How to Become a Chef in India? [Chef Courses, Salary]

. 7 min read
How to Become a Chef in India? [Chef Courses, Salary]
  1. According to rating agency CRISIL, the size of India's restaurant industry is estimated at Rs. 4.2 lakh crore.
  2. Even tier 2 & 3 cities have several fusion cuisines and international cuisines restaurants.
  3. Average dining out in Indian cities varies from 1-3 times a week.
  4. With the cuisines' traveling across borders, opportunities for trained chefs have also grown exponentially.
  5. With the growing popularity of Indian cuisine along with Indian chefs earning prestigious Michelin stars and other recognition.
  6. The Indian culinary has created a prominent place on the global culinary map.
  7. India has seen many restaurants started by great chefs and many celebrity chefs have inspired and influenced today's youth to take up this profession by choice.
  8. The kind of work one needs to do varies from the type of cuisines and restaurant format and a chef’s position in the restaurant.

Different Types of Chefs

Here is a list of different roles a chef can play in an Indian restaurant.

Commis Chef

  1. Commis Chef works as an assistant or a cook who helps the chef prepare food.
  2. Gradually, a Commis with experience and exposure take additional responsibilities.
  3. Commis chefs, during their journey, get plenty of opportunities to improve cooking abilities, which can help in excellent career progression.

Chef de Partie

  1. Chef de Partie oversees a section of the kitchen and is also called a line cook or station chef.
  2. Chef de partie has other chefs working under him in a particular area of production like pastry, sauces, butchery, vegetables, etc.

Pastry Chef

  1. A pastry chef creates, decorates, and presents desserts like pastries, pies, and cakes.
  2. They use different toppings and icings to make the dish tempting and adorable.
  3. The exciting presentation makes customers engage and engrossed.

Bakers Chef

  1. Bakers chef crafts and creates baked foods.
  2. They use their expertise of the right ingredients at the right amount and time to bake and decorate the dish.
  3. They also ensure quality standards and nutrition.
  4. They are the ones who make attractive and exciting baked dishes.

Also Read: Best Atta Brands In India

Saucier or Saute Chef

  1. Saucier or Sauté Chef is the specialist who oversees the entire process from procurement to delivery, mainly for sauces.
  2. Apart from sauces, the saucier also prepares soups and gravy required for a particular dish.


  1. A sous-chef de cuisine (French: "under-chef of the kitchen") has to directly work under the head chef.
  2. They also have to execute the planning as per the instructions.
  3. The sous-chef de cuisine is the second in command, taking care of a specific operation or area.

Chef De Cuisine or Head Chef

  1. A chef de cuisine is the head of the kitchen also called the master chef or head chef.
  2. Apart from cooking, the chef plans the menu, decides to choose the ingredients, selects, and inspects the cooking materials.
  3. The chef also supervises the commis chef working in the kitchen and other food-related issues.

Ways to become a chef in India

Like other professions, there are two ways to become a chef.

Informal Way

  1. One way is the informal way that is to learn by doing it.
  2. This may take a long time but again depends on passion and dedication.
  3. Initially joining some good restaurant as an assistant or a cook, getting exposure to time and responsibilities can make a perfect chef.

Formal way

  1. The other way is to follow a career path formally.
  2. If you've wondered things like how to become a chef in India after 12th or 10th; India has culinary courses available after higher secondary (12th std) till diploma, degree, and masters.
  3. These courses categories under the culinary arts discipline.
  4. All of these are vocational courses that have compulsory internship/apprenticeship as a part of their design.
  5. As a part of the program, one has to undergo an internship or apprenticeship and has to work as a commis chef under a restaurant's mentor chef.
  6. It is a crucial time where Commis Chefs practice whatever they have learned.
  7. It's a practice of the theory which they have learned during their formal education at a culinary institute.

Tips for Becoming a Professional Chef

  1. Being a chef is a lively, interesting, vibrant, and exciting job.
  2. You see your creation delivered daily.
  3. You keep improving with feedback.
  4. You not only feed people but also create a mesmerising experience for them.
  5. It also opens doors of opportunity for you to travel.
  6. It's not a 9 to 5 job; as much responsibility you take, you learn and grow.
  7. A restaurant or a hotel is a soothing atmosphere to work in.
  8. Along with all these, you earn respect and sometimes celebrity-like status.

A Step-By-Step guide to becoming a chef in India:

Get a Diploma Post Higher Secondary (10+2)

  1. To get into a good culinary school, one either needs to have a diploma in culinary or exposure to culinary.
  2. Even to get exposure, employers ask for a basic diploma in culinary.
  3. It's like without a diploma, there is no exposure, and without exposure, no admission in a good culinary program.
  4. That's why a basic diploma after 12th std should be the first step towards the journey to becoming a chef.
  5. This diploma may vary from one and a half years to two and a half years, including part-time or full-time, free or paid internship.

Get a degree (BA in Culinary Arts) in culinary arts for three to four years

  1. Post a bachelor's degree; one can continue with a master's (MA) in culinary arts.
  2. Though formal education is not mandatory to become a chef, one acquires the knowledge and skill for the chosen specialisation.
  3. This also helps them get a good position and greater responsibility.
  4. In short, this can give a great start to an aspiring chef.

Also Read: How to become a soft drink retailer?

Getting Practical Exposure Post-Internship/Apprenticeship

  1. One has to start the journey as a Commis Chef in a restaurant's specialised department/area.
  2. A formal degree was just the beginning of the journey to becoming a chef.
  3. The right kind of exposure under a versatile mentor in a good work environment is crucial for becoming a successful chef.
  4. Day-to-day work will help sharpen their knowledge and skill.
  5. This practical exposure also comes with professional networking opportunities through which one can build rapport with other colleagues.

Getting Certified as a Chef

  1. Like professional education, certification is also not mandatory to be a chef in India, but it may help to grow faster in competitive chef positions.
  2. Certification is also an opportunity to add more disciplines and specialties to their kitty.
  3. It may help in getting a more diversified portfolio leading to greater opportunity and rewards.

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4) Best Business In Chennai
5) Best Olive Oil Brands in India
6) Best Cooking Oil Brands in India

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Q. How many hours does a chef need to work?

  1. Normally, they follow shift timings.
  2. On average, a chef has to work a minimum of 40 to 50 hours a week.
  3. Festivals and holidays are very special and important days for business.

Q. What are the challenges for a chef in the initial days?

  1. There is a lot of physical work, so it's not easy.
  2. One needs to have good stamina.
  3. Time management and complete deliveries are also challenges for a commis chef in the initial days.

Q. Is it mandatory to have a Bachelor in Culinary Arts to be a good chef?

  1. It is not mandatory to have a formal education to become a good chef.
  2. Rachael Ray, Ree Drummond, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Tom Colicchio are some of the famous chefs who enjoy celebrity status without any formal education in the culinary field.
  3. Having a formal education will make achieving a career in the culinary world easier and faster.

Q. What are the culinary courses available in India?

  • Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts, Bachelor of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, B.Sc. in Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Diploma in Culinary Arts, etc.
  • After 10+2 higher secondary.
  • Some diploma courses are also available after 10th standard like Diploma in-
  1. Food Production
  2. Diploma in Catering Technology
  3. Diploma in Bakery and Confectionery, etc.