Chefs are individuals primarily in charge of overseeing the operations of kitchen. A chef has to perform variety of important functions such as designing menus, overlooking food and beverage purchases, training junior chefs and assistants, and supervise food preparations. Therefore, we can say that to be a chef is to not only cook topnotch food but also to lead a group of juniors for successful management and operation in the kitchen department.
Chefs these days attain specialty in field of their desire such as pastry department, continental and so on. If you have great interest in preparation of food and beverages, and are able to undertake several tasks at once, a career as a chef might be ideal for you.
Basic roles, duties & responsibilities of chef
So, what does a chef do? Here we have summed up basic roles, duties or responsibilities carried out by chefs:
- Plan and implement food and culinary preparation activities
- Create and modify menus
- Oversee kitchen staff’s works
- Employ and manage kitchen employees
- Carry out different administrative duties
- Give final touch to prepared plates and foods
- Employ and maintain food safety standards for staffs to follow
- Order and restock food and beverages supplies
- Prepare and manage kitchen budget
- Monitor food production and check consistency in quality and quantity
Duties and responsibilities of chefs vary largely depending upon the organization they work. If they are running a private business they also have to overlook other administrative duties along with kitchen duties. Part time works are widely available for chefs giving them ample flexibility.
Employers of chefs
- Restaurant and eateries
- Bars and other drinking places
- Hotels and resorts
- Civil and social organizations
- Recreational and amusement places
- Event management companies
You may have to work in early mornings and late nights depending on the organization. You may also have to work on weekends and public holidays. Part time and seasonal works are very common for chefs.
Qualification and Training
Aspiring chefs from any educational background can enter this field if they posses right experience and skills. Employers prefer candidates with good general education standards, but if you have a degree in hospitality industry it serves as an advantage.
You can take up following courses in college full time or part time:
- Diploma in Introduction to Professional Cookery
- Diploma in Patisserie and Confectionery
- Diploma in Hospitality and Catering Principles
It is also possible to train on the job under supervision of an experienced chef where you learn same practical skills as in formal education. It is also possible to learn via apprenticeship programs sponsored by culinary schools and institutes.
Required skills or job specifications for chefs
In this field of work, the right experience and skills are valued more than educational qualifications. Here are some skills one must be prepared with to be a competent chef:
- Leadership skills
- Good sense of taste and smell
- Time management skills
- A good eye for detail
- Creativity and originality
- Good communication skills
- Good standard of hygiene and cleanliness
- Ability to work under pressure
- Good organizational skills