This Is What It Means To Be A Chef, According To Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern is an inspirational icon in the culinary space. As per his official website, Zimmern was always interested in creating a name for himself in the food industry. After completing his studies, he worked at several eateries in New York in a bid to get better at his craft. However, Zimmern was really struggling. As per a CNN report, the aspiring chef was addicted to drugs and alcohol, something that prevented him from seriously focusing on his career.

Luckily, Zimmern had supportive friends who planned an intervention to help him during a tough time. Zimmern managed to get control of his addictions and started afresh. Life wasn't exactly easy, but Zimmern didn't complain, working as a dishwasher and making the most of the opportunity. He eventually got noticed for his cooking talent and climbed up the ladder. 

For Zimmern, staying dedicated to cooking has been important. He told the The Wall Street Journal about a piece of advice his father offered him. "Cook something new every single day," he shared. "You make a lot of mistakes cooking something new." Of course, the more you practice, the better you get at creating something from scratch.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Leadership skills matter

Considering his vast experience in the restaurant business, it's safe to say that Zimmern knows a thing or two about what it really takes to succeed as a determined chef in a highly competitive industry. He mentioned in a Q&A posted on his YouTube channel that it often comes down to cultivating strong leadership skills in the kitchen and knowing your responsibilities. "At its very core, the word 'chef' is a leadership position," Zimmern explained. "Are you able to lead a team in a kitchen?"

Zimmern further added that it's not important whether you're a chef in a fancy Michelin eatery or a small, humble establishment if you're getting your work done. You're still inspiring others with your craft. As far as Zimmern is concerned, the important takeaway is that you're still a chef and a leader. People look up to you for guidance and support in the kitchen and respect your views.