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Here’s how to be a chef29th November 2012, 11:06
If you're looking to follow in the footsteps of famous chefs like Ramsay and Oliver, you'll need a lot of training and experience to get to the point when your maitre d' gently - but firmly - refuses entry to your restaurant to celebrities, the rich, famous (and the infamous) just because they haven't made a reservation.
And the best way of getting that training and the experience you need, together with the right qualifications to start your career in haute cuisine, is to start your career as an apprentice.
As things stand, there's no such thing as an apprenticeship that will take you directly from a standing start to a Michelin five-star kitchen supremo, but hospitality and catering apprenticeship is a very good place to start.
There are many different roles within the hospitality and catering sector, so it's best to choose your apprenticeship provider with care, because you'll be receiving specific training in their line of business - whether it be a country pub, a cafe or a restaurant, all of which are excellent places to receive training.
You’d also enjoy the same kind of employee rights and benefits as everyone else working with you, together with a regular apprenticeship wage.
You’d spend most of your time in the workplace, but there will also be occasions when you return to the classroom to study the theory behind your chosen trade, while working towards a nationally recognised qualification.
That could open some doors for you, if you decided to go straight into work after your apprenticeship and work your way up the ranks until you become a chef. But that could take years and years, even though you'd get great experience on the way.
A quicker route to chef superstardom, though, would be a more advanced apprenticeship after you’d completed your initial basic one. A Level 2 apprenticeship would train you in "front of house" work, so you’d understand what else it takes - other than the food - to make a great dining experience.
After that, a level 3 apprenticeship would give you the qualifications and hands-on experience you need to become a sous-chef, in environments catering for hundreds - if not thousands - of people at one time, like schools, military bases and hospitals.
By now, you'll have had the training and experience you need to work at top speed together with a kitchen team, and once you've made a name for yourself as a top chef, we look forward to seeing you in your own TV programme.