Being a chef sound like an incredible job. You get paid make gorgeous and food delicious. If you have the right skills and work hard enough, you could end up at the top restaurant of your choice. And now, with shows like Masterchef, being a top chef is rather like being a celebrity. You could even have Bradley Cooper or Meryl Streep play you in a movie, eventually! But not all is easy in the life of a chef. There are many aspects of being a chef that people just don’t know about or that they overlook in the face of all the glamour.
It is not just cooking
Some people think that in cooking you just mix a couple of ingredients, add your secret ingredient and voila! In reality, there is more to it. When you are a chef, especially at a big restaurant, you will need to be a butcher as well as a fishmonger. You will not always have the luxury of have carved meat. You will get whole fish, lambs and pigs too. The anatomy of each animal is different and you should know how to carve the meat off the bone in a way that gives you a beautiful piece. It is an integral part of a chef’s cooking resume.
Cooking for free
Now that you have such a valuable skill, there will be people around who will ask you to ‘donate’ your time and cooking skills to this or that charity event. It is good to give back to the community but at the end you will receive barely anything for these services and it will cost you.
Surprise visit from the Department from Health
It is not always possible to keep kitchen squeaking clean and when the DOH shows up unexpectedly, especially during service, it can throw the staff off track. You will try to cover up as much as possible and get distracted from the work. And if the DOH seals the restaurant your work at, it could very well close and put your out of work.
Cooking is a mess
You know people say that cooking soothes them? That is not true for chefs. Any chef working in a restaurant knows how crazy service time can be. And there is always some kind of emergency, big or small. Some pipe leaking, the produce guys brings in the wrong items. It is definitely not smooth sailing so if you think a chef has a peaceful job, think again.
You can get hurt
A kitchen is not a safe zone. Fires, knives, forks, boiling things, cooks rushing about. You could get hurt by others or give yourself a cut or burn. Obviously there are safety regulations but they are no guarantee. And if you do get sick or hurt, sick leaves are not easily given.
Even so, you will probably love your job as a chef if that is what you want to do. The job has its pros and cons. It is for you to make the final decision.