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Why do I want to be a chef? Discover an exciting world

  • Chef
  • 6 minutes of reading
Study cooking
Gastronomy is much more than the simple preparation of food; It is a discipline that combines art, science and culture. For those passionate about cooking, studying gastronomy offers a unique opportunity to deeply explore and understand the relationship between food, culture and nutrition. As Ana, a gastronomy student, says: “I have always loved cooking since I was little, and now, after going through several professions, I know that it is what I really want to do.”

What is studied in gastronomy?

The bachelor's degree in gastronomy is structured into four main areas:
1. Food: Here we delve into nutrition, culinary chemistry and food quality.
2. Administration: It includes subjects such as human resources, accounting, marketing, finance and costs.
3. Humanities: The history of gastronomy, its role in culture and society, and gastronomic research are studied.
4. Technique: Advanced culinary techniques and food preparation methods are learned.

Advantages of studying gastronomy

1. Development of culinary skills: Students acquire theoretical and practical knowledge about culinary techniques, combination of flavors and presentation of dishes. “Nothing has ever fulfilled me as much as cooking. That's why I needed to make it happen. For me, cooking is a new beginning, a challenge and an opportunity to give the best of myself,” says Carlos, an industrial engineer turned chef.
2. Diversity of job opportunities: Graduates can work in restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, catering companies, culinary consulting, teaching, and more. Luis, passionate since childhood, says: “Cooking is a field that I have been passionate about since I was a child. It has always been my plan B, but in recent years I have been experimenting and the idea of dedicating myself professionally has gained strength. Every day I want to learn more and perfect my skills.”
3. Possibility of traveling: Gastronomy allows you to work in different parts of the world, exploring new cultures and culinary traditions. Laura, a baking lover, shares: “I have always been interested in cooking, especially baking. My idea is to work in innovative restaurants around the world. I want a job that gives me the freedom to work anywhere and that is dynamic, active and rewarding.”
4. Creativity and innovation: Cooking is a constantly evolving field that offers opportunities for creativity and experimentation. María, executive chef, says: “I started as a kitchen assistant and worked very hard to become executive chef of a renowned restaurant chain. Although the schedules are difficult, the satisfaction of seeing customers enjoy my creations is priceless. “Cooking is my life.”
5. Entrepreneurship: Many foodies start their own businesses, from restaurants to catering services. Ricardo, now a food critic, adds: “Studying gastronomy opened doors for me not only in the kitchen, but also in the world of culinary criticism. I enjoy exploring new restaurants and sharing my experiences. The knowledge I acquired is priceless.”
6. Connections and networks: Studying gastronomy allows you to meet other professionals in the sector, which can open doors and provide valuable networking opportunities. “Studying gastronomy not only taught me how to cook, but also connected me with an incredible network of professionals in the world of publishing, photography and marketing. They have given me opportunities that I would never have imagined,” says Aurora, chef and owner of a small catering in Barcelona.
7. Nutrition and health knowledge: Gaining knowledge about healthy foods and cooking techniques can improve your own and others' well-being. Elena, cook and dietician, says: “Studying gastronomy with a focus on nutrition has given me a broader perspective and allowed me to make a real difference in people's lives through food. I firmly believe that a good chef must have solid knowledge of nutrition to be able to offer options that are not only delicious, but also beneficial for health.“.

Disadvantages of studying gastronomy

1. Challenging work schedules: Culinary professionals often work nights, weekends, and holidays, which can impact personal life.
2. Pressure and stress in the kitchen: Kitchens can be very stressful environments, especially during periods of high demand.
3. Physical effort: Standing for long hours and performing repetitive tasks can be physically exhausting.
4. Low starting salaries: Many cooks start out on low salaries and can take years before earning a decent salary.
5. Job insecurity: Competition in the industry can be fierce, and it is not always easy to find and maintain stable employment.
6. Health risks: Kitchens can be dangerous, with risks of cuts, burns and other accidents.

Reasons to become a chef

1. Passion for cooking: Most chefs have a deep passion for cooking. “As long as I can remember, I have loved cooking,” says Paola, an aspiring chef.
2. Creativity: Being a chef allows you to express creativity through food. “Cooking is an art form that allows me to play with flavors and textures to create something unique every day,” says David, an Asian fusion chef.
3. Cultural impact: Cooks can explore and share different cultures through their dishes. “I have had the opportunity to work in several countries and each one has taught me something new about their culinary traditions and techniques,” says Silvia, an international chef.
4. Personal development: Cooking not only improves culinary skills, but also the ability to work as a team, handle pressure, and develop a strong work ethic. “Cooking has taught me how to manage stress and work as a team efficiently. It is a school of life,” says Raúl, chef at a restaurant in Madrid.
5. Personal satisfaction: Creating dishes that delight people and watching them enjoy your food can be extremely rewarding. “Seeing the positive reaction of diners to my dishes is a daily reward. Knowing that my work makes people happy is incredibly rewarding,” says Pedro, an experienced chef.
6. Continuous learning: Cooking is a constantly evolving field, which means there is always something new to learn. “Every day in the kitchen is an opportunity to discover something new, whether it's a technique, an ingredient or a combination of flavors,” says Clara, a young chef on the rise.

Conclusion

Being a chef is an exciting and rewarding profession for those who love cooking and culinary creativity. However, it also requires significant sacrifices in terms of time, physical effort and personal commitment. Despite these challenges, many chefs find deep satisfaction in creating unique dining experiences for their customers.
Studying gastronomy and becoming a chef is a choice that offers numerous advantages and some disadvantages. For those who have a true passion for cooking, the benefits far outweigh the challenges, allowing you to build a rewarding career.

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