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One-hundred and seventy head chefs from the Republic of Ireland scored 59 variables for success on two scales: (a) competencies needed for success (NS), and (b) personal ownership of these competencies (PO). Results showed that variables were rated with means of 1.18 (extremely important) to 3.23 (moderately important). The top three were an ability to work hard, commitment to quality, and knowledge of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Variables rated lower in ownership than importance highlight areas for culinary educators to develop training programs. Average wages of head chefs (objective success) mirror the average industrial wage, but higher wages were gained with longer time working. Eighty percent of head chefs were satisfied (subjective success) in their current jobs. Factor analysis showed the factors needed to succeed in the culinary industry include professionalism, individual characteristics, leadership skills, management skills, and interaction with the job context. Applications for industry include talent management, mentoring future leaders, reducing staff turnover, and curriculum development.
Mac Con Iomaire, M. & Allen, Hannah. 2016. Secrets of a Head Chef: Exploring Factors Influencing Success in Irish Kitchens. Journal of Culinary Science & Technology, vol 15, no. 3, pp. 187-222. doi:10.1080/15428052.2016.1225538