08 Nov 9 Reasons to be a Chef
In the recent ACF blog post, “9 Reasons to be a Chef”, writer Paul Sorgule reflects on the moment he started his chef career and the journey of ups and downs that this career path has taken him on. Despite it all, he prides himself in his decision and commitment to being a chef, realizing that “this is a career that others who chose a different path look to as a dream that is interesting and exciting.” In this ACF article, Sorgule provided a list of nine legitimate reasons to pursue a career as a chef that we want to pass onto our students for encouragement as you continue to earn your certification or re-certification!
THE TANGIBLE JOY OF CREATING
That perfect plate: a well-conceived dish that marries complementary flavors and takes full advantage of the unique textures of individual ingredients as they blend to create something that satisfies and memorializes the cook’s craft is a thing of beauty. Each plate that leaves the kitchen carries the invisible signature of the person who built it. This is incredibly rewarding.
RELISHING IN AN ACQUIRED SKILL
Human beings have an innate desire to be accomplished at something. To be a great storyteller, a methodical technician, a knowledgeable caretaker of the how and why, and a problem solver who can adjust to curve balls. This is what a cook is able to be when skills are finely tuned.
THE ABILITY TO MAKE ANOTHER PERSON’S DAY
In the end, the cook’s primary job is to present food in a manner that makes the recipient happy with the results. A chef’s job is to take this to the next level and make the experience of dining memorable enough to set the tone for the guest’s day. This is the chef’s reward.
THE GRATIFICATION THAT COMES FROM HARD WORK
Human hands were designed to work hard, the brain was designed to push a person’s intellect and recall, and the legs and feet were meant to feel sore, that good sore from knowing that much was accomplished today. Hard work is incredibly gratifying.
PRIDE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIFORM
We all want to be part of something that is bigger than we are. Wearing the chef’s uniform makes a cook part of the history of the profession, a history that is honorable, noble, and now well respected. Wearing the uniform allows us to be part of a club of professionals who made the work of the kitchen a part of who they are as a person.
BEING PART OF A TEAM
Satisfaction is the knowledge that your work and your success in the kitchen are dependent on how well others around you perform. Being part of a group of people who share a common goal, who have dedicated the time to build an incredible set of skills, who are proud of what they do and who will do whatever it takes to make the whole team successful is an honor.
Although it may not have always been the case, over the years the kitchen has grown to become an environment that cares little about age, gender, size, ethnicity, race or lifestyle preferences. The kitchen team has become a true melting pot of backgrounds and beliefs that are focused solely on accomplishing the established goals before them.
THE SMELLS, SIGHTS, SOUNDS, TEXTURES AND TASTES OF THE KITCHEN
What greeting could be better than the smells of a stock simmering, onions being caramelized, bread being pulled from the oven on a peel or meat charring on an open grill? What could be more exciting that the sound of knives vigorously chopping parsley or slicing mushrooms, pots and pans ringing in tune as they are pulled from racks and connected to a stove top, or the cadence of orders being called out by the expediter with a resounding “Yes chef” response from line cooks?
What could be more majestic than watching a line cook during busy service take the time to paint a work of art on a plate before it hits the pass, or a pastry chef decorating a cake with the skill of a sculptor or impressionist painter? What could be more rewarding than savoring the flavors of a perfectly married dish or the chew of a deeply marbled and perfectly cooked steak? This is what cooks and chefs are privileged to work with every day.
THE TIMELESS NATURE OF FOOD AS THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
Finally, when a chef stops to contemplate his or her role in society, it is important to note that a wonderful plate of food is the great equalizer. Regardless of the differences that people might have politically, economically, intellectually or culturally, a great tasting dish can bring a smile and a nod to the face of anyone, even adversaries. This is our gift to the world; the ability to find common ground and relish in the opportunity to share the wonders of food.
Be something special — be a chef! Those who find their way into the uniform, the environment and the world of food will always be at home. With all of its challenges there are few places and few careers that can provide as much gratification as cooking. As a friend of mine once proclaimed: “There has never been a better time to be a chef than right now.”
Be part of the history and the proud profession of cooking. Join and get involved in shaping the future of this profession. Always strive to build on what was established before you, push for excellence, never accept mediocrity and become an ambassador who promotes to others the benefits of being a cook, being a chef.
If you enjoyed this article by Sorgule, you can view the full, original posted on the ACF blog site here: https://wearechefs.com/2017/10/25/be-something-special-be-a-chef/