Tuesday, May 17, 2022
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Career as Chef : Eligibility & Course Areas

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No formal education is needed in this field, but for securing a good job with a well established organisation, professional training from a reputed culinary academy is essential. Renowned restaurants prefer recruiting staff with formal training in fundamentals of cooking. 

Varied courses are offered by different institutions in the field of food preparation & processing, catering technology and other relevant areas of catering field. To avoid being conned it is better to go for institutes registered under National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT).


10+2 or its equivalent is the minimum educational qualification needed for joining any course in the culinary field. The field offers many certificate, diploma and graduate progammes. Bachelor of Hotel Management and Catering Technology which is of 4 year duration, and 3 year Diploma course in Hotel Management are the major graduation courses offered in most of the reputed culinary academy/ institutions. Admission to these courses are through an entrance examination conducted by the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT). The entrance test comprises of subjects like English, Reasoning, General Science and General Knowledge which is followed by group discussion and an interview. 

There are certain private hotel management institutes who have foreign affiliations and approvals from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Besides, several Food craft Institutes in the country also provide training in catering and food processing. One can join these food craft institutes after their 10th or 12th board examination. The duration of the courses in these institutes varies between 6-18 months.  

Apprenticeship courses are offered by several professional culinary training institutes in Chef training. Specialisation in the areas such as cold kitchen, hot kitchen and Bakery & Confectionery are also offered in the catering field. One can also obtain admission in a renowned institute abroad for their culinary training. 

Personal Skills : Those who possess an inborn love for the art of cooking can have a bright future in the culinary career. The most required quality for a chef is a strong sense of smell and taste. The chefs must have an experimental bent of mind and the inquisitiveness to know the chemistry of different food ingredients. They should possess thorough knowledge about different variety of food and cuisine not only of ones own country but globally, and how they are cooked, prepared and finally presented to the guests. The chefs should be prepared to experiment and explore varied food ingredients. 

The chef should posses an outgoing and friendly personality and have the ability to work as a team. An aspiring chef should be ready to work for extended hours; always stay prepared to work under intense pressure; develop a thick skin to stand criticism and be strong enough to work in a fiery environment amidst fumes & odors. One should keep oneself updated with knowledge and skills such as new cooking technologies and methods etc. One also needs to have an aptitude for service and hospitality.

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