Some people might argue that to become a top chef, you’ve got to be highly educated. Others might think that the steps to becoming a top chef are developing strong willpower and seeking talent. Both groups are essentially wrong. Becoming a top chef is a mix, a combination of these two ideas.
While it’s true that education is important, you cannot become a real chef without putting in hard work. And while it’s true that strong commitment is required to succeed, education is also important. Let’s see what you need to become a top chef and how you should weigh out your pros and cons.
What Do I Need to Become a Top Chef?
To become a top chef, you will need the necessary education plus some work experience. I lied – a lot of work experience. Here are the steps you need to take to succeed in this field.
Step 1. Find a Job Working in a Restaurant
The first thing you’ve got to do is find a random job in a restaurant – I say random because you don’t have to look for the best possible option. You’re only getting started so getting a job that pays okay while you are getting kitchen experience is a big plus. Beware that at first, you might not cook at all, even if you’re working in a kitchen. Since you’re a beginner, you might have to take the trash out or wash dishes at first; but if you’re really set on your goal, you’ll get over it.
Step 2. Get your GED or High-School Diploma
You will get to attend culinary school if you want a top-rated job in the US. If you’re aiming for other countries, the requirements might be different. In any case, to get to culinary school you must have a high-school diploma or your GED. Earning this is super-important, as it’s an essential part of your career. If you don’t graduate high school, you might never have the chance to become a top chef. So, stay in school for now if you’re at this point in your life. If you are behind on your homework and need someone to check your work, get online assignment help from one of the tutoring services online. There are many companies that help students succeed academically, especially if they’ve got university tasks that they cannot cover. Getting help never hurts and might increase your chances of becoming a successful chef.
Step 3. Weigh Your Options & Start Culinary School
Here comes the tricky part. You can choose to get an Associate degree or go for a Bachelor’s, depending on your interests. You could also opt for an online degree. Here are your options:
- If you like practical homework and want to become a chef as soon as possible, you should go for an Associate degree. You will avoid all the unnecessary classes by taking this route.
- If you want more assignments – some even teaching you how to start your own restaurant business, go for a Bachelor’s.
- If you’re not exactly sure if cooking school fits you at all, try some online classes and see where this path takes you. You could continue your education on-campus once you get the gist of what you need to do.
Once you figured out how education-oriented you want to be, it’s time to enroll in school. Once you finish culinary school, get more hands-on work experience by working in a restaurant as a sous-chef. In the meantime, take the exams to get certified as a chef and then, start your journey.
The Pros & Cons of Becoming a Top Chef
Here are some of the benefits and disadvantages of becoming a chef. Check them out before signing up for cooking classes.
- Working as a chef promotes creativity and freedom, it helps you unleash your spirit in the culinary world.
- It’s great for learning how to work within a team since the bonds you will be creating will last for a long time.
- You can literally work anywhere in the world as a chef, since cooking is highly needed in every single country you’ll travel to.
- Once you get a good job and have completed all the requests, you will earn very well and have lots of spare time on your hands. You might also be able to run your own restaurant.
- Cooking is very demanding physically; you could be moving around non-stop for 8-10 hours per day, which can be a lot.
- Your social life will suffer – you might be working more than expected, so your free time will lessen.
- Working in a kitchen can be stressful at times (if not all the time), especially if you don’t have the help that you need.
Best Culinary Schools in the US
Here are some of your best options for studying cooking, in case you decide to go for it. See if the school fits your needs and then, apply to the school of your choice.
- Culinary Institute Lenotre in Houston, TX.
- Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC.
- Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, CO.
- Monroe College in Bronx/New Rochelle, NY.
- The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
- Stratford University in Fairfax, VA.
Now that you know how you can become a top chef and have weighed the pros and cons of this experience, you can make a calculated decision. Remember that education is an important part of this process, so make sure you’ve got enough time to do everything. Good luck!