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1. Love food - if you don't, you'll be a cook, and even though that is good too it is not a chef. Not just anyone can be a chef. You have to have passion for food!
2. Learn everything about the food you love and, more importantly, about the food other people are willing to pay money to eat. Organic, free range, kosher, kobe - these are all good to know. If it's
patisserie you're interested in, know that a souffle isn't just a bunch of hot air.
3. Become confident with a knife. You don't need to butcher a chicken with surgical precision just yet, but knowing the breast from the thigh will certainly help you a lot, both in life and in
cooking. Know that size doesn't matter because a 2" turning knife can do some jobs faster than a 10 inches chef's knife.
4. Try working in the industry. In Europe, the interview process is a day working at the restaurant, for free. You see what they can do, they see what you can do, if it's a match made somewhere close
to heaven, or you're a cooking good, you're hired. Students are allowed to learn through work experience under similar circumstances, where they are not paid, but put in a full day, week, or month
for an agreed amount of time. Ask to work in the kitchen of your dreams to see if this is the life you really want. Even fast food experience is applicable. The most important thing is that you get
exposure to the conditions, techniques, equipment, and culture.
5. Executive Chefs tend to fall into two categories; those who teach, and those who don't. Those who teach are willing to share their knowledge, expertice, and experience with any employee who is
willing to learn, and seeks out the information. Those who don't expect absolute precision in faithfully replicating their ideas and concepts, with no room for creativity and expression. While both
have their place, it is important to work with someone willing to assist you in your future goals. Once you have acquired a skill set, you can go work for the demanding tyrant (Gordan Ramsey).
6. Buy or borrow copies of Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential", "The Professional Chef" from the Culinary Institute of America, and "Becoming a Chef" by Dorenburg and Page. read Bourdain and
Dorenburg. Put Professional Chef on your shelf - it's an indispensable reference.
7. If after all this you still want to be a chef, you have a couple options: a) Go to cooking school. As most cooking is seeped in the French tradition, a French training-based course is an option.
b) Try on the job training - through your school or job centre.