Work as a chef in Germany

How to work as a chef / cook in Germany as a foreigner? This is one of the most often asked question by foreign applicants who are looking for work in the EU and Germany. We provide you with all you need to know about skills, formal requirements, language requirements and ways to start to work as a cook. The following text is not a legal consultation and targets on a first general information.

Becoming a cook in Germany: Things you need to know

Working as a chef in Germany is a rewarding and challenging career choice. The country is renowned for its culinary traditions and high-quality ingredients, making it an ideal place to learn and grow as a chef. However, becoming a chef in Germany requires a lot of hard work, dedication and training. In this article, we will cover some of the most popular questions about working as a chef in Germany and provide answers that will help you decide if this is the right career path for you.

What qualifications do you need to become a chef in Germany?

To work as a chef in Germany, you will need to have a professional qualification in cookery. This can be obtained through an apprenticeship or a vocational college, both of which will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to work as a chef. Apprenticeships in Germany are highly respected and are a popular way of gaining qualifications in the culinary arts. They usually last between 2 to 3 years, and involve both on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

If you are passionate about food, have a strong work ethic and are willing to put in the effort, then a career as a chef in Germany could be perfect for you.

Once you have your professional qualification, the next step is to find a job as a chef. Germany is home to a wide range of culinary establishments, from small family-run restaurants to large hotels and luxury resorts. This means that there are many job opportunities for chefs of all skill levels and experience. However, competition for jobs can be fierce, so it is important to have a strong CV and to be prepared for interviews.

What kind of work can you expect as a cook in Germany?

As a chef, you will be responsible for the preparation, cooking and presentation of food. This can involve working with a wide range of ingredients, including fresh produce, meats, seafood and more. You will also need to work closely with other kitchen staff, such as sous chefs, cooks and kitchen helpers, to ensure that the food is prepared to the highest standard. Working as a chef can be demanding, with long hours and a fast-paced environment, but it is also incredibly rewarding.

How much can you expect to earn as a cook in Germany?

Salaries for chefs in Germany can vary depending on the type of establishment you work in, your level of experience and your qualifications. Starting salaries for apprentices can range from €800 to €1,200 per month. Once you have completed your apprenticeship and have some experience under your belt, you can expect to earn more. A fully qualified chef with several years of experience can earn anywhere from €2,500 to €4,000 per month, depending on the establishment. Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on location, the type of establishment, and the specific role.

Another important aspect to consider is that a career as a chef in Germany can provide opportunities to work in some of the best restaurants and hotels in the world. German chefs are highly respected in the culinary industry, and many go on to work in top restaurants and hotels around the globe. Additionally, Germany is known for its great culinary traditions, which can be a great source of inspiration for your career as a chef.

Frequently asked questions if you want to work as a chef in Germany

What are the formal requirements in order to work as a cook in Germany?

Citizens from the EU who would like to work as a cook in Germany usually only need the appropriate craftsmanship and German language skills. Health certificates are also required, but are usually applied for together with employers in Germany.
Applicants who are not from the EU must currently meet the following requirements:

– German language skills at least at level B1 (with proof)
– A completed vocational training in the profession, which is recognized in Germany.

Whether and how your vocational training and your language certificate will be recognized is usually clarified during the application process.

Which skills do I need as a cook in Germany?

A large number of jobs in Germany are only filled with qualified workers, i.e. people who have either already completed a vocational training program or a degree program. Also for the tasks of the cook, at least in the upscale gastronomy in Germany, usually only people with a professional training as a cook and many years of work experience are hired. It is expected that this professional training was completed in Germany. If a professional training as a cook was completed abroad, then many employers expect it to at least come very close to the German training.

As a chef in the upscale gastronomy – i.e. the gastronomy in which not only warming up is done but in which basic own food is prepared – applicants from abroad for example must not only know how to cut potatoes, carrots or onions quickly and efficiently, but you must also master the following tasks for example:

– How to coordinate a kitchen team in German
– How to prepare typical German dishes, including fried potatoes, dumplings, goulash, pork schnitzel
– How to create a menu
– What to look out for with regard to allergens
– Which products to order in what quantity and when to process them
– Which legal framework conditions for commercial cooking in Germany prevail

How can I become a cook in Germany without previous experience?

Since foreign applicants who have no work experience in Germany rarely master this knowledge, there are usually two options:

Citizens of the European Union can either apply for a job as a cook or assistant in the simple gastronomy sector, where they can gain further qualifications either independently or with the help of their employer, in order to later work fully as a cook. Within the framework of the free movement of workers, EU citizens can apply to work in a kitchen in Germany at any time. Employers will usually require applicants to demonstrate their skills in a test work.
For foreign applicants who are not from the EU, there is usually the possibility to complete an apprenticeship as a cook in Germany. Related professions are those of hotel specialist and restaurant specialist.

