Monday, May 24, 2010

What's your Niche

I have asked myself this question many times, and I really haven't sorted it out just yet.  As a chef, having a niche can mean many different things.   It could mean the specific type of cuisine you prepare, it could mean the type of career path you choose.  These decisions can very well dictate how your career will progress as well as define you as a chef. 

As a late starter in this field, I do not have the luxury to apprentice under a established chef and further hone my skills.  Time will not allow me to work my way through the ranks in a kitchen.  As a husband and father I have a responsibility to provide for my family, but I want to be able to do this while pursuing my passion.   With all of these factors I made the conscious decision to go on my own as private chef and caterer.  This gives me the flexibility to work full time and pursue my passion on the side.  The goal is to eventually be a chef full time, but you have to crawl before you walk.

Since launching Troy's Taste, in about 2  month's I have done several events including a few birthday parties, a salon grand opening, and a christening.  I have been blessed so far to have done these events simply by word of mouth, but I want the momentum to continue.  This lead me to this post..should I choose a specific niche cuisine and focus on that, or should I remain flexible and become familiar with all cuisines?  I am leaning to the latter because of my love for all food.  How should I market myself?  I am working through all of these different questions to figure out my identity as a chef.

Even though I do not have a specific niche carved out just yet, I do believe figuring out where I want to go in my culinary career is going to help me find my place.


  1. Not sure about this one ... I would say you specialize in one cuisine but keep your hands in others as a side bar ... I think that it really all depends on what direction you want to go in ... if its personal chef or catering then I would differ from my statement and say focus on all but if you are trying to eventually open a restaurant then I would go with my statement.

    I agree with your last paragraph ... my question to you is how long do you really have with IT?? That's feeding your family right now but at the same time I feel like its stopping you from going full time with cooking ... I mean right now you are finishing up school so you are kind of forced to cook weekly ... have you thought about what you are going to do once you are truly finished with school?

    Inquiring minds want to know bro!!! LOL

  2. Right now I am definitely struggling with which way to go cuisine wise, that is why I am keeping open right now. I do agree that eventually concentrating on a cuisine and mastering that will allow me to separate myself from competitors. Right now I am working through all this in my mind. I am slowly putting together a plan.

    I would love to be in the kitchen full time, but IT pays the bills, and until cooking can financially match or exceed my current salary, it is just hard for me to focus on being a chef. So for now I have to wear both hats.

    Honestly Malwan, once these two weeks are over, it's going to be full steam ahead with getting my name out there. I am going to start marketing myself real hard. I invested in myself with school, now it is time to see some dividends!