Chef Sam Cover explores the best qualifications for those wishing to follow in his award-winning culinary footsteps.
Becoming an award-winning chef is a dream for many. However, there’s often confusion surrounding the best qualifications for those looking to pursue a career centered upon culinary excellence. A multi-award-winning chef from the Pacific Northwest, Sam Cover Spokane Washington offers a closer look at some of the best routes into the industry.
It’s important, Sam Cover of Spokane Washington says, first and foremost, to make a clear distinction between a chef and a cook. “While both prepare food, of course, a chef’s responsibilities often far exceed those of a cook,” reveals the expert.
A cook, Sam Cover Spokane Washington points out, may assume the role with only a high school education. A chef, however, he explains, responsible for supervising a kitchen and its staff, will require additional training or qualifications. “Often an apprenticeship, or a formal culinary qualification,” suggests Cover, “will be required by any establishment looking to hire a chef.”
The same is often true, it’s said, of supervisory experience. According to Sam Cover, this can be earned in a number of ways, including as an apprentice, responsible for overseeing various aspects of a kitchen under the guidance of an experienced professional.
But what about formal qualifications? “This will depend on the individual,” says Sam Cover of Spokane Washington. “Attending a culinary school is typically seen as highly desirable,” suggests the expert, “but this can be costly, and it may take up to four years to graduate.”
Offering the chance to learn hands-on, meanwhile, alongside a seasoned chef in an established kitchen, an apprenticeship, Cover remarks, is often a more attractive alternative. “Completing an apprenticeship under a seasoned professional is a great route to becoming a chef, especially for younger individuals,” adds Cover. An apprenticeship, Sam Cover Spokane Washington points out, can last anywhere from one to five years.
Further to qualifications and training, attitude, Sam Cover Spokane says, is also extremely important. “No matter the route an aspiring chef decides to take for their dream career, a positive attitude will always be an essential ingredient,” he explains.
“A passion for cooking, an unflappable work ethic, and an open mind eager to continue to grow and learn—even after years in the field—will give any aspiring chef an edge over an individual without the proper mindset for a life in a highly challenging but incredibly rewarding career,” Cover states. “An ability to be flexible,” he adds, in closing, “and to get along with others, will also put any aspiring chef in good stead for a life of culinary excellence.”
A native of Eastern Washington, renowned chef Sam Cover has been diligent at building his name in the Pacific Northwest’s culinary scene for over two decades. Multi-award-winning, Cover has worked in kitchens in Spokane, across Washington, and elsewhere in the U.S., including in some of the nation’s top dining venues.