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Today we're going into the kitchen and looking at the demanding (but
delicious) world of commercial cookery and the career opportunities
available for aspiring chefs.
Apprentice chefs are in hot demand right now. And a lack
of motivated new apprentices is what's driving this demand.
Landing yourself an apprenticeship as a chef will put you in a
position where you may even be able to pick and choose from a range of
employment options once you complete your apprenticeship.
If you're interested in becoming a chef, there are a couple of
personal qualities that will help you work your way to the top of the
food chain. Of course, the most important (and obvious) requirement
here is a genuine love of food and cookery (and that doesn't mean just
a love of eating!).
Other useful qualities include a high level of personal cleanliness
and the ability to work well in the often highly pressurised
environment of a commercial kitchen. Good communication and
interpersonal skills also come in handy, as well as a willingness to
work long hours and often on weekends.
Duties as an apprentice chef are many and varied. You may be involved
in assisting chefs in preparing and cooking food, learning about the
correct storage of different foodstuffs and ordering ingredients,
kitchen supplies and equipment. You'll also be responsible for
ensuring the workplace is always clean and that food hygiene standards
chef apprenticeships are out there and can be found if you're
willing to do the work looking for them. Mostly this involves pounding
the pavement, going to different restaurants and asking if they'd be
willing to take you on as an apprentice chef. This may seem a bold
approach, but it's surprising how often people respond to this kind of
initiative in a positive way. It's also about establishing contacts.
Your chances of scoring an apprenticeship as a chef will be increased
if you've already signed up for some formal qualifications. The Certificate
IV in Commercial Cookery offered by TAFE NSW is an ideal
starting point as it doesn't have any entry requirements. It's also a
popular pathway for a career as a Chef.
A career as a chef will involve a lot of dedication, passion and hard
work, but the rewards will almost certainly be worth it. If the
culinary arts have always interested you, it might be time to take
that first step into the commercial kitchen and turn your dream into reality.
Download your free Cookery Course Guide here.