Career as a Chef

Spanish Proverb “The belly rules the mind” sounds so true. Whether we are hungry or just feeling a craving for something delicious, the one thing that occupies our mind space is food and more food. From fitness freaks, gourmets and gluttons to even people with jaded palates, everyone loves to pamper his or her taste buds with tickling flavors. Gone are the days when you had to wait for parties, wedding ceremonies or festivals for good food or a sumptuous feast.

Cooking is not anymore seen as a part of daily chore or activity. Recent development in hospitality industry has changed its meaning and import. Now, cooking is considered as an art and one who gets to master this art is called the king of tastes. Earlier, a chef’s job was not held in high esteem. But, booming hotel and restaurant industry has created an unmatched demand for these professionals. Today, chefs have not only evolved as money churners but glamorous personalities as well. Fine cooking skills have earned them people’s respect too.

Scope and Career Prospects for Chef

James Cook once said “Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.” Well, ambition is a key to any successful career. One gets many opportunities, but to catch the right one at the right time is most important. You can cover miles with determination, hard work, skills and patience.

An unprecedented growth in Indian culinary industry has led to an increased demand for professional chefs. As a chef or professional cook, you can multiply your job opportunities in different verticals of a catering establishment. The avenues that eventually open up for you include:

Comis 3
Comis 2
Comis 1
Demi – chef – de – partie
Chef – de – partie
Deputy chef
Senior deputy chef
Executive deputy chef
Executive chef
Restaurant manager
Pub manager
Hospital caterer
Wedding/ party/ event caterer
School/ college/ school caterer
Airline/ railways/ cruise ships caterer
Cookery show host
Base kitchen caterer
Recipe book writer

Pay Scale of Chef

As per salary is concerned, it largely depends on personal skills, expertise, experience, specialization, confidence and other factors. The place where you are working is another variable. Still, a generic outlook can be given. Trainee chefs are most likely to get Rs.10000 to Rs.15000 a month.

After gaining a 10 years of experience in this field, you can expect to take home somewhere between Rs.40000 and Rs.50000. For an executive chef, the range may vary from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh a month. In five star luxury and deluxe hotels, one can also look for a gross salary of Rs.52 lakh. However, these handsome packages are offered only to executive hotel chefs.

Further, if we look at it from the industry point of view, a hotel chef can get Rs 383,754 to Rs 1,157,271 per annum. Those working in restaurants can earn Rs 348,797 to Rs 1,033,703. In food service sector, one can draw Rs 363,396 to Rs 1,084,588. However, bars and nightclubs offer a package ranging from Rs 348,797 to Rs 1,033,703 to a chef.

Personality Traits for Chef

For a bright future in this job, you need to adapt yourself to varying cultures and food habits of others. You should update your skills and knowledge on a regular basis. Being cognizant about new cooking technologies and methods is important. Love for food, sincerity, passion, service mentality and calmness are other pre-requisites. You should be ready to experiment with different food ingredients. Ability to work in team and dedication towards work are also required.

Academic Qualification for Chef

If you want to explore the hospitality industry job opportunities as a chef, obtaining a diploma certificate or degree in Hotel Management and Catering Technology is must. The degree courses include 4 years of training, while diploma programs offer 3 years of learning experience. You can enroll yourself in any of these courses after completing 10+2.

Chef Courses in India

Private hotel management institutes and National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology conduct 1 year certificate courses, 3 year diploma programs and 4 year degree courses. There are some professional culinary training centers which offer several apprenticeship courses to give chef training to aspiring candidates. People can opt for diploma programs in food production to specialize in food and beverage services or bakery and confectionery. Indian government has opened 12 food craft centers which offer exclusive food craft courses.

Further, you can look for specialization in any of the three distinct areas such as hot kitchen, cold kitchen and bakery confectionary.

List of Institutes for Chef Training in India

There are many good hotel management institutes in India where you can seek complete training in this field of culinary industry. Some premier institutes are listed below. Take a look at them.

Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development: set up by the Oberoi Group in 1966, this hotel management institute is associated with National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology.

7, Sham Nath Marg,
Delhi -110 054, India
Ph No: +91-11-2389 0505

Government Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition: established in 1982, the institute offers relevant and latest information in the field of hotel and tourism management.


Patel Nagar, Saharanpur Road
Dehradun, Uttarakhand – 248001
Ph No: +91 135 2728662
Institute Of Hotel Management, Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition: previously set up as a ‘Food Craft Institute’, IHM Goa grew into a full fledged institute with sanction from Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

Alto Porvorim, Bardez, Goa – 403 521, India
Ph No: + 91 – 832- 2417252 / 2417379 / 2411142

Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration: started in October 1986, this institute offers undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma courses in hotel management.


Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India
Ph No: 91 820 2571978

State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology: set up in 1981, the public sector hotel management institute in Tamil Nadu offers 1 year certificate programs and 3 year diploma programs in the fields of food production, bakery and confectionary and food and beverage service.
Thuvakkudi, Trichy – 620015, Tamil Nadu, India
Ph No: 0431-2500660