Starting out in a kitchen can be tough, but luckily we have advice from several reputable chefs. Staying motivated, pushing yourself even when it isn’t expected, and always remaining level-headed are just some of these important keys to success.

“The restaurant industry is exciting, dynamic, and ever-changing. It became clear to me at a young age that in order to be successful, like in most things in life, it requires an immense amount of dedication, patience, study, and practice. A chef I once worked for said to me, “It is a marathon, not a sprint." And as I continue on with my career, this seems to become more and more true.”

- Grant Achatz, Chef and Owner of The Alinea Group

“I learned the hard way the importance of the word "Yes." Don't make excuses and tell stories. Say, "Yes, Chef," learn, move on, and improve.”

- Jonathan Black, Sous Chef at Pineapple and Pearl's

“The two best pieces of advice I have ever received are: “The love you give is the love you get,” from Cesar Ramirez, and “To cook amazing food, you need to cook with your heart before you cook from your head,” from Daniel Humm.”

- Chris Flint, Chef de Cuisine at Eleven Madison Park

“Mise en place was my very first lesson stepping into the kitchen. Everything has its place. This is a value that I have held onto closely in both my personal and professional life. I believe that organization is the key to success.”

- Nadine Donovan, Executive Pastry Chef at Ace Eat Serve

“The most important thing I learned in my first job was to always be cleaning. There is never a moment in the cooking or prepping process where cleaning up after yourself ceases.”

- Nick Anderer, Executive Chef and Partner of Maialino and Marta

“Learn to work fast and smart, even if no one is pushing you. Push yourself. In a kitchen, other chefs will notice everything. If you’re coasting, the assumption is that you’re lazy.”

- Amanda Cohen, Executive Chef and Owner of Dirt Candy

“Early on in my career I learned that when you get hired, your opinion doesn’t matter for a long time. Work hard. There is no room for an ego in restaurants.”

- Carlton McCoy, Master Sommelier and Wine Director at The Little Nell