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Achieve your #ChefGoals

Posted on: February 9, 2018     |     0 comments
Achieve your #ChefGoals

So you’re a chef, but things are stagnant. There are jobs everywhere, but you’re not applying for them. You want change but nothings changing.

This is one of the easiest industries to get into a comfort zone, even complacent at times. However, with a clear career structure, it can be good to take a step back and figure out what you want to be doing and break it all down.

If you want to learn a new technique, you could always practise at home, if you don’t already work in a place where that technique would be popular with customers – spherification comes to mind, one of those tricks that’s incredibly handy to know, looks great on the plate, but its simply not going to be of much use in a restaurant that’s focused on burgers & ribs (just an example).

Another option would be to look around for places that you could learn this and get really good at it. Either phone up and ask to help on a stage or apply if there is a job opening. Even if you think you wouldn’t stand a chance, it's still worth trying for 2 reasons. One – if you never try you’ll never achieve and Two – skills can be taught, attitude can’t be taught. If you show a willingness and work ethic that’s half the battle for an employer.

It could be just that you want to rework your skillset or focus on your career. This is where live-in work can be incredibly advantageous. Personally, its something I wish I had done, not because I’m not happy with how my career path has gone, but I feel like what I could’ve learned from a couple of years at somewhere like The Three Chimneys would’ve gone a long way towards increasing my confidence & knowledge. You’ll be working with people with the same mindset as you, towards similar goals and be less distracted than most.

Focus is undersold in this profession, Ramsay isn’t driving his Ferrari on the back of partying 6 nights a week, it is the dedication and focus on his career and pushing himself that allowed him to get his foot in the door of his first restaurant and look at him now.

Another option could be relief work, going into different kitchens throughout the season which will teach you to adapt to different styles of cooking, different ways of running the kitchen, different skills, management styles, loads of different things to take in, all to be learned from and can be used to better your chances in the kitchen.

It will always be worth evaluating and planning your career. Decide what you want, where you want to be and break down how you’ll go about achieving it.

For instance;

I’m a Chef de Partie now. In 5 years time, I want to be a Sous Chef, possibly looking for my first Head Chef role. What would you need to do;

Be strong on every section, learn about ordering, stock takes, get some experience on the pass.

If you’re not in a place where you feel a skill will improve that is vital to your development, then you need to go somewhere that you can address that. Apply for a Pastry Chef de Partie role, apply for a position in a seafood restaurant.

Once you’re confident in every section, push for that Sous position, ideally working with a Head Chef who can take the time to show you about aspects of kitchen admin work, how to cost a rota, how to do invoicing, stock takes, who can show you how to control the kitchen from the pass.

Say you spend 2 years in your Chef de Partie role, then 3 years in a Sous role. You could be all set for you’re first Head Chef role, or at least be a lot closer than you would be if you’d stayed where you were 5 years ago.

If you’re looking to achieve your #ChefGoals check out Stafffinders Chef Vacancies now or email me at paul.mcalpine@stafffinders.co.uk

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