How to Be a Chef: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Be a Chef: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Be a Chef: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

If you like cooking and creating culinary experiments, a career as a chef might be for you. Although the job is exhausting, it can also be extremely satisfying for those in the profession. To start working on your cooking skills, practice a lot at home. Then look for restaurant jobs and learn from the reviews. To continue the training, enroll in a gastronomy course or seek mentorship. Then, strive to grow in the restaurant world until you become a true chef.


Part 1 of 3: Developing Your Cooking Skills

Become a Chef Step 1

Step 1. Cook at home to develop your skills

Choose some very appetizing recipes to prepare at home. As you get the hang of it, try recipes that require skills you haven't mastered yet. Don't be afraid to play with the recipes a little bit to make them like yours.

Try different types of cuisine to find out which best suits your taste and style. Make Italian food one day and Mexican food the next day. Then, for a change, how about preparing a hamburger your way?


When you get a job at a restaurant, you'll need to cook quickly to meet customer demands. With practice, however, being quick will get easier and easier.

Become a Chef Step 2

Step 2. Experiment to create your own recipes

One of the best parts of being a chef is creating your own dishes. Once you're familiar with the most common ingredients, start playing around with the recipes a bit to give them a special touch. Don't be afraid to take the risk to create something totally new.

  • Start by making changes to existing recipes to make them look a little different. Then try mixing the ingredients without following any recipes.
  • Some of your creations will be a real hit, while others may be unpalatable. This is perfectly normal. Do not give up!
Become a Chef Step 3

Step 3. Cook for other people to get constructive criticism

While getting slapped face-to-face is scary, the right criticisms will help you grow as a boss. Try to cook for others on a regular basis. Ask your guests what they liked or didn't like about your dishes. Use the criticisms that make sense to you to improve yourself.

Whenever possible, cook for people who like your type of cuisine. They will be able to offer better reviews. Suppose you like to make Indian food. Who better to give honest opinions about your dishes than a lover of Indian cuisine?

Become a Chef Step 4

Step 4. Observe other bosses to learn new techniques

It is possible to learn a lot by watching others. Watch cooking shows and online tutorials to see how other chefs work. Also, try to follow up on bosses and aspiring bosses you know to learn from their work.

Don't be focused on copying any specific technique. The aim is to develop your own style. However, to do this, observing the techniques and how other people use the ingredients can be of great help

Become a Chef Step 5

Step 5. Get a job at a restaurant to develop your skills and your resume

Already entering a restaurant as a chef would be wonderful, but opting for this career needs time to grow in the culinary world. Start at a lower rank that provides opportunities for you to develop your skills. Apply for all restaurant job openings advertised in your region.

Your first job at a restaurant is probably not going to be very prestigious, but everyone needs to start at the beginning. It is very likely that you will be hired as a cook. In this position, you will learn the skills you need to grow in your career and become a chef in the future


Getting a job in a restaurant is essential especially for those who do not intend to study gastronomy. Working in the kitchen will teach you the skills you need to be a chef. And, to top it off, it will enrich your resume.

Part 2 of 3: Training to be a Chef

Become a Chef Step 6

Step 1. Enroll in a cooking course for broader learning

Although studying gastronomy is not necessary to become a chef, the course can help you get a job. Most gastronomy courses offer a comprehensive education in topics such as nutrition, hygiene in food preparation, delicatessen, bakery and other basic areas of cooking. Search for food courses and apply for your three or five favorites.

  • It is possible to find gastronomy courses in higher education institutions, technical schools and schools specializing in cooking. A gastronomy college takes, on average, three and a half to four years, while a technical course usually lasts approximately two years. Courses offered by culinary schools vary in length, depending on the degree of specialization.
  • Look for a course that offers management and human resources classes if you plan to open a restaurant in the future.
Become a Chef Step 7

Step 2. Practice at home if you want to be a self-taught boss

While a cooking course can help you learn the skills needed to be a chef, you can also choose to study on your own. Practice your cooking techniques daily at home. Cook for your family or entertain for even more opportunities to showcase your creations. Avoid getting stuck in your comfort zone to learn all the skills you need.

  • Offer to cook for parties and events as long as other people buy the ingredients.
  • Use online tutorials and cookbooks to learn new techniques.


Finding a job is not always easy for self-learners. However, your food should speak for itself. If you're talented and creative, you can stand a good chance of getting a job.

