Six skills of the perfect chef
What skills would you say good chefs need? No doubt they are many and varied. Although perfection does not exist, a good chef should not only be a professional with a vast culinary technical knowledge, but also possess certain skills that we have compiled in the following post.
Whether you trained as a chef in one of the best culinary schools or you are a self-taught chef, you will have noticed that to overcome the challenges you will encounter throughout your professional career you will need certain skills, in addition to your passion and love for cooking.
The perfect chef is flexible and adapts to the needs and requests of clients
Being able to adapt means that you are more flexible, that you take into account the dietary and culinary needs of your customers and use them to adapt and reinvent yourself. In addition, customers have changed in the last few decades: they have more information and are influenced by new trends and new culinary techniques. Think of it as something positive. The fact that customers know more means that you have to be continuously improving and adapting and you will not feel stuck in the job.
The perfect chef takes care of all the details service after service
Consistency, effort and daily work in the kitchen are some of the basic “ingredients” that every chef should have. No day is less important than another when managing a kitchen service; caring for every detail is essential. This determination demands a great commitment and a true vocation, without them the long days in the kitchen would be very difficult.
The perfect chef creates dishes and gastronomic experiences through research
The chef’s creative process is one of the most satisfying. It is exciting to see how what at the beginning is only an idea or an unexpected pairing or texture, can become a new dish and a culinary experience for your customers. However, creativity by itself is nothing in this trade, it needs good knowledge of cooking techniques and ingredients. Chefs should also keep a record of all their creations and their evolution (notes, images, sketches…). This, added to the experience they will acquire over the years, will make them a true culinary creator.
The perfect chef cares about culinary trends
Learning about new culinary trends, flavours, ingredients and different pairings is something you will have to do throughout your professional life. Do not think that it distances you from your identity or personal touch. Quite the contrary, it will help you develop your identity. And do not forget that culinary research would not make sense if you ignored traditional and local cuisine, since the job of a chef implies respecting and knowing the basic ingredients of the kitchen.
5. Accuracy and responsibility
The perfect chef is meticulous, and takes into account cooking times and temperatures
To be a chef you have to be very meticulous in everything you do, from the simplest to the most complex task. You have to master culinary techniques, as well as the percentages of exact ingredients, the appropriate temperatures, preparation times and the safety and hygiene steps needed at all times. All this implies great responsibility on your part, as is required when handling the food your customers will be enjoying.
6. Forecast and planning
The perfect chef anticipates what the kitchen needs
Managing a professional kitchen is very complex because of the diversity of dishes it offers. It takes a lot of planning to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Clearly one person alone cannot do everything, which is why it is important to organize and coordinate the different work teams (such as saucier, entremetier, garde manger and pattisier). For a successful professional kitchen you must be skilled at your assigned tasks, but do not lose sight of the rest of the team! It is the only way to anticipate any problem and react accordingly.
These six skills will help you achieve your professional goals in the kitchen and overcome the challenges that you will have to face. Do you have these skills? Do you think that another essential skill is missing from our list? Let us know!