Do you love cooking, do you watch all TV shows about cuisine and are you wondering how to become a chef? Masterchef is not the solution.
Cooking competition shows have driven many people to wonder how to become a chef. Masterchef tells you that in order to work in a real kitchen you need only to love cooking and to be brave enough to go on TV. Reality is quite different and here there is some advice to become a good cook. For real.
You need to study. You have to learn several subjects to do a good job, from nutrition to oenology. Professional cooking uses techniques we cannot use home and treats any kind of ingredients, even ones rarely used by common people. Furthermore, it is important to know how ingredients interact, which ones could be dangerous for allergic people, how to maintain nutritional properties, etc. In some countries, like Italy and Switzerland, there are specific professional schools to work in the service industry. If you are too old for this solution or you live in a country where there is not this possibility, you can choose a post-secondary course about cooking. Choose a licensed one, maybe with a internship.
Experience is fundamental: you have to chop many potatoes, before you can actually cook something as a professional cook. You have to acquire manual skills, learn to use a knife, and know how to prepare an ingredient before cooking it. Masterchef shows improvised cooks who do not know vegetable cuts or who are too slow. Obviously, they have never cut kilos of carrots into julienne, because no one needs kilos of carrots home. The only way to acquire these skills is to work in a professional kitchen, where kilos of carrots, zucchini and potatoes are requested. Humility has to be your watchword: you cannot look for a chef position if you have never learnt fundamentals.
Becoming a chef requires good health: cooking at home is relaxing, you have plenty of space, and usually you are alone. A professional kitchen is hot, full of people who move around. A professional cook passes from the hot kitchen to the refrigerator to outside lots of times a day. He stands all day. You have to be strong not to get sick any week.
To become a chef you have to be patient and strong and do not give up. It is not as easy as cooking shows tell you, but if you work hard is a dream that can get true.