A Chef Turned Restaupreneurs - Peep into a Chef's Life: Behind the Kitchen Walls & Beyond...
From being the most popular baker in the neighborhood to being recognized as an internationally accredited celebrity chef - the career of chef has evolved and come a long way. Most chefs jump into their professional careers of being a full-time chef in a restaurant only after years of being the "best cook at their home!".
Until a few decades ago, chefs really didn't get the attention and praise they very much deserved with the royal chefs at palaces being appreciated now and then, being an exception. What is it like to be a professional chef in modern day life? What do the popular chefs do outside of their work as a maestro in the restaurant kitchen. Here's a little peep into a Modern Day Chef's Life. What happens behind those luxury Kitchen Walls and beyond them...
Behind the Kitchen Walls...
A real life chef's life behind the kitchen walls isn't always as glamourous as it looks on TV where popular celebrity chefs cook! It's that and many more things along with that. Depending on your level of responsibilities, being a chef can mean a lot of things - from choosing the place to pick the best produce from, planning on what to cook and how to cook it, preparing the best team to perfectly co-ordinate every little task that goes into making that perfect dish and the final presentation of the food prepared! It can seem like too much responsibilities at once, especially when you are beginning.
Being a good chef isn't just about preparing the most tasty food in the world. It goes beyond that and actually questions one's management skills too. After all, managing a large team and having them to perfectly sync up and collaborate in order to cook the best food is not an easy task. A home chef, on the other hand can draw all his or her focus and energies on the most important part - COOKING. But a professional chef? It is a combination of many capabilities all put together.
Working long hours is definitely on the plate of a professional chef
Depending on the type of restaurant you're working at, your working hours may vary as a chef. But as a general thumb rule, professional chefs are known to work for long hours - usually from afternoons to midnights, considering working in one of those resto-pubs in metro cities. There might be lay-off days and off-season weeks where chefs don't have too much work on their plates but when it is season, chefs can have really long and challenging days at work.
Chef turned restaupreneurs also have to deal with staff and finances
The stories of chefs turned restaupreneurs are many. Successful chefs who open up their own restaurants will have to combine their skills of being a chef with entrepreneurial abilities in order to successfully run the venture. After all, a good restaurant is not all about great food. Best restaupreneurs are those who can create a perfect mix of great food, great ambience, great staff and good value for customers!
As a chef, looking into the tiny details of restaupreneurship like staff and finances can be daunting - but you can learn on the go and if you do manage to ace it in the long run, there's really nothing like it! To back this up, there are hundreds of success stories of chef turned restaupreneurs who are acing the business and whose "Chef" status is a golden feather to the hat of their restaurant business! So if you're headed in that regard, persistence, dedication and an attention to key details will help you stay put and stay ahead.
Beyond the Kitchen Walls...
A professional chef can be many things outside of his or her professional chef life. They can have some really diverse interests and hobbies just like any other professional would. Since cooking in itself is an art, most chefs find their jobs to be very fulfilling and try to relax in their off-working hours. In fact, most professional chefs working at busy restaurants of bustling cities do not always cook for their families at home. They'd rather prefer their spouses carry out the cooking for them although they'll never stop surprising their loved ones with the new dish they've discovered!
There are happy grateful customers..and then, there are angry non-so-grateful ones
In the beginning, every professional chef strives to satisfy each and every customer who comes to the restaurant. That is good but in the course of time, chefs come to realize that - sometimes there just isn't something you can do to make a customer happy. Managers yelling at the kitchen chefs for a negative feedback received by a customer is quite a common thing in some restaurants.
The silver lining here however is that you learn to deal with these harsh realities as your experience in the industry increases. Not every customer is going to be grateful and appreciate the food you've cooked for them. Not every customer is going to be so kind as to make it a point that they tell you how much they loved your food. And not every customer is going to appreciate the little efforts that has gone into their perfectly beautiful plate of food that lays in front of them. And it is okay.
As a chef, one will understand that there really are different types of people out there and just like with any other profession, a chef will learn that there are some happy days where one will be acknowledged for the work carried out and then there are days where strong negative reviews and feedback may hit you and bring you down. However, the golden rule - not everyday is sunshine! is something that should stir back one's spirits to action and bring back passion to life!
Bringing out work-life balance is just as difficult for a professional chef like many other professionals...
Being a full-time professional chef is a job that demands lots of commitment and hours of labour and hard work. There can be extremely stressful days for chefs at work and working out a perfect balance between work and personal lives for chefs can be harder than one may think! Having a supportive and understanding family is detrimental for chefs to have pleasant personal relationships. And it can get even more challenging for chef-turned-restaupreneurs.
However, the success stories of many such chefs is an inspiration for other chefs and although it could seem like a Herculean task at the beginning, but most chefs tend to figure it all out as time marches ahead!
Bottom-line: Being a professional chef in real life isn't always as glamourous as the TV Chef Shows have made it appear. It can be challenging and will require one to put in real efforts and time in order to ace it. And just like any other profession, being a full-time professional chef can be the most fulfilling one or the most stressful one depending on how each individual copes with stress at work and still manages to keep the burning passion alive!
Abhishek Tripathi – 9821585856