How to become a chef in London

From the students we train to the professionals we employ, we love seeing those with a passion for food choosing to pursue it as a career, whether that be as a chef in a restaurant or another area of the industry, such as in a catering company.

One question we frequently receive is ‘how do I become a chef?’ and we can see why! With the chance to do something you love in a fast-paced environment, it is a popular choice for many food-focused individuals.

chef London


What does a chef do?

At its most simple, chefs work in commercial kitchens to prepare, cook and plate food. You can work in restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels, as well as for a wide range of businesses, such as catering companies and cooking schools. Your day-to-day responsibilities will depend on your seniority and where you’re working.

What’s the career path?

There are multiple ways to become a chef, but should you be starting fresh, the traditional pathway is:

  • – commis chef or chef apprenticeship
  • – chef de partie
  • – sous chef
  • – head chef
  • – executive chef


That said, chef jobs are varied and completely depend on the kitchen you’re working in. In smaller kitchens, there may only be a few team members so the responsibility is higher, whereas in larger spaces, you may have a specialised position.

chef London

What chef training do I need?

Professional chef training isn’t necessary to enter a commercial kitchen, with many opting to take on a chef apprenticeship. That said, there are many chef courses in London that will help you become a pro cook and will give you the confidence and competence to enter a professional kitchen. They range in length, price and content, so it’s important to do your research before committing. Many culinary schools will offer some sort of professional qualification – including us! Our six-week, intensive Cook’s Certificate is the perfect stepping stone into a professional kitchen, providing you with the foundation skills that you can then take into a commis chef or chef de partie role. You’ll take a hands-on approach to cooking for eight weeks, learning by doing, not watching! Develop your knife skills, learn about the fundamentals of flavours and build an understanding of important elements like sustainability and health and safety.

The skills required to become a chef

Working as a chef requires more than technical expertise – it also requires a number of soft skills. A successful chef will have an exceptional attention to detail, be a proficient multi-tasker, be able to motivate other team members and possess a fantastic business sense. They should also be sticklers for cleanliness and health and safety practices and be able to work well under pressure – after all, a kitchen is an incredibly high-pressure environment.

If you are looking to study to become a chef, why not join us on our next intake of Cook’s Certificate? We are London’s most sustainable cooking school and aim to provide every student with the tools they need to succeed in their next culinary endeavour. We also offer a wide range of cooking classes and courses for those wishing to dip their toes in.

Cook's Certificate