You are passionate about food. You can prepare a variety of dishes and impress your family and friends with well-honed culinary techniques. You watch all the food programs on television and critically analyze each professional chef. Afterward, you recreate the recipes and add your own distinctive touches. You may or may not have the necessary credentials and experience. In any event, you can visualize yourself as a famous chef with a syndicated television program and a best-selling book or two.
Start a journal or online blog. Write about your goals and experience with new foods and recipes. Include pictures of your culinary creations and any food-related events that you attend. When you are famous, you can turn your journal or blog into a bestselling book and sell the movie rights.
Learn your craft. Take courses at community colleges, independent cooking schools, and professional culinary institutes. If possible, attend workshops sponsored by the more notable schools: Culinary Institute of America, New England Culinary Institute and Cordon Bleu. Network and cultivate friendships with chefs around the country and world.
Acquire experience in well-respected and well-established eateries. Learn to work well with others and watch the head chefs as they create their culinary masterpieces and supervise the kitchen personnel. Keep track of what works well and what could be improved in your journal.
Keep up with the latest food trends. Devote a few hours each week to reading the latest editions of food journals and magazines. Learn about exotic foods and find new ways to prepare the more traditional foods that appeal to your family, friends and restaurant clientele. Experiment and develop more innovative ways of preparing and presenting foods.
Ask a friend or relative to videotape you as you prepare different recipes. Critically examine each clip before including it on your blog or You-Tube. If necessary, take courses in public speaking or hire a coach to help you develop a presentation style that will distinguish you among the other famous chefs. Find a niche -- ethnic cuisine, low fat recipes, organic foods -- and become known as a local expert in that area.
Participate and volunteer in your community. Offer your services at church dinners, rib fests and other fund-raisers. Register for any Chef's Challenges in your community or a nearby center. Enter local and national recipe contests. If you have good writing skills, offer to write a weekly column for your local newspaper. Attend every food festival within a 60-mile radius.