The word "chef" means "leader" in French. We use this word in English because the chef is the leader of the kitchen. He or she plans what food will be served in the restaurant, directs the cooks in how to prepare it and makes sure that the kitchen is clean and stocked with the supplies the restaurant needs. Since this is a lot of work, a chef is almost always busy. If this job sounds like fun to you, there are a few things you need to do to become a chef.
Cook with your parents to gain experience. Watch them closely and ask questions to learn why they do the things they do. The more you know about how to make different foods, the more ideas you will come up with to make your own special dishes.
Take home economics, nutrition and culinary arts classes when you can. Pay attention in school and do your best at all your work. Doing these things will help you to understand the responsibilities of a chef's job.
Work at a restaurant when you're old enough to hold a job. There you will learn how a kitchen operates.
Research culinary schools to find out which ones you would like to attend after high school. Apply to those schools as soon as you can based on their requirements. Culinary school lasts between two and four years.
Pay close attention to everything in your culinary classes so that you learn how to buy ingredients, plan a menu, cook and keep a kitchen clean. A chef must do all of these things efficiently.
Become an apprentice to an experienced chef to learn what he or she knows. A restaurant manager will be willing to hire you if you prove that you know a lot about cooking and always do your best job.
Apply to work at a restaurant. List your experience to the manager and give him or her contact information for your culinary arts teachers and the experienced chef who trained you. Here your hard work will pay off because these people will have only good things to say about you.
Do your best at all your work in the restaurant and keep a good attitude even when things don't go the way you want. The way you behave will make an impression on your manager. Be patient as it may be a while before he or she is impressed enough to promote you to chef.
Continue the hard work you've done all along. Within 10 years, you could become the head chef of a restaurant.