Can You Be A Chef Without Going To Culinary School? Positive And Negative Aspects

You can become a successful chef even without going to culinary school. All you need is dedication and hard work. By the way, experience in this field is highly needed.

You cannot be a chef overnight, hundreds of experiments and passion will make you one. Many chefs are self-taught and have gained experience working in the kitchen.

You need to be enthusiastic about learning new things in the kitchen. You have to work with experienced chefs to see where you are going wrong. Being a chef can be exhausting and stressful especially when you are new in this profession.

What benefits of being a chef?

The chef profession is one of the most demanding professions because of the rise of restaurants worldwide. Your customer will know your recipes’ taste or your hands’ magic. Sometimes even your customers will become guinea pigs of your new experimental recipes.

To become a culinary expert, you need to be more passionate and dedicated because it will steal your social life, even if you will not be able to sit on a chair the entire day. You will have to make varieties of dishes on customers’ demands. If all these things are fine with you, then you can find a culinary school and start gaining knowledge.

Though a new chef will have to spend a good amount of time in a practice kitchen with less payout, in the end, it will show you a solid path to becoming the best in the business. 

Positive and negative aspects of Culinary School?  

 There are some benefits of culinary school. Your institutional knowledge will help you to become more prepared and enriched. You will feel more confident in your workstation.

I have also discussed some other remarkable pros of culinary school, and these are: 

  • You will earn money after your graduation 
  • Can be learned real things from real chefs 
  • You will learn immense types of recipes or dishes 
  • Can eat better while you are studying in culinary school 
  • You can choose an independent career as a chef 

Every single subject has some drawbacks in our society and the culinary course is not beyond it. So, the drawbacks of culinary school are: 

  • You will have less time for your family 
  • Less salary 
  • Tight time schedule 
  • Costly 
  • Physically challenging 

Can you become a chef without going to culinary school?

One of the most famous and popular names among chefs is Gordon Ramsay. He is a self-taught chef without going to culinary school.

Going to Culinary school is worth it but not needed if you are determined enough to learn by yourself. You can ace this field with your hard work, passion, and experience. You can be inspired by some well-known self-taught chefs.

Gordon Ramsay and Rachael ray are celebrity chefs who gained knowledge through experiments. You can also be one of them if you are keen to be patient with yourself learning and cooking.

Today we have tons of youtube channels where you can learn cooking. But to be a chef, you need to acquire skills to advance your career as a successfully chef.

Cooking is not only limited to the only kitchen. You will need to know how a chef perfectly balances ingredients, and how passionately they put their effort to bring out a unique flavor.

How To Become a Chef Without Going To Culinary School?

There are some possible reasons you can become a chef without going to culinary school. While culinary school can provide valuable training, it is not the only path to becoming a chef.

  • Gain experience

The best way to learn cooking is to gain experience. You can achieve this by volunteering or working in a kitchen restaurant. See how other chefs are rating you. Take a review of your dishes and use this as a motivation to learn bigger.

  • Practice more

Practice is the only key to paving your way to a successful career as a chef. The more you will practice the more you will learn and realize what is missing in your dish. Keep practising until you become a master in it.

  • Read cookbooks and culinary literature.

You can gain knowledge about cooking by reading cookbooks. Moreover, there are different cuisine in different counties. As a chef, you feel the need to educate yourself about these varieties of dishes.

  • Food blog

You can also watch food blogs which work as an added advantage for learning cooking. Those reviews and appreciation from bloggers can help you to achieve bigger in this field.

  • Attend cooking classes

Attend cooking classes and try to explore the dishes which you might never hear of. 

  • Network with chefs

Communicate with chefs who are already doing good in this position. Be vocal about your needs and requirements for cooking skills. Try to spend time with them for learning and enjoying cooking.

  • Experiment with food

Experiment with varieties of flavours and see the result. Baking and grilling are some of the experiments you can try to uplift your career as a chef.

Read More: Can You Go to Culinary School with No Experience? Facts Behind

What qualifies you as a chef?

The term chef means a chef who is a skilled cook with many culinary techniques and is responsible for overseeing the kitchen. There are many key factors responsible for making you a qualified chef.

  • Passion for food

A chef should have deep love and passion for food. Every amount of ingredient should be perfectly balanced. Your passion for food will qualify you as a chef.

  • Management skills

A qualified chef will be able to manage the pricing of food and the budget for culinary things. Decision-making is one of the management skills a chef should have. Other than this, taking care of the customer is also need to take care of. All these qualifications are needed to become a chef.

  • Ability to create 

A chef is said qualified when he can make a dish with any ingredient. The number of flavours he put in to make it a unique dish. When you can create your dish with varieties of flavours, then you become a qualified one.

  • Culinary training

You must have a previous experience in culinary training to be a qualified chef.

Can you be a self-taught chef?

Yes, it’s possible to be a self-taught chef. This requires years of practice and confidence. It’s not possible overnight to become a professional and successful chef. Today you see Gordon Ramsay is a celebrity chef. He was once a beginner who started from scratch. He is also a self-taught chef. 

Always keep in mind, you need to be disciplined and capable of hardworking. It requires dedication to attending cooking classes and volunteering in a restaurant kitchen. Many employers prefer candidates who went to culinary school so you have to be potential enough to learn all by yourself. 

Do you need to go to culinary school to open a bakery?

No, you don’t need to go to culinary school to open a bakery. While culinary school is a great option for baking, it is not the only way you can do it. There are many points to be followed:

  • Culinary workshops

Attend culinary workshops where chefs come and share their experiences. If you are keen to learn baking then focus on this specific part.

  • Find mentorship

Find a mentor from whom you can learn baking and pastry.

  • Join baking classes

Self-education is the only you can learn basic skills. There are tons of online class websites and youtube videos about baking that you can learn easily from there.

  • Work experience

Gain knowledge through experiences. Start working as a volunteer in any restaurant.


Yes, you can become a chef if you have that passion and confidence. There is no need for degrees from a culinary school. As you can see from the examples of famous chefs who managed to be skilled by themselves. Self-learning is a great option who don’t want to go to culinary school. While culinary can be a great option for some, it is not a valid way you can use to become a chef.

Attending cooking classes, joining apprenticeships, finding mentors and working with experience checks will make you skilled. At the end of the day, it is you and your final dish. Your dish will be the reflection of the hard work and effort you put in. 

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