How to Become a Chef In India: Stepwise Guide, Courses, Types, Salary (2024)

May 15, 2024
how to become a chef

Quick Summary

  • A chef is a professional cook and a person who is skilled in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on a particular cuisine.
  • There are different types of chef such as Executive, Sous, Pastry, Roast and Pantry chef that are discussed below in the article.
  • Some of the courses required to become a chef includes BHM in culinary, BSc in Hotel Management, Certification in Food Production, PG Diploma and BA in Culinary Arts.

Table of Contents

Hospitality is the generous reception of people who enjoy leisure and entertainment simultaneously. India is known as a hospitable country, and people have been welcoming guests with open arms. After the end of COVID-19, people are increasingly going on vacations, weekend getaways, and social gatherings which ultimately resulted in major growth in food industry. A question arises in people’s mind How to Become a Chef in India?

It is a widely known fact that hospitality services like restaurants and hotels are catalysts for socio-economic growth. The statistics for 2023 showcase that occupancy rates in hotels increased by approximately 65 percent. Thus, with an increase in travel, the demand for good hotels and great chefs is also growing. If he is thinking of pursuing a chef degree, then now is the time.

Who is a Chef, and What Skills Are Required?

One must be thinking about how to become a professional chef. A chef is a person who does not just cook and prepare food but also supervises other staff in the kitchen. To become a successful chef, he needs more than raw talent and a couple of hours in the kitchen. It requires apprenticeship training and experience to reach the art of perfection. However, proper qualifications and skills would help him set a stepping stone in his career.

There are various courses for a chef in India that one could take to pursue a career in the food industry. However, with the qualification, one would need the right set of chef skills. Let us check out the skills required to become a chef:

  • Organisation: It is the ability to handle multiple responsibilities and duties. If one is a chef at a big hotel, then one needs to take care of maintaining equipment and inventory with food. Organisation skills help one do various things in a short time.
  • Ability to Multitask: In a professional kitchen, chefs should be able to multitask. That means they should know the art of handling responsibility inside the kitchen and managing customers simultaneously.
  • Knowledge plus Flexibility: Knowing about the culinary art is integral to chef qualification. They should know about spice balance, elegant platters, knife skills, and ingredient judgement. Also, they should be flexible in working at any hour of the day, as big kitchens run for a long time.

Types Of Chefs In India

Chefs are responsible for the back-of-the-house operation. They are culinary geniuses, as they are responsible for the restaurant’s menu. During their training, a person learns to organise and manage different tasks. While understanding how to become a chef in India, one should know about the different types of chefs in India and the average salary of chef in India:

1. Executive Chef

Executive chefs run the kitchen single-handedly and hold command of the kitchen. They are also called the head chef and assist the owner in designing the menu. The salary of a head chef ranges from rupees 2 lac to 20 lac. Moreover, they are responsible for deciding on kitchen equipment and managing kitchen expenses.

2. Sous Chef

The Sous chef works directly under the command of the head chef. They are in charge of various kitchen branches and instruct cooks. They sometimes fill in for the head chefs. In a restaurant, there could be more than one sous chef. The pay scale of a sous chef varies from rupees 1.76 lac to 10 lac.

3. Pastry Chef

Pastry chefs are professionals responsible for baking various kinds of bread, desserts, and pastries. In a restaurant, the role of the pastry chef includes designing the dessert menu and deciding the price of each dessert. The average salaries of pastry chefs ranges from INR 7k per month to 26k per month.

4. Roast Chef

The roast chef prepares meats and vegetables in the oven. They are responsible for giving marinade directions to the cooks. The roast chef should have proper knowledge of wholesome meat and seafood to avail best products and prices. The pay scale of a roast chef varies between 2.4 lac and 30 lac rupees.

5. Pantry Chef

The pantry chefs need to excel in inventory management strategies to monitor the inventory. They are responsible for seeing the refrigerator supplies. The pantry chef is also known as the garden manager and is responsible for cold dishes and appetizers. The pay scale is 2.43 lac rupees.

Courses Required To Become a Chef

How to become a chef? What courses are required to become one? It is one of the most exciting professions in the world. They enjoy great prestige and status, and the demand for its courses has increased. We have listed a few courses that one can pursue:

1. Bachelor of Hotel Management (BHM) in Culinary

If one is wondering how to become a chef, one could pursue a bachelor of hotel management degree. This is a three-year undergraduate program. The program covers various topics related to culinary arts and hotel management. The program helps build culinary experience, competencies, business skills, and leadership.

2. BSc in Hospitality and Hotel Management

One of the most popular chef qualifications is BSc in hospitality and hotel management. The course is a three-year full-time undergraduate. It provides extensive knowledge in food and beverage services, nutrition, human resources, etc. Candidates who have a great interest in food preparation and front office operations could apply for the course.

3. BSc in Catering Science and Hotel Management

If one is thinking about how to become a chef, then this is the right course. It is an undergraduate management course covering all catering business segments. The candidates gain extensive knowledge about marketing, housekeeping, food and beverage management, hotel administration, etc. It takes three years to complete the course, and candidates can apply after their 10+2.

4. Certification in Food Production and Patisserie

Certification in food production and patisserie could be beneficial if one is training to be a chef. The program consists of two semesters with 17 weeks of classes and 20 weeks of training each semester. The course includes practical and theoretical subjects. It is a short-term program that takes around one and a half years to complete.

5. PG Diploma in Culinary Arts

After pursuing a career in one sector and now wondering how to become a chef, the PG diploma in culinary arts is designed for holders who wish to re-align with the culinary sector. It trains the candidate in food preparation and cooking. The full-time postgraduate course prepares candidates for a career as a chef.

