How to become a social media chef: Gaz’s story

"Go after what you really want to do in life."

Gaz Oakley is a chef, author and YouTuber who created the brand Avant Garde Vegan. Gaz has always had a passion for cooking and, after working as a chef and then changing career, he decided to become vegan and started posting his meals on Instagram. When people asked for advice on how to prepare meals like his, he started a YouTube channel. Gaz now has over 750,000 subscribers around the world and his first book was released in 2018.

Scroll down for more information on skills, working hours and salary.

Gaz Oakley talks about the career path that led him to becoming an online vegan food guru.

What skills do I need?

There are certain industry requirements and specific skills that all chefs must have, such as kitchen and food safety training. In addition, you'll need:

  • good written and verbal communication - especially if you want to share your recipes

  • a flair for digital content

  • strong people skills.

While Gaz promotes his work on social media, he originally trained as a chef.

What to expect if you want to become a chef

What will I get paid? Chef salaries alone can range from £13,000 to £50,000 per year, depending on the restaurant and any additional publicity work you take on. Where will I work? You could work anywhere in the country or the world. Some chefs choose to train overseas in the most highly regarded restaurants. What are the working hours like? On average, chefs can work 40 to 45 hours per week and long, unsociable hours are to be expected.

What qualifications do you need to be a chef?

What qualifications do I need? There are no set requirements, but GCSEs or Nationals in English and Maths may help. You could train on the job, starting as a kitchen assistant or trainee chef. Another option is to take a full-time college course or apprenticeship.

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Tips and advice
Help with interviews, writing a CV and all things work experience related.

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