Become a Chef Step 8

Step 3. Intern at a restaurant to enrich your resume

While being an intern isn't glamorous at all, it's a great way to open doors in a career. Look for internship openings at local restaurants. If you can't find any, talk to chefs and restaurant owners to try to get a temp job. Take advantage of the experience to observe the chef, the sous chef and the area chefs and learn from them. Do not forget to follow the instructions of your superiors to the letter.

  • Some gastronomy courses have partnerships with local restaurants to offer internships for students.
  • It is possible that your internship is voluntary or that you pay a very low scholarship. Still, treat it like a real job to get good references for future jobs.
Become a Chef Step 9

Step 4. Get a certificate if you want to specialize in a specific area

You don't need to have any kind of certificate to be a chef. However, getting a certificate can be a good idea for those who want to specialize in some area. If you have good training in a specific type of cuisine, get a certificate to add weight to your curriculum.

  • You can, for example, get a master confectioner, decorator or sous chef certificate.
  • In most cases, to get a certificate you also need to take some kind of course. Look for renowned cooking and gastronomy schools that meet your needs.

Part 3 of 3: Growing in the Career

Become a Chef Step 10

Step 1. Apply for entry-level positions at local restaurants

At the beginning of your career, it is important to be open to all opportunities. Look for jobs at local restaurants. Submit your resume, cover letter and all other required documents. Apply for more than one job at a time to be more likely to be hired.

  • You'll likely start out as an assistant or garde manger. The garde manger is responsible for preparing appetizers, soups and cold dishes. The next stage in his career is the position of cook, followed by that of head of area and that of sous chef, who is the professional who reports directly to the head of the kitchen. Over time, it is possible that you will become the head chef of a restaurant.
  • Those who have worked in the kitchen are more likely to get a better job than those who are just starting out.
Become a Chef Step 11

Step 2. Talk to chefs and restaurant owners to build a contact list

Your contacts can help you grow your career faster. Chat with other chefs, introduce yourself to restaurant owners, and go to culinary industry events to meet other chefs. Thus, you will build bonds with people who can help you professionally.

  • Whenever you go to a food and drink event, ask to speak with the boss.
  • Talk to your college or internship colleagues.
Become a Chef Step 12

Step 3. Change restaurants to develop your skills and get better jobs

You won't spend your whole life in the same restaurant. Most likely, you will need to change jobs to continue to grow in your career. Always be on the lookout for new opportunities and apply for jobs that can help you reach your ultimate goal.

If you are working as a chef or head of area, for example, apply for the position of sous chef at another restaurant


You can also choose to open a restaurant. For this, however, you need notions of business administration.

Become a Chef Step 13

Step 4. Get a sous chef job to learn what it takes to be a chef

The sous chef works directly under the chef's orders, which is great for developing new skills and enriching the curriculum. After becoming an area chef, start looking for a job as a sous chef. You will need to spend at least one to three years on the job before becoming a chef.

More normally, sous chefs already have the knowledge and skills necessary to become a chef. However, they still lack the experience and expertise required by the position. These are the skills you will acquire as a sous chef

Become a Chef Step 14

Step 5. Watch for opportunities to reach the rank of boss

After becoming a sous chef, start looking for job openings for chefs. Keep an eye out for new restaurants and find out about the careers of chefs in your region. Invest in networking to meet people who can help you get a kitchen to run. When a vacancy appears, contact the restaurant owner or human resources professional and offer to show your talent.

  • You will need many years of experience to become a boss.
  • Making friends in the culinary industry is the best way to get others to pay attention to your work. Always be nice to others. You never know who can help you reach your goals.


  • Don't be afraid to experiment. You will fail from time to time, but you will also learn new skills.
  • Ask several people to sample their recipes. A perfect dish for you may be too spicy or too salty for others.
  • Treat everyone you meet at work well. Today's dishwashers, waiters and customers can be the owners of tomorrow's trendy restaurant.
  • Look for cooking courses at colleges and technical schools in your area. It is increasingly easy to find technical courses, specializations and degrees in gastronomy.
  • Most schools don't require previous experience, so it's not because you've never worked in a restaurant that you can't become a chef.


  • Be very careful when using knives. You could end up cutting yourself.
  • A chef's working day is long and usually includes weekends and holidays. This may not be a big deal for those who are passionate about their work, but it can also be extremely heavy for those who haven't found themselves in the profession.

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