A professional chef is basically a culinary artist. Their main job of chef is to setup a professional kitchen which can be in a
restaurant, hotel, resort, private residence and other food service settings. Their major work related responsibilities are to prepare and cook the food, present it beautifully, supervise all the other culinary professionals working along with him/ her in the kitchen as well as to train the apprentices and new recruits. As a chef, you enter the professional field at a basic entry level and from there on you make your way up to higher positions with gradual training and experience.
Career Path of a Chef
The career path of a chef is progressive in nature. When you enter the field, you start by working as a cook or at some other lower level job in the professional kitchen. As you gain more experience and get higher level of training, you begin to advance to higher positions such as that of a chef or a head chef. The most attractive position for a candidate planning a career in this field is that of an Executive Chef. The opportunities for growth and promotion are immense in this field. It is a very satisfying career option. These days a lot of young crowd is attracted to this career.
Career Scope of Chef
The scope of the career of a chef is immense. With the growth of food and hospitality industry, the number of food chains are rapidly growing. This is opening up many new avenues for the professional chefs. A chef may work individually or as a part of a team. Budding culinary professionals may look forward to training, internships and apprenticeships as well. The major employers of chefs include international and national 5 star and 7 star hotels. They are also hired by cruise companies to prepare and cook food for their customers on ship journeys.
Salary Range for Chef
The salary of a Chef tends to vary depending on a variety of factors. The pay package depends on the professional qualification and prior work experience that a candidate has, their certification, how many cuisines is the candidate familiar with, the employing company, whether they work in the public or private sector, the level at which you work in a professional kitchen, etc. However, on average, a chef at an entry level job may receive a pay package of INR 4.9 Lacs per annum but for an Executive Chef it may go as high as INR 8.3-30 Lacs per annum.
Education Qualification Required to Become a Chef
A professional degree combined with training and experience can make a candidate very desirable in the eyes of an employer. Formal training via a variety of culinary programs is available in colleges, universities and culinary institutes. A Bachelor’s degree in a culinary program(Hotel Management and Cratering) is of 4 years while an Associate’s degree course is of 2 years. Apart from food preparation, cooking techniques and nutrition, the programs also focus on sanitary and safe cooking practices. One can also choose for certification programs. A certified chef always has an edge over other candidates.
Best Colleges/ Institutes to Obtain Qualification for becoming a Chef
There are many educational institutes and colleges that offer courses and diploma degree that a person can acquire in order to make a career as a chef. Some of the best universities/ colleges/ institutes offering these culinary programs have been enlisted as follows:
- Academy of Culinary Education, Goa
- Allied Institute of Hotel Management & Culinary Arts, Haryana
- Asian Academy of Culinary Art, New Delhi
- Culinary Academy of India, Hyderabad
- Culinary Institute of India & CITMS, West Bengal