To become an Executive Chef it takes many years of dedication climbing the ladder through the hierarchy of a kitchen. When they finally achieve the titles of Executive Chef it counts as a huge achievement. To get there they need to be thoroughly proficient in all aspects from hygiene to accounting, have tremendous organizational skills and a great ability to connect with people. However, even at the top, we are sure that they still have dreams and aspirations and we would love to share some of these with you over time…
‘Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.’ – Louisa May Alcott
“A truly wonderful quote about aspirations and one that I feel encapsulates my industry and the journey that I have so far been on as when I look to where I have come from, where I currently am and most importantly where I want to be, it feels me with an enormous sense of achievement and further creates an intensified determination to carry on moving forward,” says Adrian Vaughan, Complex Executive Chef – Sun Time Square Sun International
My 2020 aspirations are:
* Discipline. Restraint. Respect – these drive your daily routine
* Refuse to be average
* Don’t fear perfection, as the pursuit of it is where creativity lies
* Never back down from something that you feel is beyond you as that is where true growth lies
* Learn and pass on knowledge daily as all knowledge has connections
* Strive to be the version of you, the husband, the father, the chef, the leader, the teacher
“Although the culinary industry has always been my passion, my aspirations have changed since I joined the industry over 20 years ago,” says Keshan Rambarun, Executive Chef, The Table Bay.
“From wanting to be a considerable force in the kitchen, to be the best chef I can be, my aspirations now are to see my chefs grow into the best chefs that they can be. Helping my people rise to reach their fullest potential and succeed is what inspires me.
The industry has changed considerably over the years and where chefs were primarily concerned with menus and what happened in the kitchen, they are now required to take on more managerial functions.
Besides cooking, chefs must understand the business side of running a kitchen, from procuring produce and supplies from suppliers and engaging in employee relations to budgeting. This is where I find myself both absorbed and inspired – it is in working with my chefs to become better, well-rounded managers who understand the business side of cooking.
Over the past 10 years, I have taken it upon myself to engage with my chefs on a daily basis to either send them on internal training or just meet with them to quiz them on why we do certain things in certain ways. It is by challenging their thought processes, mentoring them, guiding their actions, setting goals and targets, evaluating and re-evaluating which in turn provides me with a sense of accomplishment. I feel that in the past we as chefs were never allowed to ask questions and engage with our seniors. I enjoy giving my chefs the chance to share their ideas, ask questions and engage with me on a level that was not available to me during my early years as a chef.
We are dealing with millennials, yes millennials! This is a generation that wants to be inspired and challenged, or else they move on.
More than just keeping them in the culinary field, I want to help keep them motivated and inspired by their work. I want to see them all become industry leaders and well-rounded managers who go out and create a stir in the hospitality industry.
As the Latin phrase goes “scientia potestas est” – Knowledge is power! I’m not afraid to share my knowledge.”