The Dreams & Aspirations of Young Chefs

NourhanneWhere have the graduates of the Culinary Training Centres of Egypt ended up? Are they working for restaurants or hotels? Is the work of chef up to their expectations and to what do they aspire? We interviewed Chef Norhanne Essam, Chef at Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel, to find answers to these questions.

What made you choose the profession of chef?

I followed my passion to be a chef and I have achieved my goal.

Does the work meet your expectations?

Yes, but the work is harder than I expected but I still love it and can handle it.

What are the most important lessons you have learned so far that have made you a better chef?

Listen carefully. Be ready to learn. Ask about anything you don’t understand. Always be clean and well organized and be creative. The most important thing is do all this with love & passion.

What do you think are the main differences between a hotel chef and a restaurant chef? What is your own personal preference and why?

The difference for me lies in the fact that the restaurant chef does not have the chance to explore and learn new things because he/she has a menu and must always follow it. In a hotel I can learn different things. I can even change the outlet I work in or take training in any other kitchen and in the end I am working for a company with a good name.

What has been the greatest highlight in your career so far?

I am the first and only woman to work in this large hotel kitchen since the hotel opened.
I also won the Thai Cooking Competition for Young Chefs as the best Egyptian young chef in Thai cooking.

What are some of the main challenges you have faced in your career or at work?

One challenge has been to improve my skills, and also to prove that I am strong enough to work in this profession.

What are your hopes regarding your future career? What is your dream?

I would like to travel and work in many different kitchens and constantly learn many new things. My ambition is to be the executive chef of a big hotel.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from watching TV programs like Master Chef, Top Chef , Hell’s Kitchen and observing Chef Marco Pierre White.
 

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