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We got a lot of stick, and rightly so, recently when we called young Flynn Mcgarry a chef. Hundreds of people spent time writing comments about what it actually takes to be a chef and that’s probably why this post from chef Chris Hill has caught our eye.
In a post on Medium, Hill - who can also be seen presenting at TED in the video below - sets out eight things that actually make you a chef. The piece has been shared thousands of times and we think it might be because he’s nailed it.
Hill’s Eight Points to Being a Chef Are as Follows:
Cooking - “You should be the best cook in the building at any given time.”
Vision - “ One of the most important things an artist does is see things that don’t yet exist, and finds ways to bring them to life.”
Knowing The Numbers - “If you can’t cost a dish out in your head within fifteen to twenty seconds — you aren’t a chef. I truly believe that.”
Systematic - “You need to always be looking to make things more efficient and more productive without sacrificing quality.”
Able To Develop Emotional Intelligence - “As chefs and managers, we need to be able to manage people, make them feel appreciated and valued for the job they do, and most importantly prove through our actions, that we have their back and support them.”
Disciplined - (Standard for Excellence) “Everything starts at the top. Most cooks aren’t ready to become chefs because they don’t know how to set the standard. From company culture, to cleanliness, to customer service, to plate presentation, it all starts with the chef.”
Hardest Working Person in the Building - "They are the first person to walk in the door in the morning, and often one of the last to leave. Plain and simple, if you want it, you’ve gotta put in the work."
A Point of View - " I saved this for the end, because it truly does take time and labor hours spent working on the craft to truly develop a voice that’s yours, and that says, “this is who I am”, and as chefs, we need to be able to do that."
He adds: “I think a chef is someone who can cook their face off, while at the same time, having the ability to manage, lead and create a successful kitchen operation — restaurant or otherwise. One of the main problems is that the hands on, technical part of the job, which most of us enjoy most, requires a drastically different skill set than the other essential components of the job. So, yes, there are obvious hands on skills and techniques required, but a whole host of others, as well”.
It seems he’s right on all points and you can read about each of them in more detail on the original post. For now, here he is speaking at TED.