I am leaning towards the career of becoming a chef. The only problem is that I am a picky eater. I enjoy most of the essential foods like meats, seafood, and chicken, but I don't enjoy foods like tofu, eggplant, etc. I eat some vegetables but for the most part I hate them. Maybe if I put them in a good dish then I would like them I just not have experimented with it yet. So I want your opinions as to whether being a picky eater matters when going into the culinary field. I guess the main thing is I don't want to embarrass myself by going into culinary school and not eating certain things that I make in class
Should i become a chef?
First you have to recognize the difference between picky eater and ignorant chef. Throughout your career as a chef you will have to develop your palate. You do this by tasting everything you can and remembering how it tasted. You do not have to swallow it, but you do have to taste it. You can not make good food combinations if you have no idea what the foods taste like.
When you cook for yourself, cook whatever you like and avoid the things you do not like. That is no different for anyone.
As a chef, you cook what sells, not what you like. In order for your food to sell, you must acquaint your tastebuds with many foods and learn what tastes good and why. As a personal example, I do not care for brussels sprouts but as a chef I have eaten them in many ways to understand how cooking styles affects their flavor. As a result, I can cook them many different ways and combine them with other foods they will go well with.
The texture of a food also affects our perception. Many people do not care for raw oysters because they say they "feel" slimy. They are not commenting on the taste just the texture. As a chef you must learn how cooking affects the texture of foods as well as flavor. You do this by putting them in your mouth.
And as the others have pointed out, your dislike of things may have to do with poor preparation. As a chef, you will learn to recognize the difference between dislike of a certain food and the poor preparation of it. All of this takes practice and experience. Keep an open mind and have patience.
50 Things They Never Told You About Being a Chef
One of the things that people who want to become a "chef" don't realize is that for many years you will not have a choice on whether or not you like any particular ingredient or not. When you graduate school, if that's the route you choose, you will become someone else's slave, and you will taste what they give you to taste, like it or not. When I decided to "become a chef" I was under the false impression that when I left culinary school I would be able to produce creations, like an artiste, and everyone would rave and love my food and all would be fine in the world. haha how funny. To be a chef you have to taste everything, even if it's something you've prepared 20 times, you still have to taste it again, each and every time you prepare it. You're going to be stuck preparing the same items all the time, and no exec chef wants to hear, "I don't like that. I can't eat it".
I have a friend cook who doesn't like anything. I don't even know why he's in the food business because he hates everything. He doesn't like this...doesn't eat that...think this tastes like crap and can't understand how people could eat it, and I'm talking about simple things like cilantro, bacon, beans. I mean, seriously?
You can tell it's just narrow-mindedness and childishness. He impetuously rejects anything you offer him to taste. I've almost severed an optic nerve rolling my eyes at him. I can't tell you how many times It's made me want to punch him in the head. If it's not mac and cheese he cant eat it, it makes him gag. Like Chefwriter said, it's ignorant.
of course I'm not implying this is you, but understand that when you describe yourself as a "picky eater" to a professional, they might get a vision of the friend I just finished describing, because I'm sure everyone has met one of those, and they are annoying as hell.
If you're a picky eater then I kindly suggest you don't become a chef. Unless you have a father who's rich and has connections and can get you your own cooking show like Giada did...remain an at-home-cook, and do it your way at home.