How to Become a Chef in France
Becoming a chef is a noble ambition. It requires dedication and discipline, and if you want to do it in France, then you have to add passion, commitment, resilience and an uncommon self-believe to the list. For centuries, the country's professional cooks have distinguished themselves as masters in the art of culinary. No doubt they are recognized as some of the best chefs in the world.
Anyone who must cook and serve in the République Française must be ready to go through the rigorous, yet interesting training processes. This will help toughen you and mold you into what is expected of a chef. Will you like to know more about baking classes in Paris? Click here for more info about baking and pastry classes in Paris. Let us now take a look at how to become a professional cook in République Française.
Becoming a Chef in République Française
- Where Do You Begin
The journey to a successful career as a professional cook involves schooling and on-the-job training in some recognized restaurant. There is just no shortcut, you have to work yourself from the bottom. For a complete experience, the individual will have to start as early as possible. This is usually around the age of 14. At this stage, the individual will be made to follow a vocational track of education other than the traditional high school pattern.
- The CAP Program
After what is known as Troisième or the 8th/9th grade, students are engaged in the CAP program. This integrates professional learning and on-the-job training geared towards getting a job. At the end of the two or three years of the program, students are awarded the CAP certificate which qualifies them for commis de cuisine jobs, which means kitchen-assistant or helper.
- The Baccalauréat (BAC)
After the CAP program, the next step towards the culinary path is the professional Baccalauréat. Also referred to as BAC, Baccalauréat is an equivalent of vocational school diploma. Further specialization in “organization and culinary production” is also possible, and at the end of the program, students are eligible to be employed as assistant commis or line cooks. There is also the option of technological Baccalauréat in Hospitality which gives students a general knowledge of kitchen, restaurants and hotel hospitality. The obtained certificate is equivalent to a vocational training certificate and is generally used to pursue a BTS diploma other than a cooking job.
As can be seen from the paragraph above, the Post-BAC schooling is reserved for those that opted for the technological Baccalauréat in hospitality. Their next certification is the BTS in hospitality with an option for “arts de la table” and waiting table. The aim of this part of the program is to prepare the student for supervisory and management positions.
Other Tips to Become a Professional Cook in République Française
- On-The-Job Training
The on-the-training aspect of the journey may not be as hellish as some make it sound, nonetheless, it is quite tasking. You really have to be tough to master the life of a professional cook in the country. There is certainly a lot to gain, but without the real practical experience, you will never be able to deliver tasty and exquisite culinary. Click here to know more about the best French chefs and their restaurant.
The different culinary schools can toughen you, but serving under a qualified cook will teach you the manner and work ethics required for success in the country best known for food and Gastro-tourism. You really have to drop everything you are and whatever you know in order to become who you want to become and know what you are expected to know. You must be prepared to go naively and submit to those you are assigned under.
- Know the Language
For a native French speaker, language will not be an issue. Nevertheless, you should be prepared to discover new things. Gradually, you will be able to differentiate between a saucepan from a straight-sided saucepan.
- Be Prepared
When it comes to cooking, you really need to be ready. Many of your ingredients will have to come in fresh so you have to be ready to grab a kicking lobster by the head and tail and twist before getting them to cook. You may be surprised at the amount of break time you get. If you are at the right place, you should have a break sometime. However, you wouldn't like to work in a restaurant that has low patronage, so you have to be ready to keep working to get the food coming.
- Do Not Be Discouraged By Gender
On the issue of gender, you must have heard that there are few women in most kitchens. This is not too far from the truth. If you are a male, you are expected to succeed, if you are a female, you are expected to stay and head straight to the top. Whatever the case is, you really need to be determined.
- Be Creative and Unique
To succeed in the culinary culture of the people, and be recognized as a professional cook in the country, you have to be creative and unique. Expertise comes only from constant practical experience. Hence, you have to be ready to keep working and acquiring the skills and techniques needed to succeed. You can always get your classic recipes and techniques book here.
- Practice Makes Perfect
Becoming a recognized chef takes a little more than going through the educational part and having a practical experience. You have to move from one step to the other up the ladder. You have to gain mastery of all the levels in the hierarchy in order to earn the ultimate title. Learn more about how to become a pastry chef here.
In conclusion, the individual is also expected to take other specialized training and participate in competitive exams to exhibit his/her skills and techniques. Knowing how to create the perfect food is not considered the ultimate goal. A combination of other skills such as the ability to organize and manage the entire process is also recommended. A lot of individuals that visit the country come with a high expectation in terms of cuisine. Becoming a professional cook is an interesting career path. The industry is always willing to help you achieve your dream.
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