Anyone with a passion for cooking has the potential to have a successful career as a chef. It's a popular profession because it allows people to satisfy different needs, from being artistic with their food to creating a meal that people enjoy. It's also one of the professions that do not require you to have a degree. However, a chef who has more formalized training will have a higher earning potential and have more opportunities to work in higher end restaurants.
There are many different culinary schools that can teach you the basics of becoming a chef. You will learn which flavors are commonly married, what foods to avoid putting together on a plate, and how to manage your time in the kitchen. Many chefs are self-taught. This means that their only experience comes from learning how to cook at home while growing up. It provides great hands on experience, but it's not as comprehensive of a training as if you'd gone to culinary school. You can go to a community college, a 2 or 4 year college, or a culinary training school. You can take classes in food & beverage, catering, and even pastry classes. Many classically trained chefs are very nervous when it comes to making a dessert. They aren't typically trained on how to bake and instead hire a pastry chef. It would be a big selling point when trying to obtain employment if you could say that you are not only a kitchen chef but you are also a trained pastry chef.
High end restaurant owners want to hire the chef with the most experience and versatility. They want someone who can come in and help plan new menus, design new meals, and execute dishes as though they are the best meal that could be served. Hands on experience is an asset but a formal education and training gives you more leverage when applying for a job. It shows that you have made an investment in your career and that you are willing to go the extra mile to get as much training as possible. Though a degree isn't required to become a chef, it may move you to the front of the line when it comes to finding employment.
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