If you consider yourself something of a culinary expert and are interested in pursuing a career as a professional chef, there are a few things you should know about the reality of the position. Many people who are excellent cooks aren’t cut out for high pressure premium entry level jobs and internships in the kitchen. Here are three things you should know about working as a chef.
While you might have dreams of cooking up elegant, creative dishes for affluent customers, you’ll likely spend much of your career working as an assembly line cook. Instead of experimenting with unique foods, expect to be cranking out the same meals every night or putting together side salads.
If you value your personal time, don’t expect to have much of it as a chef. Most restaurants require kitchen staff to work long shifts – often 10 to 12 hours a day – that reach well into the night. By the time you leave work after a busy day, it could be 3 a.m.
In addition to less-than-ideal working hours spent assembling the same old dishes, chefs often work at a grueling pace to meet the constant and ever-changing demands of customers. If you’re not prepared to carefully chop vegetables in a hot kitchen while another chef is yelling at you to hurry up, don’t expect to enjoy working in the culinary arts very much.