Male chef piping into porcelain dish, learning how to become a chef at mitchells and butlers

How to become a chef

How to become a chef

Jess Birch our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 19/06/2023

Hey there, aspiring culinary rockstars! If you've got a passion for food, an insatiable appetite for creativity, and an undeniable flair for flavour, then you might be destined to become a chef in the sizzling-hot world of the hospitality industry. 

Not sure where to start? Well, as the leading restaurant and pub company in the UK, with 14 brands across 1,700 businesses, you’re spoiled for choice at Mitchells & Butlers. Whether you love traditional pub grub like the mouthwatering dishes served up at our Ember Inns, or you’re a steak geek obsessed with the best cuts and the finest ingredients at a Miller & Carter Steakhouse, there are many reasons you’ll love working in an M&B kitchen.

But you might be wondering what skills and experience you need to be successful. Here’s our flavourful guide on how to become a chef in the hospitality industry:

Get cooking!

To become a top-notch chef, if you’re starting without experience it helps to work from the bottom, building confidence as you work your way up. Just finished college? Working as a kitchen assistant is a great job for under 18s. You’ll get to build teamwork skills, learn how a kitchen operates and more.

If you’re an aspiring culinary enthusiast, then a chef apprenticeship is another great way to kicktsart your career in the kitchen. You’ll gain first-hand experience, and learn the magic of flavours, knife skills, culinary techniques, and how to turn a humble potato into a culinary masterpiece. Qualifications for a chef can vary, from a Level 3 Diploma in Professional Cookery to a foundation degree in culinary arts at a university.

If you’re itching to get in the kitchen, apply to an entry-level job in a restaurant or gain experience in a summer job in the kitchen.

Spice up your skills

Just like adding a pinch of salt can transform a dish, honing your skills is the secret ingredient to success. Be curious and open to learning new techniques. And remember, practice makes perfect! So don't be afraid to invite your friends over and unleash your culinary creations on them (be prepared for brutally honest feedback!).

A chef apprenticeship is a great way to develop the skills you need to kick start your career, and earning as you learn is a massive bonus! Don’t just take it from us, learn how Ashea, Jack and Lauren made the most of their apprenticeships.

When you train to become a professional chef on one of our apprenticeships, we’ll help you master the menu, with your food being the reason guests keep coming through our doors! Plus, whether you’re a college student or on the hunt for a new career that fires you up, you’re never too old to do an apprenticeship.

Seek inspiration

If you’re a budding chef then it’s no surprise that one of your most important tools is your taste buds!

Like the brain or any part of your body, it’s important to exercise them. One of the most fun parts of working with food is trying it! At M&B you’ll get to master pre-set menus that are specially crafted to delight guests. And if you love dining out, you’ll love it even more with a massive 33% discount across all of our brands when you join us.

Keep your tastebuds alert by trying different cuisines. Immerse yourself in cookbooks, food blogs, and cooking shows. Follow renowned chefs on social media for a daily dose of mouthwatering food inspo. 

Embrace failure (and burnt soufflés)

We can't sugarcoat it, but setbacks are a part of any culinary journey. Burnt soufflés, soggy pastries, and the occasional kitchen disasters will happen. Embrace them as valuable learning experiences. 

The kitchen is a wild, fiery space where pots and pans sizzle, and things can occasionally boil over. Being comfortable in the exciting hustle and bustle of a fast-paced kitchen is part of the process! Just remember to take a deep breath, dust off the flour, and keep pushing forward. Remember, even Michelin-starred chefs had their fair share of cooking calamities!

Rise to the occasion

Once you've gained some experience and confidence, it's time to spread your culinary wings and fly! Look for opportunities to lead a kitchen, be it as a sous chef, kitchen manager, or head chef. 

And don’t be afraid to be yourself and bring a big dash of your personality to the kitchen! Having a successful chef career isn’t just about food. Our kitchen assistants, chefs and kitchen managers don't come to work in an M&B kitchen just because they run like well-oiled machines. We love having fun together and enjoy an inclusive environment where everyone, including people like Ellie, are welcomed and supported in their career development.

Get ready to dice, slice, and sauté your way to glory!

Becoming a chef in the hospitality industry is an exhilarating and challenging journey. It requires dedication, a hunger for knowledge, and a dash of fearlessness. So, tie that apron tight, sharpen those knives, and get ready to embark on a tantalising adventure that will set taste buds dancing and keep guests coming through the doors!

If you’re ready to create magic in the kitchen, and let your passion for food take you to dizzying new heights, apply for kitchen jobs at M&B today. Bon appétit!

