What does a Chef do?
A chef or head cook oversee's all of the functions and activities in the kitchen, which includes, all food preparation and of any staff. They make sure the proper seasoning of foods are given and that desserts and other foods are pleasing to the eye and to the palate of the customer. They might be involved in menu planning and pricing, ordering supplies, safety and other duties.
How to become a Chef
A chef or head cook is preferred to carry a 4 year college degree, but many employers are now accepting applicants from community colleges, culinary art school or technical school. Most require 1-2 years work experience in a related field. On-the-job training is sometimes given too. The armed forces have apprenticeships as well.
Job Description of a Chef
A chef or head cook is in charge of the kitchen in restaurants or other places where food is served. They watch all activity and food preparation with any staff that would assist in the kitchen. They supervise the preparation of food for it's garnishing and presentation, as well as, the seasonings for a perfect taste. He or she would be sure that any regulations are met regarding sanitation and also raw or cooked food for it's quality and standards. They would oversee work areas, supplies and equipment for inspection in conformance to regulation.
A chef or head cook orders food or kitchen supplies and provides cost estimates to the employer. They monitor any staff requirements and production schedules to be sure any services are delivered on time. A chef or head cook needs to have knowledge of food preparation, production and processing. They need to have knowledge of customer and personal service in order to achieve customer satisifaction. They need to be current on public safety and security.
A chef or head cook should be skilled in monitoring, coordination and effectively speaking to others. They need skills of time management, active listening, judgement and decision making. He or she has the ability to create an idea or new application to enhance job performance among staff or themselves.
A chef or head cook would coach and develop other staff in the kitchen to improve their skills. Because a kitchen depends on a cooperative team effort, the chef or head cook would encourage staff to have mutual respect and trust for each other. A chef or head cook can be found working in restaurants, private households, hotels, casinos or other food service places. They work a variety of hours, such as, early morning, late evenings, holidays and week-ends.
This occupation is very fast paced and normally has full-time hours. One should expect strong competition especially at upscale restaurants, casinos, or hotels because of the higher salary paid in these places.