7 Awesome Things about being a Chef that no one tells you!
Most hospitality professionals share frustrations around long hours, pleasing the unappeasable and of course, those days where things just don’t go your way. But, there are many positives that are often overlooked - here are our top picks of what makes being a chef so awesome!
1. Chefs are both artists and scientists.
The creative gene requires one to produce not only eye-appealing dishes, but to be innovative in method, texture and palate. This does take some stroke of genius and unfortunately it’s not hereditary like some people think. Just because nonna was talented, doesn’t mean we are! For a lot of chefs, these skills take years to hone and practice - knowing what combinations work and understanding the perfect balance of flavours. It’s definitely both art and science!
2. A good knife can make someone’s day.
It’s been said before, and will be said again, nothing feels more satisfying that an effortless cut from a high quality knife. Careful sharpening and care must be taken to keep these staple yet irreplaceable tools working at their best. Most chefs will agree - a quality, sharp knife is an absolute gift in the kitchen. We’ve got a whole list of popular chef gifts for you to check out!
3. Chefs ACTUALLY want to befriend customers, and not have them leave unhappy!
Chefs are perfectionists, and love when customers truly appreciate their food! Clean plates make them VERY happy. If a meal is sent back however, make sure the front of house team can articulate why the plate has returned to the kitchen. Was the temperature not right? Was it not cooked to someone’s liking? Remember, at the end of the day, chefs just want customers to leave satisfied with their experience, so giving them the feedback they need to improve on a dish to serve a particular diner can make all the difference!
4. Banter and bad jokes makes for good camaraderie.
It’s not uncommon to hear truly bad ‘dad-jokes’ in the kitchen, as well as the infrequent profanity. But, all of this playful behaviour makes for an excellent team environment. Creating a culture where everyone comes to work to have good time, chat and to get s**t done makes a productive team. There’s nothing better than a strong camaraderie in the kitchen! These guys work hard and deserve to have fun while doing so.
5. Chefs generally cook simple dishes for their own meals.
Quick and easy (yet tasty!) meals are the way to go for most chefs. Generally, they’re eating at irregular times, mostly because they spend the bulk of their day cooking for customers. During work, it’s generally a dish that’s on the go for the day, or possibly a mistake dish that made its way back into the kitchen. But at home, unless it’s at a dinner party or for the kids, chefs don’t mind playing it low-key. They love to dine out though, especially if it involves cuisines they don’t normally cook!
6. Chefs are time wizards.
Timing is everything in the kitchen, and boy oh boy do chefs do it well. How does a perfect quenelle of sorbet on one dessert come out next to a hot, steaming apple pie? Dishes are often prepared in different sections of the kitchen, with the chef running the pass calling the shots.
But this doesn’t mean that the chef on the pass has the sole responsibility of knowing when to call dishes to his team. It’s like we said - all chefs are time wizards and need to know the part they play in the effort behind each plate. It’s a team communication effort between chefs, cooks, waiters and diners, and it’s truly masterful.
7. Chefs enjoy the high energy environment that kitchens bring!
If a kitchen wasn’t hot, sweaty and fast-paced, chefs would spend a lot of the day twiddling their thumbs. A quiet kitchen means less staff, and more solo work. It’s no wonder chefs love the busyness of a solid lunch service - all hands are on deck and it feels so fulfilling to know everyone can pull together and smash out a service that their truly proud of!
There you have it - some of the things that truly make being a chef a lifelong career choice! If this list sums you up, you might also like to join our Paddl Hospitality and Food Service Facebook Group, to be a part of a community that shares industry insights and awesome opportunities! Get your profile setup on Paddl, and see the latest hospitality opportunities come straight to you!