Successful restaurant owner and chef David Beston shares some of the top qualifications to explore for those looking to follow in his illustrious footsteps.
From certification in food handling and sanitation standards to completing up to four years at a leading culinary school, numerous paths to success exist for those wishing to chase a career as a top chef. A well-known chef and restaurateur from New York City, David Beston offers a first-hand look at just some of the many qualifications to explore for anyone aspiring to follow in his wildly successful footsteps.
“Any one of a number of formal culinary qualifications may be called upon when applying for a job as a chef,” explains David Beston, speaking from his five-star restaurant in New York City. This is not, however, he goes on to reveal, the only route to success.
Instead, David Beston says, budding young chefs may prefer to apply for an apprenticeship. “Rather than immediately taking to the helm of an established kitchen, it’s possible to earn recognition equal to that of many formal culinary qualifications by completing an apprenticeship,” points out the expert.
In this instance, an aspiring chef may only need a high school education. “Yet, with the correct training, an apprentice chef can very quickly accelerate themselves toward a position whereby they’ll ultimately be responsible for supervising a kitchen and any number of kitchen staff,” suggests David Beston.
For those seeking a formal qualification in the first instance, however, David Beston is keen to highlight the option of earning a one-year, full-time Higher National Certificate or above in Culinary Arts. “This is arguably the fastest route toward a career as a chef where completing an apprenticeship is not the preferred path,” David Beston explains. Additional certification surrounding proper food handling and sanitation standards is also universally beneficial, he reports.
Asked what qualifications he’d prefer to see in a potential hire at one of his own restaurants, David Beston is quick to respond. “Culinary school attendance completed in tandem with an apprenticeship is highly desirable,” suggests the expert, “as is any additional certification.”
Whether an individual has earned a one-year Higher National Certificate or graduated after as many as four years at a prestigious culinary school, there’s also another important factor that’s crucial to success, David Beston goes on to point out. “Attitude and personal qualities are often all-important,” Beston adds, “further to any qualifications.”
Whether it’s an attitude and roster of qualities that come naturally to an individual or something which is cultivated, David Beston is usually looking, he says, for a variety of stand-out traits. These, says restaurateur and chef David Beston, are an even temperament, an inherent ability to multitask, excellent communication skills, an eye for detail, and particular attention to organization and cleanliness. “Creativity, too,” adds Beston, wrapping up, “is also important, with imagination commonly the key to keeping customers coming back to any establishment.”