Every Chef has to start somewhere right?
Here are 10 handy tips for young Chefs who have just started their career as a Chef to help them get started:
Start With The Basics
Don’t try and run before you can walk by wanting to cook advanced dishes that you don’t know how to cook. You need to learn the basics first.
Become confident with using a knife and other kitchen equipment.
Practice your prep and try and improve the time it takes you to prep food.
You should also familiarise yourself with culinary professional terms and what they mean.
The more you know the better!
Practice Your Knife Skills
The more time you put aside to practice your knife skills the better you will become at using it.
Whether that’s practising in the kitchen at work, or at home in your own kitchen.
Having an impressive set of knife skills are vital to have in the kitchen- you need to know how to do different types of cuts, such as the Julienne, Baton and Brunoise Dice for example.
It’s important to work on your knife skills so that you are able to complete tasks quickly but efficiently.
An easy way to find out how to do different cuts whilst you are not at work is to look on the video sharing website YouTube.
You need to listen to what the more experienced Chefs are saying to you and prepare to learn from them.
Whether they are teaching you new skills or asking you to do something. You want to take in all the information that is shared with you.
Having the ability to listen is an important skill to have in the kitchen.
Never Be Late
There are a hundred and one things that need doing before service, such as prep- so never show up to the kitchen late.
Ensure that you arrive early and carry on with the job in hand.
You don’t want to annoy your kitchen crew by always being late, and expecting them to do it all.
It shows that you are keen if you arrive early / on time for every shift.
Keep Yourself Busy
As we just mentioned- there is always something to be done in the kitchen, from cleaning the kitchen to emptying the rubbish bin.
You don’t want your kitchen crew to think that you are lazy by standing around looking at your phone.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
It’s important to ask questions when you are new to the kitchen.
If you aren’t sure of anything then It’s better to ask questions to make sure that you fully understand how to do something, than pretend you do and end up making mistakes in the future.
Bring a notepad with you and write down any notes on recipe information for example.
Even the world’s best Chefs still ask questions.
Keep Pushing Yourself
Pushing yourself every day and setting high standards is a great way to better yourself as a Chef.
It will be challenging at first when you set yourself high standards, however, you will see your skills improve over time.
Mise En Place
Mise en Place should be where your day starts and where your day ends.
If you master your Mise en Place by persistent planning and organisation then service will run a lot more smoothly and efficiently.
Plan a routine of getting your Mise en Place sorted when you first get in and when you leave.
Wear Tough Shoes
Buy yourself some tough shoes to wear whilst you’re in the kitchen- preferably with steel toe caps.
You may accidentally drop heavy items on your feet at some point in the future or accidentally pour boiling hot liquid onto your feet.
Take Care of Yourself
It seems contradictory to point to a life of balance after reading the previous 9 points, but it is possible.
Always find time to live a healthy life.
Eat well, see a doctor routinely, exercise, and find some time to relax on your own and with friends.
Build this into your schedule as tasks that are just as important as preparing your mise en place for tonight’s service.