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.