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How to Become a Chef – and Work for Yourself

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Dreaming of becoming a chef but also working for yourself? You could become a freelance chef and prepare and cook food in restaurants, client kitchens, or even private yachts. Going it alone as a chef is challenging though, so it’s a good idea to have some experience in the kitchen before you take the leap into self-employment. What does a chef do? A chef not only prepares and cooks food, but also has an eye for food presentation. Chefs can work in pubs, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and even private households. This article focuses on how to become a chef on a self-employed basis, whether that’s as a freelance chef or a personal chef for individual people and families. What is a personal chef? A personal chef can help clients by coming into their homes to cook for them if they have busy schedules or just don’t enjoy cooking. This typically involves: Depending on your contract, you might prepare everything from breakfast through to dinner, or you might just work one or two evenings a week. Your clients could be anyone from busy professionals with disposable incomes to athletes who need meals that’ll complement their training, or even families living on a private yacht. What is a freelance chef? Often chefs will be employed full-time by a pub or restaurant for example, but sometimes businesses might need a chef on a short-term or temporary basis. For example, if they need specialist skills, last-minute cover, or are putting on a particular event. As a freelance chef you’ll be looking after the running of a kitchen, creating menus, and checking the food going out. Depending on the size of the event or type of client, you could be managing kitchen staff too. Reasons to become a self-employed chef Be creative – from designing menus, to learning skills, to jumping on new trends, you can be in control of your cooking. Choose your hours – the working hours of a chef are known for being long and physically demanding, but if you’re self-employed you’ll have more flexibility to choose your hours – and you’ll be paid for every hour you work. Work with a range of clients – whether it’s stepping into different restaurants and cuisines, supporting families with their cooking, or joining a cruise ship for the summer, you can embrace variety and build new skills. Chef skills you’ll need Chef skills and qualities you need include: passion for food food production methods, such as roasting and frying As a chef you’re legally required to have a Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering Certificate . For more information, check guidance on health and safety law for the catering and hospitality industry and food hygiene requirements . To work as a self-employed chef, you’ll also need to be adaptable to any kitchen and able to cook many different dishes and cuisines . Chef courses You don’t need specific training to be a chef, but a formal catering qualification may be a […]

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