Monday, January 18, 2016
Spotlight Feature: Jordan Altbaum
Become a Chef (has it's advantages)
A love of creating food is a must, but there are some fine personality traits you need if you want to enjoy an exciting and creative career in the culinary arts. Here are some qualities to hone:
1. Physical and Mental Strength
Cooking at home is relaxing and fun, but as a professional chef you need endurance to cope with working long periods of time and under extreme pressure. You might have strange hours in which to work and you have to stay attentive throughout. Added to this, the work can sometimes be monotonous: you might be doing the same thing over and over again when preparing meals for crowds. Physically, you might feel aches and pains as you stand for long hours, but if you can stay focused on what needs to be done, you will achieve it.
Just because you’re the head chef in a restaurant, it doesn’t mean the power trip should go to your head. A successful chef knows how to be flexible and deal with any situations that can crop up. For instance, in the instance of being short-staffed and having to prepare mundane jobs. It also helps to be creative in order to deal with these situations. If you’re missing an ingredient, your creativity and passion can help you to make the most of the situation and find another way to succeed.
3. Interpersonal Skills
You have to know how to work with people, treat them with respect and be able to compromise. This includes working with your customers, who want to receive delicious and beautifully presented food, as well as members of your kitchen team who rely on your guidance and might have different personalities to you. You need to be able to put emotions aside and connect with people so that you deal with any difficult situations for the greater good of your craft.
4. A Love of Learning
If you love cooking and you want to reach amazing heights in your field, you will have to stay in tune with what is happening in your field. A career in food is a creative one that continuously offers new developments and trends, so keeping your finger on the pulse of these can be a huge benefit to your work.
5. Organizational Skills
You can’t have clutter in the kitchen or not know where everything is. A career as a chef requires you to be severely organized. Everything has to be prepared, ready for use, and function like clockwork so that you can meet your demands.
Oh, and leave the shouting to Gordon Ramsey.