6. BA in Culinary Arts

Getting a degree in BA in culinary arts might be the answer to how to become a chef. It is a three-year course that studies culinary arts in kitchen. The course helps students study culinary arts practice. It also helps candidates use the modern trend in food services.

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How to Become a Chef In India?

There are multiple steps and courses to be followed to learn how to become a chef in India. However, choosing a career in this field is one of the most exciting and liberating professions. It gives individuals the opportunity to explore their creativity and skills. Besides cooking and preparing food, the chefs are responsible for maintaining good relations with the kitchen staff and other responsibilities.


Even though pursuing a career as a chef does not require a formal degree, enrolling in culinary art school would give you the foundation of knowledge to begin cooking for customers. It is a profession where work experience matters more. To obtain a degree in hotel management or culinary arts, students must get a 10+2 pass.

After clearing the 12th exam, students are eligible for degree programs like BA in culinary arts, bachelor of catering technology and culinary arts, and bachelor in hotel management. Very few colleges provide certificates and certifications to students who have just cleared the 10th standard. The key points to remember for how to become a chef are:

  • Complete the 10+2 school education or the equivalent course.
  • Get a diploma in the chef management program.
  • Also, one could get a chef degree in hotel management and catering technology.
  • Get the on-job training under a head chef.
  • Get a career in the food industry, whether in an international hotel or public or private sector.

Entrance Exam

Are you wondering how to become a chef in India? You must qualify for the entrance exam and get a three-year management diploma for it. At the same time, those who have completed their graduation in cuisine technology and hotel management can work as a entry level chef. They can pursue the course from a recognised hotel management institute and start a career in top restaurants.

To get into a hotel management institute, one has to clear the NCHM JEE entrance exam. NTA conducts this popular exam to give students admission to various undergraduate and postgraduate level hotel management courses. All the courses are affiliated with the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology. The test gives one admission to different IHMs, state ggovernmentsnd PSU-connected institutions.


The admission process for becoming a chef in India is an online procedure requiring the candidate to pass the entrance exam. After clearing the entrance exam, the candidates need to:

  • Open the website of the interested colleges
  • Fill out the admission form
  • Now attach the documents required
  • Pay the necessary amount and submit

After submitting the form, one has to wait for the results, go for the GD-PI round, and wait for the results. Every university has its own acceptance rate for the culinary arts. However, one must clear the entrance exam to get admission to the desired college.

Top 5 Culinary Colleges In India

1. Indian School of Hospitality, Gurgaon

As part of Sommet Education, worldwide leader in hospitality management and culinary arts education, Indian School of Hospitality delivers a global education for the leaders of tomorrow. Discover our programmes in hospitality management and culinary arts with two of the world’s leading higher education institutes – École Ducasse and Les Roches.

Courses offered by ISH Gurgaon

i)  Diploma in Culinary Arts
ii)  BA. (Hons) Culinary Arts

2. Culinary Academy of India, Hyderabad

The Culinary Academy of India is the first professional training school for a higher education in culinary arts founded in India. Ever since its inception in 1996, Brand CAI has matched the standards of top American and European culinary chef institutes. Today CAI is recognized as India’s premier culinary arts and catering technology institute, and one of the best colleges for aspiring chefs’ world over.

Courses offered by Culinary Academy of India

i)   Bachelor’s Degree in Catering Technology and Culinary Arts
ii)   The Post Graduate Diploma in Culinary Arts (PGDCA)
iii)  Advanced Diploma in Culinary Arts

3. IHM PUSA, New Delhi

The Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Pusa is one of the premier hospitality institution in India providing quality hospitality education at undergraduate, graduate and post graduate levels. The institute comes under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

4. International Institute of Culinary Arts, New Delhi

International Institute of Culinary Arts, New Delhi founded by Chef Virender S Datta who has over 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry, the institute has been a catalyst in opening of Culinary Arts as a career opportunity and a Knowledge Hub to provide total industry support.

5. Welcome Group Graduates School, Manipal

Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) is a constituent unit of Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, and was established in 1986 as a unit of Dr TMA Pai Foundation in partnership with the Hotels Division of ITC Ltd. Today, WGSHA is India’s premier hotel management institute and it has been ranked 26th among the Best Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools in the world 2020 by CEOWORLD Magazine.

Courses by Welcome Groups Graduates School

i)   BA in Culinary Arts
ii)  MA in Indian Cuisines and Food Culture


The chef is a trained professional, helps plan the menu, and looks after kitchen appliances and other related activities. If one is wondering how to become a chef, clearing out the admissions exam and getting admission to the right college might be the first step.

Evaluate numerous career choices to choose the right career path for yourself. Dive into our guide on Career Options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a chef?

If a person wants to know how to become a chef, they should at least give one to four years in culinary chef programs. Depending upon the choice of course and time duration, one could acquire an undergraduate, diploma, or postgraduate degree. After that, one could start working as a chef to get proper training.

How do I start to become a chef?

One should apply for the entrance exam after clearing 10+2. Once the entrance exam is cleared, one could work one’s way up in this field. When you are wondering how to become a chef, you could consider specialisation and career options in food.

Is it hard to become a chef?

It need not be hard if you dream and want to know how to become a chef. It requires a lot of energy and time to become one. Moreover, one should be passionate about food and understand kitchen techniques.

What degree is needed to become a chef?

If one is wondering how to become a chef, one could apply for culinary courses in India. After completing higher secondary, one could apply for hotel management and culinary courses. Bachelor of Arts in Culinary arts, bachelor of hotel management and catering technology, diploma in culinary arts, etc. are a few of the courses one could study.

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