Many people try to find out the different requirements to become a chef. Nowadays, becoming a chef is treated like becoming a doctor or a lawyer wherein one must have a degree or at least a certificate from a culinary school. However, you should realize that you can become a chef even without formal education.
Here are some of the requirements to become a chef even without a certificate:
Exposure – Most people who become chefs have had some sort of exposure to the art of cooking during their lives. This is one of the most essential requirements to become a chef. Exposure may come from parents or even the house cook. Some aspiring chefs even go to different parts of the world just to gain exposure. Exposure to the art of cooking opens up a person to take an interest in it. Exposure also gives a person knowledge regarding the basics of cooking. This also gives a person a standard on what his or her cooking should equal or surpass.
Passion – Interest alone is not enough to become a great chef. Passion is the main requirement to become a chef. You need to be passionate about food. You should see it for its effects on both body and spirit. A great chef knows how to play the heartstrings of people simply by adjusting the flavors of a dish. Passion is at the heart of every dish. You might follow a recipe to the letter but without passion, you cannot make a dish delicious.
Discernment – One of the most basic requirements to become a chef is discernment. You need to be able to tell whether something tastes good or not. The best chefs can discern flavors beyond the basic sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and hot. To a true chef, flavors are like different shades of colors, and the number of combinations that one can achieve is infinite. People are usually able to tell when a specific dish lacks something. However, it takes a chef to truly root out what exactly is that something that will complete the recipe. This requirement to become a chef can come naturally to some people, while others have to get it through years of experience.
Curiosity – The difference between a cook and a chef is that while a cook follows a recipe, a chef creates recipes. To create a dish, a chef must be willing to explore new ideas. Curiosity is a requirement to become a chef because this trait will allow a person to explore the unknown and ask the question “what if?”
Curiosity will enable the chef to create whole new dishes and go against the boring conventions of society. It will allow the chef to make use of the latest techniques and tools to keep the people guessing regarding what new flavors they will encounter. For it should be known by the chef that food goes far beyond its value in the stomach. Food should be valued for its effect on the soul.
Training – Of course, one must be trained to become a chef. However, this requirement to become a chef does not necessarily have to be filled by a culinary school. One can be trained right at home.