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Six Of The Best
Career Tips For the International Chef Of Tomorrow
career centersix of the best

July 2002
If you are a chef who plans to work internationally, here's a few words of advice from six of our previously featured chefs...
Traveling is the best part about being a chef; if you have good references you can go just about anywhere. Also remember that it is important to study up on the customs of the country you are traveling to, it will save you a lot of hardship in the kitchen as most kitchen workers are from a traditional background and many donít speak English. I now know kitchen slang in four African languages. (Barak Hirschowitz, executive chef, The Bay Hotel, South Africa)

You need to possess immense amounts of flexibility, patience and willingness to adapt quickly to new cultures, languages and ways of life. You should sacrifice a couple of your home comforts in return for a chance to travel and learn new stuff and develop yourself as a chef. (Ciaran Hickey, executive Chef, The Four Seasons Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey)

Japan is an amazing country with a very extended food culture and a set of tradition and custom that need daily attention. It is not an easy country to work in, the language barrier is very strong and Japanese are historically cautious about foreigners. So set in to learn as much of the language as you can, be patient! You are in for daylong meetings and very different points of view. Focus on delivering the best product and be open-minded, put on the side what you know and get set to fit into a different reality. You'll walk away with a great experienceÖ (Andrea Sacchi western chef of The Four Seasons Hotel, Tokyo)



If you want to work in Asia be prepared to open your eyes, ears and taste buds, there is so much you can learn it's unbelievable. Be prepared to adapt (no two countries in Asia are alike), to change your style of management, to even change your outlook on life and be willing to understand and integrate as much as possible to the different culture. You will be a richer person after a while, but it will take you a few years to really understand what is going on around you... (Rainer Zinngrebe, [formerly] executive chef The Fullerton Hotel Singapore)

Don't be fooled into thinking that if you work in a country that speaks the same language as you that the customs and culture will be the same as your home country. For example comments and jokes that may be acceptable in Great Britain could well be misunderstood in the States. Understand and respect your surroundings before opening your mouth! (Jeremy Emmerson, executive sous chef, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Chicago)

The key to everything, when living and working in another country, is the language. You have to learn it as quickly as possible and immerse yourself in the culture. If you don't have a good basic control of the language you will never be happy. (Marc Fosh, executive chef, Reads Hotel, Mallorca, Spain)

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