- The best road to progress is freedom's road. John F. Kennedy
Become a Cook
Anyone who enjoys cooking has probably thought about what it might be like to work as a high-end cook. And let’s be honest – more than a few of us have pretended our kitchen was a studio and we were the latest Food Network star. But in reality, the road to becoming a cook takes time to travel. It requires countless hours of hard work, especially in the early years. “Paying your dues” is definitely what aspiring cooks must do to reach the upper ranks of the profession.
Cooks work in restaurants and cafeterias and are responsible for preparing and cooking various appetizers, entrees and desserts. Before preparing and cooking food, cooks need to ensure the ingredients are fresh, the work area is clean and equipment is available. Cooks follow recipes, mix ingredients, and prepare various types of foods, like vegetable and meats, using various cooking methods, such as braising, steaming, baking and broiling. Many hours spent standing are required, and a certain amount of stress is involved with the need to work quickly, yet efficiently.
There are no strict educational or training requirements to become a chef. For most, the knowledge and skills are simply gained during those long hours in the kitchen. However, those who want to reach the pinnacle of the profession could be well served by choosing a culinary degree in addition to an apprenticeship.