If you have lofty dreams of becoming the next Gordan Ramsey or Jamie Oliver, then this post is just for you. Being a top chef is about more than just donning that ubiquitous chef jacket from Chef Works(click here to visit the site) and cooking up a storm. There are plenty of factors to consider before joining the culinary industry.

It is stressful

The rumours are true – a professional kitchen is one of the most stressful environments in which to work. This situation can be made even worse if you are working with individuals who are not as passionate and enthusiastic as you are, or just plain lazy. In addition to the stress of having to prepare delicious and nutritious meals to satisfy hungry patrons, there are also health concerns to be aware of in order to make a successful meal in the kitchen. There is also a chain of command that must be followed in every kitchen setting. If one slacker does not do his or her job efficiently, this could disrupt the entire flow of the process, causing diners to wait longer for their food and blood pressure and stress levels to rise in the kitchen. Before you enter into a professional kitchen, you must understand the stress involved and be able to adapt and keep a cool head under pressure. As the old saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!

Long working hours

Working in a kitchen is no regular 9-5 gig; just ask any chef you know, if they can find a free minute to chat that is. Professional chefs are often expected to work long shifts at night, over weekends and holidays. Also, the process of food prep, cooking and clean-up will mean that you will spend large amounts of time away from your family. If you are adaptable and willing to put in the long hours, the culinary industry is well suited for you. Generally, you can bank on a 55-60-hour work week.

The workload

If you want to be a top chef, you must be prepared to work hard and follow a strict schedule. Every service requires preparation, which may include hours of chopping, slicing and cutting, especially if you are a junior chef and trying to pay your dues in the industry. There will also be times when you must do tedious tasks like operating the fryer and plating, while the cleaning up and preparation for the following day will add even more to your workload. It is important to stick to a schedule if you are to make every meal service a successful one.

It’s a learning curve

Cooking can be considered a science as well as an art. The best chefs will have to keep up with the latest culinary trends to always be ahead of the game. No one chef knows everything about food, and it is part of the job to continuously learn new recipes, flavours and techniques. Those interested in becoming a chef should be ready to embrace different techniques, methods and even cultures and learn as much as you can, especially when you are starting out.