What is it really like to work as a chef?

work as a chef

What’s your end goal for enrolling in cooking classes in Brisbane?

Why, to find work in a restaurant, of course!

Working as a chef can be a highly dynamic and exciting career pathway – however, it’s also one which requires a lot of work.

Can you stand the demands and challenges that you’ll need to go through in order to become a chef? 

What is the best part of being a chef?

Plenty of career opportunities

Just look at how many new restaurants are popping up around Brisbane, and that’s on top of all the existing restaurants, hotels and cafes – all of which translates to countless job opportunities.

Do what you love and love what you do. Not only is cooking something you loved, but in return, it will love you back by opening lots of doors for you!

If your goal is to find a career where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stretch your wings, becoming a chef might be just the ticket.

Since commercial cooking is such a broad area, you can choose to specialise in a wide range of different fields that include:

  • Hospitality management
  • Patisserie
  • Cookery

Varied work across a diverse field

On top of the sheer number of openings, qualifying as a chef can also allow you to work in a wide range of different settings as well.

It isn’t just restaurants and cafes that need experience kitchen staff – qualified commercial cooks can also find themselves working in:

  • Hotels
  • Cruise ships
  • Country clubs
  • Private homes
  • Golf clubs
  • Function centres
  • Catering companies  

Anywhere there’s food to be served, there’s a chef position!

Every single day is a new experience 

If you’re looking for a career that lets you break out of your usual routine and where every day is a little bit different, then it may be worth thinking about becoming a chef.

Working as a chef offers you various new work experiences every single day – you can try new recipes, create a new twist on an existing one or even introduce a different taste to a traditional cuisine using your creativity.

And thanks to the wide variety of places you might find yourself working such as in hotels, restaurants, function areas, and even in your own business, we’re sure you won’t get bored with your career choice.

Is it hard to be a chef?

You may see commercial cookery as a perfect career for you, considering all the benefits that you’ll reap in the process.

However, just like any other career, you may need to also look at the challenges you’ll encounter in the process, and decide whether or not you can overcome them…

While others might refer to the below as “cons” of being a chef, we’re not a big fan of that word here. Instead, they are indeed challenges, but it’s these that make this job truly unique. And besides, who doesn’t love tackling a challenge?

Unpredictable working hours

By virtue of when most people go out to eat (that is, at nighttime and on weekends), the hours of a chef can often fall outside of the “normal 9-5” routine. You may find yourself getting up early to serve the morning rush of commuters, or working evening shifts as people go out to dinner after work.

This can mean atypical working hours for chefs and kitchen staff; early mornings or late nights will typically replace the 9-5.

However, many chefs are able to use these hours to build schedules that free up other parts of their day. For example, working the night shift might not begin until 4pm, meaning you’ll have the rest of the day to:

  • Sleep in in the morning
  • Drop the kids off at school and pick them up after
  • Hit the gym for an hour
  • Indulge in your hobbies
  • Run errands and knock our chores

Likewise, while working in a cafe might mean a lot of early starts to deal with morning commuters, it also means that your afternoon and evening are free to do what you want.

Long story short, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing – it’s just different!

Physically demanding job

You’re not going to get to sit down once you step into the kitchen to begin your shift – from the moment you open to closing, you’re going to be on your feet.

With all the demand to deliver excellent quality service, chefs need physical endurance to keep up with work demands.

Of course, every cloud has a silver lining and in this case, said silver lining is the fact that you probably won’t need to renew your gym membership, and you’ll be able to hit your daily 10,000 steps without even trying!

High-pressure working conditions

Unlike office jobs that keep employees sitting in front of their monitors in an air-conditioned room, commercial kitchens can indeed get a little hectic at times.

In order to avoid accidents, you’ll need to take great care to:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Take note of where everyone else is relative to you
  • Warn people when you’re about to move

During our commercial cookery courses, you’ll learn different techniques that can help you avoid accidents, as well as gain practical experience and develop strategies of your own by working in our workshops and placements. Communication is key!

Is working in a Michelin-starred kitchen stressful?

This is no doubt the ultimate end goal for many ambitious students undertaking commercial cookery in Brisbane – and it’s also one that we need to explain a few things about.

For starters, while the Michelin system covers much of the USA and Europe, it isn’t recognised here in Australia – instead, we have our very own homegrown alternative: the Chef Hat Awards.

Working at one of these top restaurants is for many chefs the highest recognition of their excellence.

It can also be a little overwhelming and stressful, especially since the standards for precision and excellence are much higher as a result.

Having said that, all of the prestige and honours from such distinguished bodies can take chefs far and wide, allowing them to take their careers in a number of directions they wouldn’t otherwise!

Be Australia’s next great chef with Academia’s commercial cookery courses!

There are plenty of options for people who want to break into the commercial cookery sector – and it all starts by enrolling in the appropriate course.

Our commercial cookery courses in Brisbane focus on providing you with all the experience, knowledge, and practical skills you need in order to break into commercial kitchens of all shapes and sizes.

In addition to providing you with lectures, our focus is on training that will prepare you for real-life work settings.

That means a focus on practical workshops in addition to classroom learning, as well as mandatory work placements with real hospitality businesses throughout Brisbane.

Certificate in Commercial Cookery III (SIT30816) 

Before launching a commercial cookery career, you need to learn practical commercial cookery skills that will form the foundation of your career and help you find your way around any commercial kitchen. 

The Certificate 3 in Commercial Cookery provides you with a mix of classroom-based learning and practical training to prepare you for employment in the food industry.

Learn how to safely and hygienically handle food while adhering to other work safety practices, as well as how to prepare various dishes and those with dietary food requirements and a range of different cooking techniques.

Certificate in Commercial Cookery IV (SIT40516)

You may need to continue learning and preparing for your dream to start your restaurant and cafe.

And in many cases, that means taking your training even further with the Cert 4 in Commercial Cookery.

In addition to providing you with more advanced cooking techniques and skills to build on your foundation, this course also gives you a foundation in skills such as management, and budgeting that you’ll need to lead a kitchen.

This course usually lasts for six months, and you will need to finish this course in order to continue on with a Diploma of Hospitality Management.

Have questions about our Commercial Cookery course in Brisbane?

Explore our commercial cookery, hospitality management, or patisserie courses at Academia. Contact us and enquire about our hospitality and cookery courses in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Contact us today, and our friendly team will be here to assist you – all you need to do is: