Cooking and running a kitchen is a physically demanding job, and while an executive club chef requires certain personal qualities to succeed, they also need many physical qualities.
Due to the stressful environment of a professional kitchen and the nature of the work, the lifestyle of a chef seems to be unavoidable. And with being an executive chef, there is even greater responsibility compared to other roles in the kitchen. Aside from the stress of running a kitchen, there are also physical challenges an executive chef must face.
While an executive chef usually spends more time running a kitchen rather than cooking, it is still a physically demanding role. Aside from administrative tasks, most of a chef’s workday is spent moving about the kitchen and club. Long, and most often fast-paced days are a common requirement for chefs. Executive club chefs can put in as many as 12 hours or more a day, oftentimes standing or moving around the whole time.
Whether it is pots and pans, carrying heavy bags of food, or putting away deliveries, there is quite a bit of heavy lifting with being a chef. This heavy lifting, along with constant standing and leaning over a work surface while preparing food can easily cause back problems. Chefs also need good hand strength and dexterity to use knives and other cooking utensils. Constant use of a chef’s hands makes arthritis more common. Lastly, between the fast-paced environment, open flames, and sharp objects, chefs are easily prone to injuries from burns, cuts, and even slipping or falling.
The additional stress and long hours of running a club kitchen are also enough to take a physical toll on a chef’s body. In order to withstand the long days and physical demands of working in a kitchen, it is critical that a chef has a passion for what he does.
Running a kitchen is not always as glamorous as the media makes it out to be. Kitchens can be hot, crowded, and even dangerous. With long hours and a stressful, fast-paced environment, there are numerous physical challenges of being an executive club chef that can easily put a strain on a chef’s body.