Ever watch The Food Network and think to yourself, ‘I could really see myself doing this.’ The sizzling sound of something frying, the rhythmic beat the knife makes on the chopping slate, the steam coming from the pots of boiling yumminess…it’s all calling your name. Well, here are 10 skills you’ll need to master to make this dream a reality.
1. Mad Math Skills
That’s right. You still have to use good ole’ math. Chefs need math skills to calculate prices and budget for supplies. Getting these basic business skills down will help you go a long way in your cooking career.
2. Strong Communication Skills
Chefs need to clearly communicate instructions to others. You’ll need to explain what you want and give instructions in a fast-paced, constantly-changing environment. Strong communication skills will help you be a leader in the kitchen.
Coming up with new and exciting menus, complimenting dishes with the right garnish, and transforming ordinary dishes into your own culinary masterpiece takes creativity. Spend some time exploring what foods speak to you, and remember to ask questions and take risks.
4. Good Under Pressure
In such a fast-paced environment something is bound to go wrong. Something might spill or get burned, or you might run out of supplies. It’s up to you to assess a situation and execute a new plan of action. Remember to stay calm and keep a cool head so you can navigate the chaos.
5. Multitasking Skills
Cooking involves a lot of multitasking. You have to juggle different orders, memorize ingredients, and move quickly to complete each order. Knowing how to multi-task will allow you to move through each step with ease and stay flexible under pressure.
6. Attention to Detail
Chefs are scientists. They use ingredients and formulas and conduct experiments to achieve perfect results. Attention to detail is key to creating works of art. Remember to ask questions and don’t skip any steps.
7. Time Management Skills
In the culinary world, time is of the essence. You have to precisely prepare each meal and serve it to customers in a timely fashion. Make sure you understand your own expectations and those around you so you can work together to meet orders and deadlines.
8. Leadership Skills
If you’re the head chef or even sous chef in a restaurant, your job includes motivating your staff to be creative, inventive, and consistent (especially on busy nights). Take some time to observe leaders around you and apply these best practices to your own leadership style.
9. Physical Abilities
Chefs work long hours and are constantly on their feet. In the kitchen, you need to be agile, strong, and have fine motor skills. Make sure your daily routine includes exercise and, remember, cooking is a team sport.
You’ve got to love food, you’ve got to love to cook, and you’ve got to love sharing food with others. Make sure your passionate flair is part of everything you do, even if it means taking criticism. Be passionate, and don’t be afraid to grow.
Looking at this list, do you have what it takes to be a master chef?