Can You Become a Chef Without Culinary School? – 2024 Guide

Even before history can remember, people have been preparing food for their family and friends. This is probably one of the most interesting things in the world. We don’t say this without a reason. We say this because there are literally countless combinations that you can make in order to prepare a meal that will be enjoyed by all the people that gathered for a supper. Some people think that recipes are an invention of a newer age. However, we can see that some of them were written in stone. For example, we can see some of them in ancient Greece and Egypt. People were always interested in finding new ways to prepare food. We are not talking about pure eating, we are talking about a carefully planned diet by following the recipes carefully in order to get the best possible flavor in the end.

Naturally, during these times people weren’t obligated to have some sort of credentials and diplomas to prepare healthy and tasty food. In fact, this is an invention of the modern age. Now we can see that there is specialized schools that prepare new chefs every year. If you would like to see how this looks, you can take a look at However, we can see that a high number of people ask a question, can you become a chef without obtaining a culinary school diploma? Naturally, a culinary school diploma has its advantages, but it is not essential for you to start your new career as a chef. Of course, you need to have a talent and you need to obtain some skills along the way. Also, you need to ready to go along and pretty hard way. We are here to help. We are going to talk about certain things you need to unleash from yourself to become a chef without a diploma.

Prepare of the Lifestyle

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You should be aware that the life of a chef is not an easy one and that you need to go a really long way before you can fulfill your dream. You need to prepare yourself for a couple of questions you need to provide answers to. Do you feel prepared to spend hours in a hot kitchen? Do you know the number of hours you will be obligated to work every week? Do you have some other obligations in your life that could prevent you from becoming a successful chef? Do you know how to balance professional and family life? All of these are questions that you will not provide an answer to in order to be prepared for this life.

At the same time, you need to think about the amount of time you will need to spend before you actually become a standalone chef. In reality, you will need to spend more than a couple of hours before you’ve completed all of the necessary tasks and obtain the knowledge needed for that. Do you know how much time you will need to work on lower levels before you can take the chance to become to a chef of your own? As you may know, when you work in large restaurants, you are bound to work in a big kitchen team. So, this is just another question you need to think about. You need to prepare to see that the lifestyle of a chef is and see if you are prepared for that.

Love Cooking

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So, now we crossed the question of the lifestyle. Let’s say that you are ready for all the challenges you will stumble across. Now, you need to think carefully about one thing. Do you love cooking? Since you’ve made it so far in this article of ours, you surely like to. But the question is, do you really love it? Are you ready to sacrifice some other things in your life in order to become a chef without culinary school? Since there is no education in this field, you will need to learn about all the elements on the go. Even though this sounds much easier compared to reading from countless books, we would say that it is not as easy as you may think.

The first and foremost thing is that you need to be passionate about your work. Therefore, you need to invest all the available resources into improving your skills. Since this is a pretty long and hard road, you really need to love it in order to succeed on your path. Even after that, there is a question of work hours. We’ve mentioned these before. You should know that chef’s shifts in restaurants are between 10 and 12 hours. So, you will be able to make it only in case you are really passionate about your work. Since restaurants have pretty strict recipes you will have less chance to experiment with something. Therefore, you will lay low with your creativity.

Creativity is an Absolute Must

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This segment of our article is closely tied to the previous one. When you are a person that wants to pursue a culinary career without going to school, you can make your own career much faster when you invent some new recipes. Maybe this sounds funny, but we assure you, even though culinary recipes are among us since the beginning of time, there are still some of the ways for preparing food and unknown recipes that wait for someone to find out about them. We’ve already talked about restaurant menus and how they can limit your creativity.
Therefore, maybe you should try to invent something new before actually start thinking about pursuing a career in this field. As you could read earlier, there are countless possibilities for you to invent something completely new. One of the things you can actually do is combining a couple of national cuisines and create something entirely new from almost from scratch. Since there are so many cultures in this beautiful world of ours, you will have no problem with finding recipes from all over the world. It could be said that Google is your best friend. Be sure to try this approach, maybe you will come up with something exceptional.