July 26, 2021


3 min read

Qualities that make a great chef

Qualities that make a great chef

A dish prepared by a professional

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CHOOSING a career as a chef is something that anyone can do at any time in their life. With the hospitality industry continuing to grow year on year, there remains a high demand for highly skilled chefs and requirements for one to get started may not be as tough as it may be anticipated.

This is according to The Hub, a company blog from High Speed Training website designed to disseminate information on topics of food, hygiene, business and health via experts.

Nowadays there are so many different dining experiences available, from fine dining experiences, high street restaurants, to grab and go eateries, covering all sorts of traditional and fusion cuisines.

Becoming a chef opens up many diverse paths and one is not limited to a particular cuisine type or establishment. This means you can be a master of your own career direction, something which appeals to many budding chefs, as it is stated in the website.   

While there are undoubtedly traits that set the best talents apart from one another, experts in the hospitality field show that most chefs share similar traits that help them hone and perfect their craft, since the fast-paced world of the culinary industry welcomes professionals who are skilled, passionate about the trade and innovative in their creation.

Chef Lebamang Ngope who oversees kitchen operations at the La Vito Restaurant in Butha-Buthe says the culinary profession is difficult to break into.

“If one aspires to be a world-renowned chef one day, they are  going to need some special characteristics. He shows that some of the best chefs allow their personality and creativity to shine through in every dish that they create, something a learner cook should also consider.  

“In the kitchen,” he notes, “A chef must show leadership skills. They have to be able to give direction to their team and maintain a harmonious atmosphere in their kitchen. They need to guide, coach and monitor their juniors so that the operations run smoothly”.

Amongst many challenges a chef may come across is criticism because there is no guarantee that everybody will always love the food prepared.

To this, Ngope says one must be able to handle criticism with calmness, analyse the feedback and take appropriate action.

He further shows that time management is critical.

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“Cooking can be a stressful job at times, especially in a busy restaurant environment. Filling orders and trying to get them out in a timely fashion can be too demanding and a good chef must demonstrate the ability to work under pressure,” he also says.

Again, he highlights the importance of having a business sense as a chef. He says a chef must have a keen sense of business to run a profitable organisation and that the kitchen has to not only produce tasty food but has to be cost effective and wastage should be minimal.

“If one gets the proper training from a renowned culinary academy and builds up on all the above mentioned qualities of a chef then they will surely be able to achieve success in their sphere of work. Many establishments are willing to take on school leavers so that they start their training path as kitchen assistants or trainees and then work their way up the kitchen hierarchy,” Ngope shows.

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