The key characteristic traits that make a good chef are levels of creativity, a business mind, good leadership qualities and communication skills, and ability to multi-task and stay calm and collected. As the saying goes, 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!'.
A chef is in charge of the kitchen and might work on a variety of things including the preparation and serving of food. A chef might also be an executive chef or kitchen manager and be in charge of food production, menu planning, budgeting and purchasing and costing of foods. Chefs need to also delegate their team and manage their staff well, so organisational skills on all fronts is important. Famous TV chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay have inspired thousands to turn to the kitchen and get creative but outside of TV these guys also really know how run some of the top kitchens in the country.
You will need catering and business knowledge and be capable of managing the kitchen, human resource issues, and leading a team. You will need to know all aspects of food preparation, health and safety and hygiene guidelines for the kitchen and your staff. You need to be able to create a menu to cost and budget and perhaps healthy and nutritious eating. Chefs need to rigorously plan stocks, ingredients, staff and the upkeep of their kitchen so organisational skills are a must. Chefs must also exhibit good peoples skills. The job can be very demanding and is hours are normally unsociable, but the industry offers a great arena to achieve well respected recognition, with Michelin star representing the highest honour.