Which language skills do I need in order to work as a cook in Germany?

In any application as a foreigner in Germany it is highly recommended that applicants enclose proof of the knowledge of the German language, for example a German exam certificate (if you are not a native speaker). In most cases it does not matter where you received this certificate – it can be a local language school and it does not have to be a German organization. However, it is important that you not only enclose certificates of participation, but also certificates you received after exams.

For the position of a cook German language skills at least on level B1 are mandatory in many cases. Applicants should be aware that cooks need to interact with the service personnel on orders, special wishes of the clients or complaints. Also within the kitchen all interaction processes need a good command of German. EU citizens might apply even with lower German skills and/or without certification. For non-EU-applicants there is usually no way to avoid these requirements.

Things to know for your application

International applicants are free to apply for open positions as a cook in Germany. Besides agencies like there are many other agencies, job portals or announcements of single companies available.

With applying applicants want to make sure to include a curriculum vitae / CV in table form with the application. Using the Europass template and filling out this template completely is recommended. Applicants might also use an individual CV template, but in our experience, it is easier for employers to work with Europass nowadays.

How to work as a cook in Germany as international
Working as a chef in Germany can be a challenging and rewarding career choice. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and training, but the opportunities to learn, grow and work with some of the best ingredients and culinary traditions in the world are worth it. chefs-in-kitchen-SBI-300847720

Applicants also want to make sure that the CV is up to date: this means that you must indicate in particular what you are doing at the moment. There should also be no gaps in your CV – if you have not been employed for more than a month, you should indicate this and explain why.

After you have sent your application, you should wait at least a few days to a week before you ask the company or your agency. Hiring processes in Germany might take a much longer time than in other countries.

Which kind of restaurants exist in Germany?

When you are interested in working as a chef in Germany you are certainly interested about the kinds of restaurants existing in Germany. Well, Germany is a land of diversity and this is reflected in the variety of restaurants that you can find here. Whether you’re looking for traditional German cuisine, international dishes or vegan options, you’ll find it all in Germany.

Traditional German Cuisine

One of the most popular types of restaurants in Germany is those that serve traditional German cuisine. These restaurants usually have a rustic and cozy atmosphere and serve dishes such as sausages, sauerkraut, potatoes and gravy. You can also find a variety of different types of bread and different types of beers. Some of the most popular traditional German dishes include Schnitzel, Rindfleisch, and Spätzle. These dishes are hearty, comforting and perfect to warm you up during the colder months.

Vegan and Vegetarian Options

With the growing awareness of the importance of a healthy and sustainable diet, more and more restaurants in Germany are now offering vegan and vegetarian options. These restaurants offer a wide variety of dishes that are free from animal products and are often made with organic and locally sourced ingredients. Some of the most popular vegan and vegetarian dishes include falafel, seitan, and tofu. These restaurants are perfect for those who want to eat healthy and environmentally friendly.

International Cuisine and fine dining

Germany is home to a diverse population, which means that there are a wide variety of international restaurants to choose from. You can find anything from Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Mediterranean cuisine. Some of the most popular international dishes include pizza, pasta, sushi, and döner kebab. These restaurants offer a great opportunity to try out different types of cuisines and to expand your culinary horizons.

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Germany has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from: traditional German cuisine, international dishes, vegan options, fine dining, or street food.

Germany is also home to some of the finest restaurants in the world. These restaurants offer a high-end dining experience and are characterized by their elegant atmosphere, attentive service, and fine cuisine. Some of the most popular fine dining restaurants in Germany offer French and Italian cuisine, but you can also find some with a modern or fusion approach. These restaurants are perfect for special occasions, or when you want to treat yourself to something truly special.

Street food

Germany is also home to a vibrant street food scene, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. You can find street food stands and trucks all over the country serving up a variety of delicious and quick meals on the go. Some of the most popular street food options include sausages, burgers, and falafel. Street food vendors in Germany are known for using high quality ingredients, and often source their products from local farmers and producers. In addition to traditional street food options, many vendors now offer vegan and vegetarian options as well. This makes street food an excellent option for those looking for a quick and delicious meal, without having to break the bank.

Ausbildung path for success

There are several ways to apply for an apprenticeship in Germany. Among others, this order is possible:
  1. Select an apprenticeship
  2. Select an application strategy
  3. Find an employer for this apprenticeship
  4. Apply for the apprenticeship at this employer
  5. Wait for the results or start again with 1
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