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Choosing the culinary profession is not to be taken lightly. And besides, I don't think it is something you choose. You get swept up into the profession's swirling vortex of energy. So, it chooses you.

It takes many years of "paying your dues" to become a chef. You have to have passion, a love of technique, and a constantly inquiring mind. Solid technique and learning how to taste will take you much further than making plates of pretty foods, just for the sake of prettiness.

"Cheffing" is not just about cooking well. You have to learn good management skills, be somewhat competent at mathematics and love customer service. All of the people you work with are your customers, not just the ones who come to your restaurant to eat.