Chefs and Head Cooks

If your interest in a career as  chef stems from a serving delicious food to your guest or owning a restaurant or being creative, you have all the right reasons to enter culinary industry. The career offers good job prospects for budding chefs and gives an opportunity to work in different settings such as cafeterias, aeroplanes, cruise ships and work camps, corporate, hotels and ofcourse restaurants. If you are more creative then advance to become a food consultants or cook book author.

Chefs or Head Cooks should have a keen sense of taste and smell, and working efficiently to turn out meals rapidly. Personal cleanliness is essential because most states require health certificates indicating that workers are free from communicable diseases.

Role of Chefs and Head Cooks

  • Check freshness of food and ingredients
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Develop recipes and determine how to present the food
  • Plan menus and ensure uniform serving sizes and quality of meals
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
  • Hire, train, and supervise cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Order and maintain inventory of food and supplies needed to ensure efficient operations
  • Monitor sanitation practices and ensure that kitchen safety standards are followed 

Skills of Chefs and Head Cooks

Communication Skills: Chefs or Head Cooks should have to communicate with other restaurant staff, vendors, and the restaurant's clientele and to communicate their orders clearly and effectively.

Business skills:  Executive chefs must understand the business of restaurant work and should have administrative skills. 

Creativity: Chefs and head cooks need creativity to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes. 

Leadership skills: Chefs and head cooks must have the ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them. 

Sense of taste and smell: All chefs and head cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell in order to inspect food and design meals that will be to customers’ liking.

Time-management skills:  Chefs and head cooks need to be able to efficiently manage their time and the time of kitchen staff so that they can keep the kitchen running efficiently.

Team player: Chefs and head cooks should be able to work independently as well as part of a team.

Scope of Chefs and Head Cooks

A chef can branch out into a variety of careers including restaurant management, pastry chef and other related positions in hotels, clubs and up-scale restaurants. After gathering sufficient experience, a chef can always set out on his/ her own and open his/ her own hotel/ restaurant/ club. In India with hospital industry making waves, demand for specialised chefs have increased over the years.

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