No matter where you are in your culinary journey, you’ll benefit from having a mentor who can inspire and guide you. While attending culinary school and working in a kitchen, you may naturally develop this type of valuable relationship with a Chef Instructor, Executive Chef, Sous Chef, or alumni. If you don’t have a dedicated mentor, take a deep breath and reach out to a professional you admire. 3. Find a Mentor and Learn From Them

Asking for mentorship doesn’t show that you’re weak. Rather, it illustrates you’re serious about advancing your career. Even if the person isn’t able to guide you throughout your culinary journey, they may be able to refer you to others in their network.Once you find a mentor, don’t think they’ll wave their magic spatula and make your dreams come true – you’ll still need to put in the work! However, mentors can help you establish concrete goals and hold you accountable when you put in mediocre effort. Remember, this isn’t austere criticism, it’s an encouraging reminder that you can do better.

4. Develop Your Soft Skills

If anyone can vouch for the importance of leadership, it’s Chef Curtis Duffy, Executive Chef and Owner of Two-Michelin star restaurant Ever. “I’m the face of the restaurant. But behind me is an army of people that I count on. They’re the ones that really make it happen,” says Duffy. “Their relentless work ethic and their push every single day is what gives me the ability to do what I’m doing now. It gives me the ability to grow the brand and to give them the opportunity to grow with me.” 5. Gain Experience at Top Restaurants As you gain real world experience, it’s time to take the next step to pursue your dreams.

Balancing flavors, mincing onions, operating a sous vide machine… all of these could be required chef skills in a professional kitchen environment. But what about clear communication, organization, and self- awareness? That’s right, chefs also need soft skills! These skills not only help you develop delicious plates, but they also make you a leader your team can turn to. Even if you conceive of a winning dish and order the finest products, you must be able to manage a team of restaurant employees who can execute the menu day in and day out. Remember, Michelin Star-winning restaurants value consistency as much as flavor.

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