Career as a Chef


Summary

A Culinary Chef is someone who is in the profession of preparing, cooking and presenting food. A chef can also be very innovative with food, creating new dishes, deciding what the specials of the day will be, and putting together an exciting menu. Some examples of a culinary chef would include caterers, restaurant and hotel chefs, and bakery and Pastry chef. A chef oversee the kitchen to include the menu planning, pricing, food preparation, supplies, quality of service, safety, and staff. They ensure the meals are cooked and seasoned properly and that they are pleasing to the eye. Chefs also undergo training in operating a business, maintaining an inventory of a kitchen, buying kitchen supplies and managing accounts.

Most Chefs have some specialty or preferred area of work, though it may take time for a chef to settle into a particular niche. A restaurant chef, or "station chef" might work at any of the stations, ranging from preparing cold foods ("pantry chef"), making soup and hot hors d'oeuvres ("entremetier"), fry chef, grill chef, and saute chef ("saucier"). The saucier is oftentimes a semi-managerial position, with seniority over other line chefs. The sous chef, ("under-chef") has seniority over the saucier and other line chefs, and the head chef ("chef de cuisine") has seniority and authority over all of the kitchen workers.

Chefs who run their own restaurant or catering business are often busy with kitchen and office work. Some chefs use social media to promote their business by advertising new menu items or addressing customer reviews.

Work Environment

The culinary Chef's workplace can be very diverse, ranging from high end restaurant and hotel kitchens to private kitchens, hospital kitchens, retirement centers, cruise ships or even providing food for movie sets. Kitchens are hot, humid and busy and the job is physically demanding. They work a variety of hours, such as, early morning, late evenings, holidays and weekends. This occupation is very fast-paced and normally has full-time hours.

Entry Level Education

  • Degree in Hotel Management Culinary Arts or related field
  • Certificate Chef Courses

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