The most common misconception is that you come out of cooking school and you are a ‘chef”. That is far from true! You have to slug it out, build a repertoire, put up with low pay, long hours, abuse from co workers and your head chef. Not to forget the burns, cuts, lack of social life with possibly no holidays or weekends off.
In most cases, you’ll average about 12 dollars an hour and benefits may or may not exist. Be sure that your feet will hurt and your back will be sore. The moment you end your shift and finally step into your room, all you going to do is just drop onto bed completely exhausted. Further more, you will experience this night after night only to wake up and go straight back to a 12 or 14 hour shift. But, you will be learning many new knowledge, developing your speed and techniques, tasting and creativity, and hopefully finding your own style along the way. You will get better and better and if you deserved it, you will gradually rise through the ranks.
However, all these achievements do not happen overnight. Always remember to do it for your passion and your love of food and the learning. The fact is, it is going to be a trade off for a normal life. You work while everyone else plays. To be really sure of what you want to be go work in a restaurant or hotel kitchen, before you make the decision of becoming a chef. Culinary will certainly aid in your learning and understanding but it does teach you how to handle all kinds of difficult kitchen situations.
How to work with superb speed to handle a crazily packed night, what to do when your grill chef disappears for a smoke just before service and never comes back or what to do when half the ovens in the kitchen breaks down halfway through the service. There are going to be all kinds of unforeseen problems as the kitchen is where adversity reigns supreme. But your experiences and passion is going to be what that makes you improve and propel you to your dreams.