There’s no doubt about the advantage of having formal education in culinary arts. The knowledge gained from cooking classes will definitely enhance the talent that is already inherent in someone who is passionate about food and quality cooking. Students enrolled in and taking cooking classes in New Orleans cooking school are provided with the credentials they need to qualify as a chef. Depending on your choice of culinary expertise, such credentials may or may not really matter as you try and shape your future to be a successful chef.
As proven by other successful chef or cooking celebrities, for most of them, their innate passion for the craft was what more or less helped them achieve the success that they are currently enjoying. Talent, passion and hard work – they all can work for a successful culinary career. There are challenges though, that go with the trade which one has to overcome in order to succeed. And when one thinks about the annual income in six digits, great lifestyle, celebrity status, commercial endorsements, and many other perks of being a celebrated chef, all challenges may seem easy to overcome.
Challenges of a Chef’s Work
Someone interested in making a career out of their passion or love for cooking may need to assess the challenges that are essentially part of the life of a chef. Knowledge of such challenges will give you an idea whether pursuing a career in culinary is what is best for you.
Extended Work Hours
Unlike other professions that go with a 40-hours work week, a chef’s work will entail 50 hours work time per week. In the real world, chefs do spend more time in his work kitchen than his own kitchen at home. With restaurants open for at least 10 hours every day, hotels with 24 hours room service and big catering events that require your undivided attention from beginning to the end, there’s just no way the working hours can be less than 50 hours per week.
Stressful Working Environment
You’ve seen how it works in Iron Chef and Top Chef. A chef’s kitchen is almost always a hectic – if not – chaotic place. When orders come in one after the other, the chef’s skill in organization and systematizing will work wonders and not cause the place to go in disarray. In a chef’s kitchen, time management is very important and this is one skill that has to be learned over time. One learns it in all cooking classes culinary schools offer but having to practice it in the real environment is another thing. In addition to time management, a clear presence of mind in case of an accident in the kitchen will spell the difference from a good chef to a great chef. Managing a stressful working environment is an essential skill of a chef.
Physical Demands of the Job
A chef’s job is physically demanding. They stand most of the time – from preparation of food to cooking to getting them ready to serve. That means about 10 hours of standing daily. When just starting, a chef’s job may also include carrying sacks of ingredients, cutting frozen meat, washing dishes or even mopping floors. During the course of a chef’s career, they may get cut, injured or burned. All these are part of a chef’s daily working life. This will of course change as you advance in your career. A chef will not always have to go through some manual labor in the kitchen. As you move up the ladder, the job will be concentrated in dishing out spectacular recipes and delightful menus.
Tough but Rewarding Career
A chef’s life may start tough especially with the competition. However, overcoming those tough challenges will only prepare you for better opportunities in your career. The challenge is in performing the job as required and loving the job that you are doing.
Rewards are bound to come in the course of your career but they don’t come without hard work. Patience, perseverance and right mindset will help you get through every ordeal that will unexpectedly come your way. It will be inspiring if you think of the many benefits you will enjoy after putting all the hard work in your career.
And while the fun-filled and leisurely-paced cooking classes you had in New Orleans taught you many things, you should be prepared for a fast-paced kitchen environment where you have to be on your toes, with the presence of mind to innovate or improvise as and when necessary and be expeditious in the decisions that needed to be made in the kitchen.
What’s not to like about being a Chef?
With the right choices and decisions, exposure and connections, success in a chef’s career should be at arm’s length to reach. Sure, success doesn’t come easy, but it’s the same for any profession or career. But unlike other professions, being a chef can take you to places you won’t even dream of visiting – meeting important business and political personalities, serving the President at the White House, catering for famous celebrities’ events, hosting your own TV show, doing commercial endorsements and endless traveling.
With all these perks plus a hard to resist annual income running in six or more digits if you achieved a celebrated status, what’s not to like about being a chef? That’s hard work paying-off.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/?CTT=97
Cedric Loiselle is a highly talented writer providing quality articles for a wide range of niches including health, as well as food and cooking. If you are looking for the most reputable cooking classes New Orleans offers, check out his articles for tips and advice.