I am not a chef, but I am a big fan of chefs, and have read many books by and about them. If you’re interested in learning more about the path before starting down it, that might be a great resource!
The difficulties many of them talk about are:
- Entry level kitchen work isn’t very well paid. It can take a long time to pay down any student loan debt if you go the culinary school route.
- The hours can be very long and intense. It doesn’t seem unusual to work 18 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week!
- Chefs also tend to work during times that other people are relaxing. Friday night might be the time most people are finally done working for the night, but it can be a chef’s busiest of the week.
- The restaurant business is hard, and many new restaurants close shortly after opening. It’s important to make good relationships and impressions in the kitchen so you’re ready to move to a new opportunity.
The way it sounds that most of the chefs who “really make it” get over all those difficulties is with passion. You have to love cooking and the lifestyle that it demands enough to make that all worthwhile, or better yet, have it be part of the appeal to you.
Josh recommends the following next steps:
- Learn about the careers of chefs you admire (from the library, or interviews on youtube)