"If you are not prepared, you'll be playing catch up all day."
Definition of a Chef: “A chef is a trained professional cook and tradesman who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on a particular cuisine”
OK, but I think this definition is missing something that most good chefs need…
Mise en place, a term meaning setup or organizing required for items expected for the day. All chefs learn this right away. If you are not prepared, you'll be playing catch up all day.
A good chef, in my opinion, has good organizational and management skills. There is so much more than cooking, once becoming a chef. Ordering, receiving, menus, staffing…..and then cooking. The greatest chefs have their kitchens running like well-oiled machines, an organized staff in place with meals prepared on time. Not an easy task depending on the size of the kitchen, etc.
The majority of my time as a traditional chef was early in my culinary career. I bounced around kitchens as a Garde Manger Chef, Banquet Chef, Sous Chef for both corporate and private kitchens. This is where I gained most of my kitchen knowledge. I then moved on to different parts of the food world and even out of the kitchen, I always used my “organizational skills'' I learned back in the day.
The personal chef business is unique for a chef. You work in multiple kitchens with different menus almost every day so you really need to be organized. Some kitchens may have all the newest gadgets and equipment whereas some may have minimal equipment. Most personal chefs bring knives & cutting boards and occasionally equipment that may be needed for a particular menu or recipe. You also may be preparing multiple cuisines throughout the week as well. One day Thai and Indian, the next French and Japanese. And let's not forget, it's usually just one chef preparing multiple dishes.
So, a good chef needs to know not only skills of food preparation, but also great organization skills as well.
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A personal chef