yourself in the kitchen, then you will be able to work your way up, perhaps even to high chef. Moreover, you may also find that you want to start your own catering business. No matter the method, becoming a chef takes years and a lot of hard work.