Professional Chef Career Prospect in the UK

Are you thinking of starting a career as a professional chef, and looking for how to become a chef? If it is, then I can simply tell you that the prospect is stunning; if you see the growth of the food industry in the UK, you can easily understand how precious this industry is.

Becoming a chef can be a difficult one if you don’t know how to start and the necessary information about this industry. The newcomers find it difficult because of the lack of proper guidelines. 

These days, I am often asked to write about this cooking industry and the prospect of this profession. So, today I am planning to give you all of the essential information regarding this so that you can take a decision easily. However, let’s see what I’ve got for you.

Required Skills to Become a Professional Chef

professional chef

Wherever you go, you have to have some basic skills. Any sort of career requires a certain level of abilities from the candidates. So as in this cooking industry, you need some skills. However, here I am giving you the real-life skills list that you may find in the chef job’s descriptions, so let’s take a look:

  • Ability to work fast in a stressful situation
  • Creativity and variety in work
  • Ability to create different/ attractive menus
  • Excellent food presentation skills
  • Energy to survive long working hours
  • Smart to memorise recipes
  • Excellent team performer
  • Ability to assign responsibilities to others
  • A good sense of taste and smell
  • Innovative and experimental abilities
  • Understanding of food hygiene
  • Self-motivation and growth mind set up
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Flexibility, commitment
  • Willingness to learn new things
  • And surely, love for food

Responsibilities of a Professional chef

responsibilities of professional chef

As a chef, you will be liable for various decisions and actions. Wherever you work, you have to do a certain range of duties. You may be responsible for:

  • Setting the kitchen with cooking tools and accessories, like knives, pans and kitchen scales etc.
  • Studying each recipe and collecting all the required ingredients
  • Cooking food on time
  • Notifying wait staff about daily specials
  • Ensuring an excellent plate presentation
  • Overseeing Cooks and assist as needed
  • Slightly modifying recipes to meet customers' needs
  • Monitoring food stock and orders
  • Verifying freshness of food and drop out-of-date items
  • Experimenting with recipes and suggest something new
  • Ensuring all health and safety controls within the kitchen area
  • Listening to instructions and working as part of a team
  • Working in different sections of the kitchen
  • In developing menus assist sous or head chef, and
  • Recruiting, motivating and managing the team.

Chef Educational Qualifications

professional chef qualification

For becoming a chef in the UK, you have plenty of career advancement opportunities. If you want to become a role model in this industry, then it is highly recommended to get a formal education. So, Here we go, take a look:

  • High School Diploma-: This is the first essential requirement as it would prepare you for higher education.
  • Community College-: When you are done with high school, you can now register for a degree program at a community college. 
  • Culinary degree-: Culinary schools offer varying lengths of programs that prepare you to become a chef. 
  • Apprenticeship program-: This prepares you for the real-life experiences of becoming a chef.
  • Baking/Pastry School-: This is for people who want to become pastry chefs. 
  • Trade Certification-: Different organisations issue trade certifications. You can have one too. 
  • Chef training-: There are many short courses for the professional chef.
  • University degree-: If you have enough funds for this, then you can consider going to university.
  • Personal training-: If you are passionate about it, you can learn yourself at home or anywhere. You can be a role model too. 
  • Professional cooking courses online: there are many online courses available for you to become a chef from home.  

Chefs' Career Prospects in the UK

chef's career in UK

Firstly, It is trendy and an in-demand career destination no time like the present. Moreover, it is an international job these days, and it is relatively easy to progress fast. The demand for this job won’t be lost because as long as humans exist, cooking will be on-demand too! Funny but true! Isn’t it? 

There are a wide variety of job opportunity for you, such as:

  • Chef supervisor
  • General manager
  • Restaurant supervisor
  • Product development
  • Beverage manager
  • Head of catering
  • Catering manager
  • Contract catering
  • Cruise ships
  • Educational settings
  • Food writer
  • Restaurant owner.

Chefs’ Salary in The UK?

professional chef salary

In the UK, the salary range varies from location to location, which means your workplace is one of the main factors for determining your salary. Relatively big cities or towns offer more salaries than smaller ones. The average salaries for chefs are £27,003.

  • Expert chefs can earn between £20,000 and £30,000.
  • Head chefs can demand higher salaries of £25,000 to £55,000 and can be more depending on negotiation.
  • Commis chef average salary is £17000
  • Chef de partie avg. salary is £20500
  • Pastry chef can earn £25000
  • Sous chef avg. salary can be £23500

How to Become a professional Chef in the UK

become a professional chef

Most importantly, I can tell you that, if you want advancement in your professional career, then you have to take some professional steps too. It is not necessary to have any formal education for becoming a chef, but for improvement, it is a must. Let’s see what I am talking about:

1. Consider a Culinary Arts Program for a Professional Education

It is not mandatory to enrol in culinary school to become a chef. But here we are talking about the professional chef, so it may allow you to get a dream job. Mostly, culinary schools offer a wide range of education in nutrition, hygienic food preparation techniques, butchery, pastry, and other basics of cooking. 

Usually, it takes 6-9 months to earn a certificate, and if you want a degree in culinary arts, then it may take 2 years. Also, you can go for a 4 years bachelor’s degree in college, university or culinary institute.

2. Find an Internship at a Restaurant to Build your CV

professional chef

If you think an internship isn’t glamorous, then I can tell you that don’t underestimate it, because it will surely help you to become glamorous. It will give you access to more job opportunities because there is nothing comparable with real-life experience.

So contact local restaurants for internship vacancy, and if you belong to any culinary institute, then ask them for an internship as they have contact with local restaurants.

3. Get Certified if You Focus on a Certain Area

Generally, you don’t need any certificate for becoming a chef, but a trusted certification always has a precious value. Moreover, if you get a certificate on any special area of cooking, then it will add value to your resume.

Also, relevant certification will help you to progress fast, and it will allow you to go for broad research on cooking and food processing.

4. Build a Network with Other Chefs

In professional life, networking is often a key to progress fast because it allows accessing more opportunities.

So try to make a connection with other chefs in your town or local restaurant owners. It will help you to build a successful career.

5. Be Active on Social Media & Post Your Recipes

Social media for professional chef

If you want to grow fast, then utilise the virtual platform as much as possible. Whenever you prepare any recipe, take some awesome pictures and post them on your social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Therefore, it will help you to get feedback, and you will be able to establish your popularity as a chef.

Closing Note

In conclusion, one thing I should mention that this field is all about your passion and hard work. If you love to do your job, then nothing will stop you from becoming a professional chef. Most importantly, your focus and approaches are the most vital part here. 

September 4, 2020

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