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Cheffing success takes a lot more than cooking

James Khoza, undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most inspirational chefs, has made his mark on the local culinary landscape with strong leadership, insight, and a passion for excellence and opportunity in training and education in the industry. In this article, brought to you by Hostex 2020, Khoza addresses the need for chefs to develop skills beyond culinary.

By James Khoza, Hostex 2020 Ambassador, President of the SA Chefs Association, Executive Chef of Sandton Convention Centre | Hostex

Consumer behaviour in relation to food and beverage choices is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, making it imperative for us as chefs to stay ahead of the trends, to be learning continuously, and to be prepared to adapt our product delivery.

Remaining relevant in today’s world means we must wear more than just the coat of cooks, and add the coat of entrepreneurship. Cooking is a business and must be treated as such. Chefs need to be encouraged to learn leadership skills to manage the ever-changing cooking landscape as their responsibilities increase to include managing people and their behaviours, products and procurement, as well as finance. Chefs must know how to manage a skilled and intelligent workforce and how to get the most out of their people; they must know how to effectively use new intelligent equipment; all while creating dishes of all types according to consumer expectations.

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