Home » How To Become » How to Become a Chef?

How to Become a Chef?

how to become a chef

You may love cooking for people and being creative with food, but there are many ways you can pursue this as a career. Some want a simple family restaurant, while others want to pursue a career as a gourmet chef. For each, you will need specialized education, but you start off more or less the same.

So, let’s find out how in my in-depth look at How to Become a Chef.

how to become a chef

Part-time Work as a Minor

You can start working in the restaurant business as a server or dishwasher, perhaps as a line worker or cook. It doesn’t matter where you start; your experience within the restaurant industry will be invaluable. If you can keep this up after high school, it may help to pay for your tertiary studies.

how to become chef

Secondary Education

Your home economics or hospitality class will give you a leg-up, but it will not be the most important part. To study to be a chef, you will need a high school diploma or a GED. Because a chef is regarded higher than a cook, you will need to be accepted into a tertiary education institution, which will require a diploma or GED as a prerequisite.

Tertiary Education and Practical Experience

You can either join a culinary school, vocational school, a community college class, or a university that offers programs in hospitality.

The important part is to research which institution will grant you the certification you need, and how transferable the skills will be in your future career. Many programs can teach you a lot but will not be recognized internationally. Or, their fields may be limited to certain skills and not take you to the Michelin Star gourmet food you want to create.


If you plan on owning a restaurant, you will need a background in business and handling the books. Food costing, business expenses, and HR issues will all become part of your responsibility as an owner. Not all chefs are capable of running the business themselves and make the mistake of tackling it when they are not qualified to do so. A non-chef business-minded partner is therefore always a great asset.

If you wish to travel the world, it may be wise to look into exchange programs that can teach you new styles of cooking across the globe. This will come in handy when applying for jobs, as you will be able to prepare exotic foods. You can also apply for in-service training in the tourism industry, to work on cruise ships, for airlines, or at holiday destinations.

Applying for Work When You Are Qualified

In an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, renowned chef Gordon Ramsay once said, “You graduated, but that does not make you qualified to be the head chef.” In essence, your training to date may not be sufficient to propel you to the top just yet. You may have to start at the bottom and work your way up.

Secondly, a generic resume attachment may not make it past the opening of the email that carried it. You need to stand out. A clean and groomed appearance in a slide show with a few photos of dishes you have prepared will go a long way to spark interest. Make sure that your photos are well lit and that you get the perfect food Instagram shot for the perfect presentation.

Crystal clear…

Once you are invited for an interview, you may be asked to prepare something, either your recipe or theirs. Don’t panic. If any of their instructions are unclear, ask for clarification. Communication is important, and you will not be faulted for ensuring something is done correctly – as it will make sure that a customer will not send any food back.

If you are applying for jobs outside of the US, you may also have to ensure that you have the documents you need ready ahead of time, such as a passport and travel and/or work visa. Some places may also require you to be vaccinated, not only for COVID-19 but for other diseases which may be prevalent in that area.

Need More Information on Becoming a Master Chef?

Well, let’s start by taking a look at the various chef positions and what each entails. You’ll find all the info you need in our Chef Job Description, our Top Chef Interview Questions, my Sous Chef Job Description, my Restaurant General Manager Job Description, our Line Cook Job Description, our Executive Chef Job Description, and our Assistant Restaurant Manager Job Description, making it easier for you to decide which one perfectly suits your abilities and goals in 2023.

And if you’re interested in creating the perfect burger, check out The Ultimate Burger: Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes, the Burger Night: Dinner Solutions for Every Day of the Week, as well as the Great American Burger Book: How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home.

Or how about Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, and Shakes: A Cookbook, A Burger to Believe In: Recipes and Fundamentals, and the Weber’s Big Book of Burgers: The Ultimate Guide to Grilling Backyard Classics available online today.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you earn a Michelin Star, you can be a fantastic chef and achieve success as long as you provide fresh, high-quality food, and take criticism constructively. However, this is also a fast-paced job with extremely long hours, and you will be expected to work on weekends and holidays. You will have to take this into consideration if this is something you want to do for the rest of your life.

If you intend on giving chef Ramsay a run for his money, the world may just be your wonderfully prepared oyster.

All the very best with your career as a chef.

5/5 - (44 votes)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Calvin Miller

Calvin has over 20 years of experience in a leading employment agency in Tucson, Arizona, and is passionate about finding the perfect position for everyone who uses the company’s services.

He lives with his wife, Annette, and their two sons Jake and Joseph.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top