I can vividly remember 12 February 2014 was the day I decided to be a Chef. I always tell my close friends how I landed in this career was sort of a mistake but look at how far I’ve come, I proudly accept being adressed as Chef Middii.
September 2014 came and I enrolled in my first culinary school. I was so happy. My first lesson was on making stock. I vividly remember it took my mates n I three whole hours to make vegetable stock. My feet ached like hell because I was not used to standing for long hours.
Let’s get to the vegetable cuts,it took like forever because I had not yet mastered the basic knife skills. I thought I would fail or something of the sort because I had not mastered the difference between a julienne cut, a buttonete cut, a brunoise. In time I knew the difference because those are basic things as a chef you can not afford to confuse.
Well, being a chef will take a lot of sacrifice and effort. I mean one off day, no holidays, late working hours and crazy shifts. Trust me some days you won’t feel like getting out of bed and busting your ass.Standing for eight hours and even more.By the time you get home all you want to do is sleep.
Every great chef has that one thing that drives them. For me what drives me is my desire to grow in this art, the art of being a chef. I love going home knowing I worked my ass off to meet a certain goal set at work like get the clients orders right,created a new menu and maybe even created my own recipe.
The truth is that most people look down on chef’s saying its a shitty job because cooking is easy. Don’t get me wrong everyone can cook but not everyone knows what ingredients to combine to bring out a certain flavor, which Herb goes well with what dish, plating of food in an attractive marker, garnishing of food.Only a chef knows this struggle.
Wearing a chef’s uniform does not make you a chef. Having pride in that uniform, maintaining your zeal and passion ,the ability to control your composure under pressure is what makes you a Chef.
The thrill of being a chef is not known to many.Many think its more of cooking food and just going home.A real chef will tell you the trill exists right from the preparation of the raw material needed to the plating of the food.There is nothing exciting as preparing food to the right texture needed,plating in a certain manner to blend in colors and finally the satisfaction of the guests.No chef wants to go to work and stay idle the whole day.The thrill comes more in the workflow of the food preparation ,struggling to meet a certain time limit.
Great chef legends like Escoffier,Paul Bocuse, Careme will tell you that creativity is key in the kitchen.Passion too goes a long way.Everyone can cook but a real chef Makes distinction everywhere they go.
I won’t lie to you that the industry is a walk in the Park. You will meet a lot of bullies who will want to bring you down. But you will have to rise above it all. Maintain your passion and zeal.Be outstanding in all you do. Be different and be ambitious.
Cheers to my fellow chefs