Chef's Story by George Hill, Chair of Judges, ECOTY Executive chef of the Year Competition 2016.
"A chef is much more than just someone who can cook - A chef is also a “mindset.”
A benchmark chef requires large kitchen/s cookery experience, culinary knowledge, culinary skill, training, determination, high values and conducts him or herself by agreed codes of practice. The role extends through to Executive, Chef de Cuisines, Corporate and Personal Chefs.
It’s like SAKE - Skills, Attitude, Knowledge, Experience.
The Executive chef of the Year Competition doesn’t just focus on the chefs culinary skills, it’s an element that is taken for granted. It doesn’t matter if you can or cannot cook a vindaloo, or use of a smoke gun. The ECOTY is about your managerial and leadership skills and attitude as a professional. It is not necessary that you are in a job of current employment either. You could be a former Executive Chef who has had a radical departure from the kitchen and now working in a creative or corporate role for tomorrows business needs.
Chefs are people whose career’s emanated from a position of responsibility in a large kitchen/s, however it is not that important to be currently employed in a kitchen we have mentioned roles as above who may also apply.
Chef is after all a mindset as well as being a good cook!
There’s an overseas trip to Spain involved ‘why not?’ you have every good chance but you need to apply.
Chefs have some great stories to tell and one could write more than 350 words on the subject:
- Explaining and showing your attitude towards being courteous, conscientious and business-like.
- Show examples of how you lead by example and how you encourage a team approach and culture in the brigade.
- Explain your attitude towards training, dress standards, achieving corporate goals.
- Maintaining relevance in a constantly changing food world.
- How you handle disputes in the kitchen and mentoring.
- How you reward great staff.
- How confident you are in delegating to your Sous chef
- Showing outwardly your mission and vision in your career.
- How you have built your team.
- Even demonstrate how you balance your commitments towards family in a demanding career.