You've been working your way up the chef ladder from commis chef level and are perhaps looking for what to do next? Maybe you’ve worked your way up to head chef level? Your next move could be general manager of a kitchen or restaurant, or even a position as a private chef – how good would that be?!
But just how do you go about setting foot in such a competitive, highly lucrative industry? The answer is simple: by putting in the hard work.
You’ll first need to complete some formal training in the culinary arts – and that’s rarely simple. Some cooks go to college while others work their way up by starting out as a kitchen porter in their local restaurant. To help you on your route to becoming a private chef, here are some things you’ll need:
Some Good, Solid Experience in the Industry – Experience counts for absolutely everything in the food and drink industry. It’s a highly stressful, fast-paced environment and it’s only the bravest, most confident chef who can hack it. As well as being good at cooking, you’ve also got to be able to respond well to some pressure. And the deadlines are the same if you’re cooking for just one person, or one family, as they are with a restaurant full of diners.
Be a Perfectionist – While being a perfectionist isn’t always ideal – it can lead to some people taking too much time over a job, for one thing – but in the cooking industry it’s absolutely vital that everything looks perfect. You must be able to uphold standards, policies and procedures in some of the top UK restaurants before you’ll be considered to enter someone’s home. After all, when you’re a guest in someone’s own space it’s important you follow rules of any kind. Above all, it’s about being professional – and someone who’s held down a role as a chef in the country’s biggest, five-star restaurants will give clients the reassurance they’re looking for.
Add Testimonials to Your CV – Nothing lets someone know how well you can do your job quite like a written testimonial. You may well have served some high profile people already – during your stint working at large restaurants – so make sure you add all this to your resume. If you have testimonials, it’s definitely worth including them; what better way to show someone just how good you are than by supplying them with examples of great feedback.
Don’t Give Up – Working in a kitchen can be stressful, but it’s important to always keep your cool – no matter how hot it actually gets! While it’s certainly worked for Gordon Ramsay, it doesn’t do for everyone to shout and swear in the kitchen – and it won’t do you any good at all when it comes to word-of-mouth reviews.
If your diners can hear you bellowing from the kitchen, they’re unlikely to speak fondly about their experience. Remain calm and don’t throw the towel in; you never know who you’re serving on what you might think is your most stressful night at work yet.