Careers: Chef

What does it take to be a chef? Do you need the silly hat? Or do you just need to be really skilled at not slicing your fingers off with a mandolin?

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College and Career

Transcript

00:27

this much I should be a chef yeah makes sense right except loving to eat food

00:32

and loving to create food are two entirely different animals or if you're [tiger and goat for comparrison]

00:37

a vegan chef of two entirely different soy plants first of all ever seen a chef

00:42

well they look like this a lot more often than they look like this not a

00:47

shocker when you spend all day every day with your mug hovering over the wafting [man sniffing pot full of food]

00:51

aroma of delicious food well you're probably not gonna starve now if you're

00:56

cooking healthy stuff using natural ingredients well you probably be just [knife chopping vegetables]

00:59

fine but if you're the head chef at Lu ellas

01:02

large Shack you could be in for a long future of clogged arteries and heart

01:06

disease so definitely a professional hazard there you have to be wary of nope [high cholesterol warning tag]

01:10

then there's the matter of hard work and studying what studying but mom cooks

01:15

dinner for us every night I don't see her poring over any textbooks well sure

01:19

but mom isn't cooking for 50 or 60 demanding patrons and trying to get [restaurant full of people]

01:23

written up in bone Appetit magazine throw in a couple of hamburger patties

01:27

onto a frying pan and steaming a few baby carrots isn't quite the same as

01:30

making this or this or this cooking can be and often is an art to paraphrase an [an assortment of fancy plates]

01:37

old SNL character it is just as important to look good as to taste good

01:43

remember him Billy Crystal he was great all right well if you have any designs

01:46

on cooking the best food in any of the top restaurants well you'll need to have

01:50

learned thousands of intricate and sometimes dangerous cooking techniques [chef with pan on fire]

01:55

you'll have to have the creativity and originality to craft new and exciting

01:58

dishes you may need to experiment with molecular gastronomy which is basically [person working in lab]

02:02

where chemistry and cooking meet for those of you who get a kick out of kin

02:06

lab most high-end chefs have spent years studying at some keulen Airy school with

02:10

a hoodie toidy French name look Uzi Lala stuff like that or getting

02:15

screamed at daily by some British guy who thinks he's God's gift to filet [chef screaming at woman]

02:19

mignon so yeah it might look fun to toss some pizza dough in the air or to set a

02:24

skillet on fire but well there's a ton of hard work involved if you want to

02:28

reach the pinnacle of your craft but now let's take a look at the word chef

02:31

little misleading you're probably picturing this guy in the tall white hat

02:35

smelling vaguely of truffle oil well sure he's a chef but so is this [painting of chef]

02:39

woman and this guy not that there's shame necessarily in cooking food on a

02:44

smaller scale after all not everyone can afford to eat at Chez Panisse every

02:48

night of the week and everyone's got to eat right so maybe it'll be a [girl eating a banana]

02:52

short-order cook in this Denny's or maybe you'll work a food truck on

02:56

Michigan Avenue in Chicago or maybe you'll be a military chef serving up [woman in mess hall serving military]

03:00

grub in a mess hall to keep our boys and girls overseas well-fed and energized

03:04

well obviously no shame in that but not much money either not that the goal of [check changing hands]

03:08

being a mess hall cook is about fine dining or taste anyway it's about [military man eating food]

03:12

generating fuel for those who are protecting our rights and freedoms but

03:16

point being any of these chefs are just gonna be scraping by lucky to make 30 or

03:21

40 grand a year or so well how about chef of a new quasi fancy sit-down

03:25

restaurant well they've got to be doing all right for themselves yeah possibly [busy restaurant]

03:28

if the restaurant even last cuz you know one out of every three restaurants fails

03:33

in the first year which means everyone is out of a job the chef included even a [chefs with cardboard signs]

03:38

new restaurant that becomes popular is likely gonna be in the red for years

03:42

before they start to turn a real profit which means you can keep dreaming about

03:46

that six-figure salary but it usually ain't gonna happen now yeah there are [woman dreaming of money while in bed]

03:50

some chefs who break through to a six-figure land either those who work

03:55

and established five-star restaurants or get lucky enough to host a show on The [chef on a cooking show]

03:59

Cooking Channel or the Food Network where they're getting TV money to

04:02

supplement their restaurants profits so maybe they get their own magazine maybe

04:06

they've got their own line of barbecue tongs or whatever but yeah if you really

04:10

want to be cooking unintended you got to own the restaurant and it's the real

04:14

estate under it that usually carries all the value that restaurant has to be [small pub]

04:18

financially successful enough to you know pay the bills easier said than done

04:21

but that's the key to be part artist and part businessman

04:25

if you're just the head chef at a halfway decent restaurant in tow pika

04:29

Kansas well you might be making 50 grand 60 grand a year if you're the sous-chef

04:33

or assistant or below chef even less maybe you're making 35 grand a year [head chef and sous-chef]

04:37

something like that if instead you get yourself a gig at La coot all a hit

04:41

place in Manhattan well maybe you're making a hundred grand a year but if you

04:44

owe a lot crouton well you're taking a percentage of the restaurants profits

04:49

above and beyond your salary like a hundred percent if you own the whole

04:52

thing right but from your Billings you got to pay employees pay the rent on the

04:56

physical location the ingredients the insurance maybe you're collecting

05:00

another five hundred grand a year or more as always the real money is in

05:03

owning things and then you can do your wrong thing if you want on the side so

05:08

if it's such a risky proposition and so tough to make good money as a chef why [gambling table]

05:12

does anyone do it well what you got to realize is that you're not just feeding

05:16

people we need to eat in order to keep moving yeah but it's more than that if

05:20

there's one thing that brings people together emotionally its food you could [family eating at a table]

05:24

probably even get a Montague and a Capulet to sit down over a delicious

05:28

plate of braised short ribs and likely not kill each other at least not until [two men breaking bread]

05:33

dessert food is comfort it's love when a chef prepares a meal for someone they're [chef massages man at table]

05:38

taking care of them there's that emotional psychological connection for

05:43

all of us and if that doesn't grab you stop watching this video you're not a

05:47

chef our mothers fed us before we were even

05:49

old enough to form solid bowel movements that's how long we felt an association

05:54

between nurture and sustenance well to make people usually perfect strangers

05:58

feel satisfied full happy well that's an achievement in and of itself it's art [woman eating a shrimp]

06:03

and here's a bit of good news the food industry isn't going anywhere

06:06

robots may be taking over the world in other ways but until they can produce [robots setting fire to the world]

06:09

ships tour and cook food all on their own well there will be a need for

06:13

professional chefs we're always gonna need to eat we're always gonna feel the

06:16

need to be taken care of to share an enjoyable experience with friends we're

06:20

also gonna need to take the occasional trip to the Olive Garden you know just

06:24

to get our breadsticks fixed so while the prospects of any given eating

06:28

establishment might be dicey your job security as a whole zon fairly solid

06:32

ground your skill set will always be in demand even if you have to go from

06:36

cooking this to cooking this hey somebody's got to

06:39

cook those square of cardboard pizzas right