What skills would you say a good cook has? Undoubtedly, they are many and varied. Although perfection does not exist, a good cook must not only be a professional with a lot of culinary technical knowledge, but also possess certain skills that we have compiled in the 6 skills of the perfect cook.
Whether you are a cook who has been trained in one of the great cooking and hospitality schools in our country, or if you are self-taught, you will have noticed that to overcome the challenges you will encounter throughout your career you will need certain skills to add to your training, passion and love for what you do.
The perfect cook is flexible and adapts to the needs and requests of his customers.
Being adaptive means being more flexible, taking into account the dietary and gastronomic needs of your customers and adapting and reinventing yourself accordingly. In addition, today’s customers are very different from those of decades ago, they are better informed and influenced by new trends in gastronomy and new cooking techniques. Look at it as a very positive thing. The fact that the public knows more and more requires continuous improvement and adaptation and not to stagnate in the profession.
The perfect cook takes care of every detail service after service.
Perseverance, effort and daily work in the kitchen are some of the basic “ingredients” that every cook should incorporate into his or her catalog of skills. No day is less important than another in the daily management of a kitchen service, and in all of them the care and attention to every single detail is essential. This constancy requires a great commitment and a true vocation and love for the profession of cook, because without them the continuous and long days that this profession requires would be difficult to sustain.
The perfect chef creates dishes and gastronomic experiences based on his research.
The creative process in the cook is one of the most satisfying for all of you who share this profession. It’s exciting to see that what may initially be an unexpected idea, taste or texture, can result in a new dish and a whole new dining experience for your customers. But be careful, creativity by itself is nothing in this profession, it must be accompanied by a good knowledge of cooking techniques and the raw materials you are working with. It is also very practical to keep an orderly record of the creative work and its evolution (notes, images, sketches…) which, together with the experience you will acquire over the years, will turn you into a gastronomic creator.
The perfect cook is concerned with global and local gastronomic trends.
Deepening your knowledge of new culinary trends, flavors and ingredients and the different combinations between them, is part of your continuous training throughout your professional life. Do not think that this takes you away from your identity or personal stamp in the kitchen. On the contrary, it will be one of your basic tools to update it and give it more of its own character. And do not forget that gastronomic research would not make sense either if you move away from the reference of traditional and local gastronomy, since the profession of cook implies respecting and knowing the basic ingredients of the cuisine.
Accuracy and responsibility
The perfect cook is very meticulous in the processes, taking into account cooking times and temperatures.
The cooking profession requires great meticulousness in all the elaborations, from the simplest to the most complex. The mastery of cooking techniques and culinary processes necessary in any elaboration are very important in this profession. It is necessary that you know the exact percentages of ingredients, the appropriate temperatures, the execution times in any elaboration and the safety and hygiene of each process. All this implies great responsibility on your part, since the fact of handling food that will be consumed by your customers demands it.
Forecasting and planning
The perfect cook foresees all kitchen needs in advance
Managing a professional kitchen is very complex due to the diversity of elaborations that take place in it. It takes a lot of foresight and planning to keep all the machinery running smoothly. Clearly, one person cannot do everything, which is why perfect organization is required to coordinate the different work teams and items (salsero, entremetier, cold room and pastry). Succeeding in your debut in the professional kitchen requires you to have a good knowledge of your assigned tasks, but keep an eye on the rest of the team! It is the only way to anticipate possible problems or mismatches and respond to all the needs that arise in the day to day.
Surely these 6 skills of the perfect cook will help you achieve your career goals in the kitchen, and overcome the challenges that a career in hospitality will face. Do you have these skills? Do you think there are any must-have skills missing from our list? Be sure to let us know.