List #1

Some articles you might like

4 people stood in a kitchen, one with their back to the camera, each are wearing striped aprons and chef hats.
What skills do you need to be a Kitchen Assistant?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

05/02/2024

Summary

Ready to turn up the heat in the kitchen? Whether you’re moving between Mitchells and Butlers brands or teams, or looking for an exciting new role, there are plenty of kitchen assistant skills that

Teaser

Find out more
Rebecca Skeet

by

Rebecca Skeet

Rebecca Skeet

by

Rebecca Skeet

A smiling man in a grey shirt in a restaurant kitchen stood in front of four plates of food.
What does a Kitchen Assistant do?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

04/25/2024

Summary

Think that being a Kitchen Assistant is a boring job with no career progression? Think again! That’s just one of many big myths about working in a kitchen. There’s much more to being a Kitchen Assista

Teaser

Find out more
Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Young woman serving bright cocktail on a bar with fully stocked shelf of spirits as a backdrop
Why working in a pub is the best summer job for students

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

04/24/2024

Summary

Evenings are staying lighter for longer and the days are growing warmer. Dare we say summer is on the way? If you’re thinking “How can I make money as a student?” and are keen to make some extra cas

Teaser

Find out more
Jess Birch

by

Jess Birch

Jess Birch

by

Jess Birch

sous chef standing over a kitchen apprentice watching them prep food
What skills do you need to be a sous chef?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

04/05/2024

Summary

Step into the kitchen with us as we delve into the world of sous chefs! You know what a sous chef job is all about, but have you ever wondered what it takes to be a great sous chef? When it comes

Teaser

Find out more
Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Rachael Langley

by

Rachael Langley

Waitress bringing food to the couple by the table
How to navigate hospitality interview questions

Teaser

General

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

02/28/2024

Summary

Welcome to your go-to guide for mastering hospitality interviews! Working in a pub, bar or restaurant is like no other job. It’s a whirlwind of excitement, human connection and showing guests a good t

Teaser

Working in a pub, bar or restaurant is like no other job. It’s a whirlwind of excitement, human connection and showing guests a good time.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

chef wearing chef whites and hat spooning sauce into a pot
What does a sous chef do?

Teaser

Pub and restaurant

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

02/27/2024

Summary

“Sous chef” literally means “under-chief”. But enough with the language lesson. Let's get to the juicy stuff.  Being a Sous Chef is all about keeping the kitchen humming and the food steadily flowing

Teaser

“Sous chef” literally means “under-chief”. But enough with the language lesson. Let's get to the juicy stuff.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

two men wearing chef's whites cooking in a commercial kitchen
What can you expect from head chef responsibilities?

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

01/29/2024

Summary

So you want to dive into the world of head chefs and unravel what goes on behind the scenes? Gone are the days when Ratatouille was our go-to kitchen reference. Nowadays, with a smorgasbord of films

Teaser

While each kitchen dances to its unique rhythm, some things remain true no matter what. Let's uncover the head chef responsibilities you'll find in any role.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Leadership in every bite: Elevate your chef skills at M&B

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

01/29/2024

Summary

Chefs make great leaders. It's just in their DNA. They know how to keep a cool head under pressure, understand what makes great teamwork, always look for a chance to learn something, and take every op

Teaser

Chefs make great leaders. It's just in their DNA.

Find out more
Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

Amandeep Chahal

by

Amandeep Chahal

male chef cooking in restaurant kitchen
Busting the big myths about working in the kitchen

Teaser

Kitchen

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

12/13/2023

Summary

What springs to mind when you picture a kitchen? Maybe you see a busy space, with lots of people in their chef whites. But do you see any females? If you don’t, then we won’t hold it against yo

Teaser

Find out more
Hazel Laughey

by

Hazel Laughey

Hazel Laughey

by

Hazel Laughey

Smiling female chef holding plate under heat lamp in a restaurant job
Is a restaurant job a good career path?

Teaser

Pub and restaurant

Content Type

Blog

Publish date

11/17/2023

Summary

If you're on the lookout for a career path that's as dynamic as it is rewarding, we've got a sizzling suggestion for you: have you considered a restaurant job?  Whether you're a young professional

Teaser

Find out more
Martha Doherty

by

Martha Doherty

Martha Doherty

by

Martha Doherty

Jobs

Jobs you might like...

Part Time Kitchen Assistant

Salary

Competitive Salary

Location

Crown - HERTFORDSHIRE, Nazeing, EN10 6RG

Departments

Kitchen Assistant

Hours

Part Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Vintage

Location

Nazeing

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you!  With your suppor

Reference

2184904

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
Part Time Chef

Salary

Competitive Salary

Location

Crown - HERTFORDSHIRE, Nazeing, EN10 6RG

Departments

Chef

Hours

Part Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Vintage

Location

Nazeing

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you! As a part time Che

Reference

2184899

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
Part Time Chef

Salary

Up to £14.00 per hour

Location

Salisbury Arms, London, N21 3NP

Departments

Chef

Hours

Part Time

Vacancy Type

Other role

Brand

Castle

Location

London

Description

No CV to hand? No problem! We've made our application process mobile friendly and removed the need for a CV. Our form takes 2 minutes to complete and tells us all we need about you! As a part time Che

Reference

2184811

Expiry Date

01/01/0001

Apply Add to shortlist
 

job search