Attributes, Traits And Qualities To be a Chef

Attributes, Traits And Qualities To be a Chef

It's no doubt that chefs job is one of the toughest work around. Chefs are required to work long hours, work through the weekends and in an environment that is humid and hot.

But being a chef can be a very rewarding career especially for the successful one. With the right mindset and personality, becoming a chef is a good career choice in this age of time due to the high demand and wages for chefs. Other than good monetary rewards, chefs are also rewarded with fame. One fine example is celebrity chefs like Gordon and Salt bae e.t.c

To become a chef is also easy. All you need is an degree or a diploma and a little bit of on-the-job training/internship. But to be a successful one, it takes times and some positive characteristics.

It takes more than just hard work to achieve a successful chef career. Of course, working hard is just one of the criteria to become a good chef.

The culinary industry, apart from bringing candidates a highly profitable career also demands a lot in terms of skill set. Your career as a chef takes a lot of hard work, dedication & diverse set of skills to reach the top. Having a diverse set of skills means your career can take you far and you have to be able to blend it together with hard work and dedication.

What are the qualities that make a chef known the world over? Below, we discuss about the top qualities, traits and attributes that a chef or a culinary professional must have.


Having cooks under you is a big responsibility that requires a good leader to show them the way. Being a top chef means you are respected and have what it takes to run your own kitchen successfully as a team.

Timely preparation of food requires coordination and harmony in the kitchen. While working in a large kitchen or a high end restaurant, the chef may be required to handle a number of kitchen staff and other assistant chefs. Therefore, the chef should have the capability to make the kitchen staff as a team for superior quality and efficient food preparation in the kitchen.

Safety Skills

Having a dirty kitchen, or serving food that gets your customer sick, is a really good way to damage your reputation as a chef. Knowing good safety techniques for the food, restaurant, and cooking equipment you use is a skill that a top chef must have.

Fundamental and High level Cooking

If you are not good at making basic dishes or teaching others how to create easy meals, you will not have all the tools to be a real chef. You should stay knowledgeable about simple dishes and blend those skills with your gourmet skills.

All master chefs need to be able to prepare gourmet dishes and they usually have an area of expertise with certain foods. Customers, who are used to the finest meals and have expensive tastes, come to try chefs with big names and they expect quality.


Making new dishes on a regular basis is no easy task. A top chef has to be able to make their dishes unique and interesting.

The culinary art asks for a lot of innovative skills. A great chef must be able to use their creative skill to provide guests with a renewed dining experience. While performing their daily task, the chef needs to be capable of thinking of new ideas and experimenting with new dishes. Creativity and or continued innovative thinking is one of the most essential qualities of a great chef.


With all careers, having a passion for what you do is nearly a must to give your best effort. A chef should care about what they do and keep producing delicious cuisines on a regular basis.

passion is a must to become a successful chef. If you don't have the passion in cooking and the kitchen, then chef might not be the right career for you. Without passion, being a chef is like a 9 to 5 day job to you. You will be simply dragging your feet to work everyday.

The profession of a chef requires a lot of passion, as there are newer challenges to meet almost every time the chef is in the kitchen. The chef needs to have the zeal to be on their toes and performing their task without getting bored or irritated. It is therefore very important for you to love the kitchen environment and cooking before you consider a career in the field of culinary art.

Managing Skills

As a chef, you have to lead your kitchen staff and maybe even run the restaurant. You will need a strong business sense and the ability to market yourself. Only great culinary skills can not make a great chef. There are administrative and managerial tasks to be done as well.

In order to be great, the chef needs to be able to manage the kitchen staff, control the food supply and controlling the cost and the budget. The chef also needs to be a great team player to bring about coordination among the kitchen staff and keep the work going smoothly. At times, the chef may also need to resolve some personal conflicts that may arise among kitchen staff from time to time. Therefore, a great chef does not only know how to cook innovatively but the chef also knows how to manage and take care of the overall responsibilities of the kitchen.

Paying Attention

Making great meals is an art form and like any good art, you must pay close attention to what you are doing. Getting dishes to taste right and come out correctly, takes special skills and you have to get it right.

Besides being an art, cooking is science as well. The cooking ingredients have to be mixed in appropriate quantity so as to create the desired flavor. While cooking a dish, a great chef must be able to pay attention to every minute detail to make their culinary skills stand apart from others.

Work/blending Well With Others

Being the main chef in a kitchen means you have to get everyone to work together and on the same page. Everyone plays an important role in food preparation and you have to be able to get them all coordinated.

Continuous Working on it

It takes time to master what you do and becoming a great chef is no different. The more experience you gain, the better you will become and your reputation will follow.

It is years of experience that actually makes the chef a great chef. The chef should never stop practicing their culinary art to become perfect in their art of cooking and food preparation. Practice should be like the show that must go on.


Being able to handle numerous at the same time is a skill a chef has to have. With so many things going on a kitchen at one time, the top chef has to be able to work through it.

There are multiple tasks that need to be done in the kitchen. At any point of time, the chef should be capable of handling or doing multiple tasks at one time to keep pace with the customer's orders and for efficient meal delivery to them.

Working Quickly and Precisely

Time is always a factor with serving food and the head chef has to cook and supervise things at the same time. You need to handle your responsibilities and get the food out in a timely manner.

Dealing With Complaints

If you prepare food at a restaurant, you will undoubtedly hear complaints about the food at some point and you have to be able to handle it. Food critics will do the same thing and you could use the criticism as a way to get better.

To become a great chef, the culinary professional should be able to handle criticism. A variety of people come to dine at restaurant. It is not essential that each one of the guests would appreciate the dish. So, the chef should take criticisms in a positive way.

Menu Planning

Planning a menu that is unique and attractive to customers is hard to do. Top chefs need to be able to design a menu with dishes they can make and it should be good.

Industry Relationships

Making connections with other chefs and people involved in the culinary industry is a must for chefs to advance in their careers. You need to know those who can help your career expand and give you exposure.

Commitment to Quality

A great chef should be highly committed to make the best use of their culinary art and deliver only the best quality. The chef should ensure that the ingredients used are of the highest quality.

Quick Decision

The food preparation industry needs the chef to be very time efficient. During their work, problems can arise any time. A great chef should know how to get over the hurdle and should be able to make quick decisions to provide an immediate solution to the problem.

Communication skills

Communication skill is also equally important for a successful chef career. A good interpersonal skill is a must for chefs. Your employer won't expect you to just stand in the kitchen without talking to anyone. A good chef will need to communicate well not only with his or her peers but also with subordinates. He or she needs to know how to get the positive message delivered across. Other than that, a good chef is required to receive feedback from customers. He or she needs to listen to the needs of customers and do what is necessary to keep satisfied customers coming back.

Moreover, apart from this traits and qualities chefs are required to have business management and finance knowledge too. The responsibility of just working in the kitchen is a thing of the past. Chefs now are more than just food preparation worker in the kitchen. The employers expect you to manage the business and make a profit out of it. You need to do inventory keeping, prepare a budget, resources management as well as attend meeting. If there is a loss in the business, you will need to answer to your boss.

In short, it takes more than just hard work to achieve a successful chef career. You need the right ingredients, pretty much like the right ingredients in cooking in order to get the positive results. Even though chef is a tough career, With the right attitude, passion and a little bit of hard work, you can become a good chef ultimately because Passion comes when you love doing your job.

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