A Road Map to Becoming a Top-class Chef as a Nigerian
A lot of people enjoy cooking, while some see it as a hobby, others are taking significant steps to make it a major career move. You might be one of such people, and if I am to make a rough guess, you have pretended your kitchen was a studio, and you are the next big star on Food network. It may seem like fun, but the truth is this – the road to becoming a top-class chef is not easy, and it takes time.
There are no stringent requirements, education, or training needed to become a chef. The understanding and abilities necessary are generally acquired in the kitchen during these extended hours. Those who wish to reach the peak of the profession, however, may benefit well from a culinary degree as well as from an apprenticeship. This article is intended for people who want to do more than just cook–it is for people who wish to pursue a culinary dream.
The Chef and the Culinary Niche
Depending on the type of food and the work they do, the tasks of a chef are diverse. Chefs, however, are usually considered the top boss in a kitchen. In addition to cooking, the chefs plan the menu, select and inspect ingredients, monitor the cooking staff, and deal with any food-related kitchen issues. In reality, there are many cooks in the kitchen, contrary to what some cook shows depict. There is the head chef, also recognized as the master chef, executive chef or chef de cuisine. Some sous-chefs generally follow the guidelines of the head chef and are second commanders of the kitchen. There is the chef de partie; who is a chef overseeing a particular area or station of the kitchen and a commis; who is generally one of the least experienced chefs and is often fresh from a culinary school and works directly under the chef de partie at a particular cooking station. Other cooks may specialize in a specific meal, such as desserts, cakes, and pastries. There are a variety of areas available, but in this article, we will be dealing with the various steps to take to become a top class chef in Nigeria.
These steps include:
Find a Job Working in a Restaurant Kitchen
It is vital to know how the cuisine and restaurant work. However, be warned that this first task could involve the most mundane stuff, including washing plates and removing waste. However, the exposure to professionals is essential, and a new chef will, over time, be working his way up into the ladder for the more attractive duties. This moment, working in the kitchen trenches will help answer the big question: are you really interested in doing this?
Being a chef is not about the fancy crisp garb; it is about practice, more practice, and much more practice. This helps you to cook at your own pace, unlike cooking like a chef where you have to be careful and time conscious.
Cooking at your own pace allows you to understand what kind of cuisine you would be good at -pastry, soups or sauce? –and when it’s time to go pro, it provides you a niche to specialize in. Another advantage of cooking at home is that you become savvy with cooking utensils such as knives and other things. Take time to serve what you cooked to individuals and get their views; this is the primary area in a culinary career _reviews.
A High Standard of Hygiene
Research proves that the kitchen is the most common place for germs. This is because microbes flourish, particularly on food remnants and spoiled food, and we all understand how rapidly bacteria can spread and contaminate food and trigger infections. That is why a chef strictly needs to maintain a high standard of hygiene. Best techniques include staying clean and smart, carefully cleaning your hands before you handle meals, cleaning the kitchen while you are cooking, etc.
Attend a Culinary School
Depending on the program, culinary schools take 1 to 4 years. The most common certification is a diploma. While an associate or bachelor degree in culinary may be rare in Nigeria, it is still possible to acquire. Although official schooling is not necessary to become a chef, the abilities and expertise acquired during the program can be used to excellent effect by aspiring cooks to improve their cooking job. Often those who have received their culinary education can gain higher roles rapidly. This is always an advantage for any chef.
Develop Passion for Cooking
Cooking for one or two people can be fun and exciting. But preparing for fifty to five hundred can become a nightmare and kill your big dreams of being a chef. This is where passion comes in. It separates the best from the rest. It cannot be exaggerated. Passion is indeed the driving force for any life commitment to succeed. Whatever way things happen, enthusiasm must be genuine because nobody can do what they don’t appreciate every day. This passion generally grows early, and it should be nurtured.
Understand the Aesthetics Involved in Making your Meals Look AttractiveRead and Read, Try and Try
Some recipes date way back to the 18th century, which may have been forgotten or upgraded. As they say, nothing is new under the sun. Take out time and some money, buy these books, and read. Find ways to make new recipes from old ones. Also, find ways to combine Nigerian food items with foreign ones. The selling point of every chef is his secret recipe. Master yours, use them when you have to, but guard your secrets.
Apply for Competitions
There are a lot of cook-offs every year in Nigeria. Huge brands in the cuisine industry sponsor these cook-offs. While it may be intense and terrifying, it opens you up to a lot of opportunities. Apart from the prize money to be won, you get to meet the key players in the cuisine industry. With an excellent networking skill, you can build contacts that will help you develop your career as a chef.
Use Social Media
I love social media. It gives you a platform to express your trade and get customers. As a chef, choose the right social media platforms. You have to understand that your profession is more about appealing to the visuals of people. So the best social media platforms to use are Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Yes, I added Twitter, even though it is a platform for intellectuals. But if you want to go viral, Twitter is your best bet. It is all about strategy. Also, you would need a YouTube account. With a YouTube account, you get to share video skits about recipes you have invented, or new ways to make regular meals. Engage with your audience and answer whatever questions they have. As an aspiring chef, you have to be conversant with trends in the culinary industry. One thing you have to understand about humans is that they can get bored with the norm. Find new ways to make even the most mundane meals attractive and delicious.
Set Yourself Up as an Authority
While everyone may be focused on the cooking side of things, it is essential to note that many chefs deal with expenditure and profit maximization. You can learn the business side of things, set yourself up as a consultant, while you still make fantastic meals.
In conclusion, there is no need for a university education for you to become a chef. It can be a plus, however. The rule of the game is to enjoy cooking, learn to cook, discover new methods, and demonstrate to the world what you can do.
Now go cook something, Chef. I’m starving.