We often hear of success stories such as world-renowned chef Joël Robuchon, who got a job as an apprentice chef at the age of 15 and later took on the job of head chef at Harmony-Lafayette restaurant in Paris when he turned 28. A year later, he attained his first Michelin star and has been named chef of the century.
What does it take to be a culinary genius like him? Robuchon once said in an interview that it takes an incredible amount of hard work. He also put his mind to it, and when he decided to be a chef, he was determined to be the best.
Here are six habits you can adopt to put yourself on track for an extraordinary career as a chef.
Habit 1: Planning Is Essential to Success
Great chefs are great planners. They think ahead and plot out everything they are going to do from cooking to the financial responsibilities of running a kitchen. These are essential skills in running a kitchen, since poor planning can result in not just bad food but your kitchen failing to meet its margins. The best chefs know what is required for every service, making sure the day goes as smoothly as possible.
Habit 2: Become the Master of Your Time
When cooking, time is everything. Your mise en place is vital to delivering a great service for your diners and the team around you. Check the prep to make sure service goes without issues.
Habit 3: Focus on the Task at Hand
When your office is full of fire, knives and people, you cannot afford any slipups. Giving the team clear direction and roles through the service will ensure that every meal is delivered as efficiently as possible!
Habit 4: Innovators Are Always Learning
How do certain chefs stay ahead of the game and know what foods will be popular before a trend starts? How do others create new and innovative dishes that are completely original? Simple: they're always learning. Great chefs keep updated with food trends. They study the cooking methods and cuisines of other cultures and spend time experimenting with different dishes. Doing so means they are constantly discovering new skills and recipes they can incorporate into their restaurant.
Habit 5: Quality Control
This comes in many forms, from what goes out of the pass to looking after your legal responsibilities. Top chefs make it a priority to scrutinize everything that goes on in their kitchen, from goods in to the final dish.
Habit 6: Keep Things Simple
Many great chefs spend hours refining and perfecting their key signature dishes. This could mean offering set menus and limited items. As the saying goes, “Quality over quantity” – offer food that is the best quality, rather than creating a huge variety of dishes that don’t meet the mark!