How to become a self-taught Chef (Process, Equipment, Top Chefs)

8 min read

Is it possible to be a self-taught chef? Yes, it is!

Although it is possible to be self-taught as a chef, becoming one is more difficult.

A low-level entry-level position in a restaurant will be required, and you will need to progress through the ranks as you learn everything as you go.

You may be a self-taught chef, so let’s dig deeper and see how you can achieve your goal, which isn’t as difficult as it seems.

How to become a self-taught Chef:

To be successful as a self-taught chef, you must complete three major tasks.

We urge you not to be discouraged because tens of thousands, if not more, of people worldwide, have already done so.

1. Discover your inspiration:

The first level of inspiration is your “why.” Why do you want to learn to cook? Reflect on your heart, and you’re ready to go. If you want to become a self-taught chef, you need four key sources of inspiration which are;

Work ethic:

A self-taught chef must have a strong work ethic before becoming one. So, if you don’t know what it takes to work in a restaurant, ask someone you know or a chef.

Passion:

And if you’re interested in being a self-taught chef, I’m assuming you’re passionate about it. The passion for this route is sufficient if you enjoy watching food shows or cooking at home.

To become a self-taught chef, you must first determine your level of interest in the subject matter. However, getting a job now and seeing if it’s for you are quick to discover.

Energy:

A chef’s job is tough. A fast-paced day with minimal breaks and low pay is fine for those who can handle it. A chef’s energy level varies depending on the restaurant and employment.

Practice:

Learning new things and experimenting with new tools and technologies helps build a good career.

Thus, to do well as a self-taught chef, it’s advisable to keep practicing until you become knowledgeable.

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2. Improve your skills:

It is possible to begin developing your skillset while seeking an entry-level position in various ways.

There are some excellent ones listed below, and you can get started with a handful of them right away!

Learn the cooking basics at home:

It has never been easier to start something from scratch and make it excellent, and cooking is one of them. Before you start studying the basics, you’ll need some essential supplies and equipment.

You will need a good chef’s knife, quality cookware, a diverse equipment set, and a good cutting board to get started at home.

After all the necessary tools, you should master basic skills, including using a knife, sharpening a knife, frying, boiling, and grilling.

Understanding the fundamentals that apply to practically everything in the kitchen can vastly boost your total understanding!

Watch educational videos:

Nowadays, it is really simple to learn at one’s convenience.

You may learn how to cook properly from various sources, including blogs, YouTube videos, and even television shows, and there is something for everyone, from the utter beginner to the extremely accomplished chef.

Find a mentor:

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to find the proper one, this is the most potent. You can discover one later in your career, but this is the most difficult.

Any help you can get, even if it’s only an entry-level position, should be appreciated. A self-taught chef’s final goal is to get hired.

3. Look for an entry-level job:

A chef’s position without prior experience or a culinary school certificate might be scary and difficult to get.

However, if you can get your foot in the door, there is no harm in giving it a shot.

Taking a more entry-level position like a dishwasher or, if you’re very lucky, a kitchen helper is more likely than not your best option.

Given that you are on the path to becoming a self-taught chef, you should take this opportunity to work there for a while.

Make a point of applying to higher-end establishments initially if you seek a dishwasher position because dishwashing is the same regardless of where it is done.

Nonetheless, you will gain valuable insight into the working patterns and skills of the more experienced chefs working in the high-end restaurant, which will benefit your cause.

Additionally, this is when you can seriously consider finding a mentor, and the appropriate one is almost certainly just around the corner, so keep looking.

Moreover, having a mentor in the restaurant industry is something all beginning chefs aspire to. They have decades of expertise; therefore, you should pay close attention and pick up many valuable tips.

Working on your inspiration and skills is now your responsibility, and you may begin looking for employment immediately. You will be a self-taught chef in no time!

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Some kitchen equipment that you will need in becoming a self-taught chef:

In your journey of becoming a self-taught chef, there is some kitchen equipment that will be required you to own to make work easier and faster for you. Below are some of these kitchen equipment tools.

  • Knife set
  • Skillet
  • Food processor
  • Tweezers
  • Cutting boards
  • Mixing bowls etc.

Some self-taught chefs that you should know:

Many well-known chefs started the industry without any formal training or certification.

People who are unsure of what they want to do with their passion for food and cooking might look to the chefs listed below for guidance. You should be familiar with certain self-taught chefs:

1. Racheal Ray:

Rachael Ray grew up in a food and restaurant business family, but she taught herself most of her cooking knowledge.

Her big break was her “30 Minute Meals” television classes, which she worked for various firms before.

Ray became the host of multiple Food Network series and the author of several cookbooks.

She has launched her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and a talk program that has been attracting chefs from all over the world.

2. Ina Garten:

Ina Garten spent years establishing nuclear energy policy for the White House. She spent her days performing work that didn’t fulfill her.

Garten was interested when he saw an ad for a small food store in NYC. She flew to New York to see it and fell in love.

A hasty bid from her and her husband got her the store. To this day, she runs her business under the name Barefoot Contessa.

Despite her lack of experience, Garten was determined to make her goal of cooking a reality.

With almost 20 chefs and bakers, Barefoot Contessa has grown tenfold in two decades. She sold it to the chef and management to try something new.

She has published twelve cookbooks, recorded a long-running show for Culinary Network, and written food essays for various periodicals.

3. Gordon Ramsey:

Originally an athlete, Gordon Ramsay discovered his passion for food and cooking. He quit soccer to become a well-known chef in the UK.

So he began teaching himself the cooking techniques he still uses today. Chefs like Marco Pierre White, Albert Roux, Joel Robuchon, and Guy Savoy helped develop his skills and refine his techniques.

Ramsay was recruited at Aubergine, a two-star restaurant in London when he felt ready. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay was his first venture after Aubergine.

Three stars for the restaurant’s success. This inspired him to open more eateries. Ramsay is best known as the host of the hit cookery programs Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef.

4. Jamie Oliver:

Famous chef Jamie Oliver, who promotes healthier diets for school-aged children, is a self-taught cook who worked in various London restaurants.

After college, he started working at River Café, which was featured in a documentary. Oliver starred in his show, The Naked Chef, which investigated meals from start to finish.

Aside from his Feed Me Better campaign, Oliver has written numerous books and starred in numerous television series. The program aims to improve school lunch options for kids.

As a result, he has created a website that provides alternative ingredients for better child food options.

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5. Tunde Wey:

Tunde Wey is a talented self-taught chef who teaches his admirers and viewers how to prepare, present and sell food and recipes. He has authored pieces about American food culture and adaption.

Being a doctor was not appealing to Wey, so he dropped out of medical school. A roommate’s restaurant business inspired his interest in food.

He co-founded Revolver in Detroit, Michigan, in a few short months. Soon after, he quit his job and began cooking Nigerian foods at pop-up culinary events.

Food is his passion, and he enjoys creating new dishes and experimenting with flavors.

How do you become a chef with no experience?

  • Find a position that is perfect for you.
  • Apply for a job in a restaurant or kitchen.
  • Learn the basics that surround it.
  • Practice more often.
  • Stay safe while cooking.
  • Secure your ideal cooking job.

Conclusion on how to become a self-taught chef:

According to the information in this article, it is possible to become a self-taught chef if you have specific elements in place.

I hope that my knowledge will be useful to you in your future endeavors and that you will be more educated on what to do with your objectives—wishing you the best of luck!

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