Ahhh .. yesterday, it became all official.
I am now a first year apprentice.
It’s a little scary knowing now that I am signed into a three year contract. It doesn’t change my status in the kitchen strictly speaking, but, I don’t know, it feels a little different already. I am still doubting my skill-set a little, but maybe that’s just due to the bad mindset I am in at the moment. I have realised that I really need to have more confidence in my skills, my knowledge and faith in what I do at work. Luckily I am surrounded by some really wicked talent that provides me with drive and enthusiasm to learn.
Although I have just signed my paperwork, I have been an unofficial apprentice for 6 months and it’s not easy. For those wanting to sign into an apprenticeship, I advise you not to take it lightly. It takes some serious commitment and devotion to become a chef.
Here are some things I had to really think about beforehand:
- What do you want out of it ?
- Is your heart in it ? I’ve realised hospitality is more than serving food and providing a service, you really need passion, drive and the ability to be somewhat selfless.
- Do you have the commitment to work a 38hr+ week consisting of split-shifts, late nights and early mornings ? Are you willing to sacrifice the majority of your free time and your social life ?
- Are you able to hold your tongue ?
- Can you function under intense pressure ?
- Do you have a ‘thick’ skin and a strong head’ ? Being an apprentice is not only hard-work physically but it’s as mentally draining as it is rewarding.
- Can you live off minimum wage ?
- Are you aware that being a chef is not as glamorous as what the media depict ? TV Chef personalities like Adriano Zumbo, Jamie Oliver, Marco Pierre White, Luke Ngyuen, Nigella Lawson have worked extremely hard to get where they are now.. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
Being an apprentice is hell fun, but it’s bloody hard work too. I would love to hear from other apprentices or qualified chefs who have anything to add to my list.
.. till next time :)