The benefits of working overseas as a chef include: developing advanced, nuanced cooking skills; learning a new language; expanding your professional network for future roles; and the chance to return to your home a stronger, better, higher-paid chef.
There is no doubt that we are lucky to have so many brilliant restaurants and cafes in Australia where chefs of all ages and all levels and sorts of experiences can work side by side. For the students and graduates of Kenvale College's numerous cooking courses, there are countless opportunities to advance their skill sets and set the tone for a long and successful career ahead.
Imagine, we said that you don't have to stay in Australia to have a fulfilling and exciting career? One of the biggest benefits of becoming a chef in Australia is the opportunity to expand your horizons offshore. Once you are trained and have some experience under your belt, the world is your oyster – opportunities to live and work overseas, expand your culinary expertise by learning new skills, engage in different cultures and meeting new people means that you can work almost anywhere in the world or return home as a chef with a wealth of experience and skills.
In this article, we'll talk about the advantages of working in kitchens around the globe!
Developing advanced cooking skills
It's fair to say that the best and most complex dishes from across the world can't be perfectly replicated either in the classroom or an Australian-based restaurant. Of course, you can learn the basic recipe, but the heart and soul of the final dish will be missing. This is one of the key benefits of working in an overseas kitchen where these recipes have been prepared for generations with the same ingredients and level of passion.
Whether you venture to France to master the veloute or want to learn how to create the best paella in Spain, to truly master the techniques and flavours you have to go to the source of these recipes. Kitchens in Paris and Madrid could have been using recipes dating back hundreds of years – enabling you to breathe in the aroma of exotic foods and learn first-hand from the world's top specialist chefs the techniques, tips and tricks and secret ingredients that give these dishes their unique appeal.
Given how multicultural Australia is and how it has adapted cuisines from all around the world, chefs with specialist skills and knowledge of different cuisines are highly sought after back home.
Learning a new language
Part of any trip overseas, whether it be a short trip or an extended one is immersing yourself in all of the experiences that the country you're in has to offer – it's partaking in the society of that country and making an effort to understand the culture and the people, picking up language skills where you can and understanding the history of a place and it's people that will assist you in improving your culinary skills.
According to statistics from .id community, just 18 per cent of Australians can speak more than one language. This means that when you come home, your new language may improve your employment chances, particularly in foreign cuisine restaurants. Many employers will be impressed to see a C.V. of someone who has spent time improving their craft in Europe or Asia for an extended period.
It is important to remember that there are challenges being away from home, although for those who are passionate and committed to the industry, you'll soon find ways around them! For example, you might feel a little intimidated to enter a kitchen in a new country with chefs who are speaking a different language.
However, at Kenvale College, we teach our students to be adaptable and flexible, helping you to deal with the new environment with confidence and quickly start to learn those vital new skills. Just remember, the culture shock will wear off and by the end you may even miss your adoptive kitchen family!
Extending your professional network
Arguably, one of the most significant advantages of working overseas is extending your professional network. While you can build a great resume of connections in Australia, a recommendation from a head chef in a Parisian restaurant is something that very few in Australia can claim to have. The way that you use these new connections is really up to you.
Perhaps you have the option to head back overseas in the years ahead, or your connections have friends in Australia who can help you get a great industry job when you arrive home. Regardless, the wider your professional network in the world of cooking, the more directions your career can go.
Returning to Australia a stronger chef
If you have the opportunity to pursue a career overseas, you should take it with both hands. Life is too short to not take opportunities as they arise and as a chef, the global culinary world is just too diverse not to explore anything and everything that interests you. You may only be a prep cook or short-order cook when you depart, but with the new skills and dishes under your belt, you can return to more diverse opportunities that will advance your career.
Finding out more with Kenvale College
Interested in learning more about how an overseas stint can help your cheffing career? Reach out to the team at Kenvale College today. As well as highlighting the best courses for your career, we can also connect you with employers across Australia and around the world.