What Do Chefs Do?

What Do Chefs Do?

Apr 8, 2015 | 11:00 am

Everybody knows how to cook—at least to an extent. Hey, who doesn’t know to follow directions on a box of a macaroni or Hamburger Helper? Of course, that’s not professional cooking. And even having a natural gift for seasoning and inventing new recipes is not actually formal training for a career in culinary arts. What is cooking and what are you expected to know as a professional chef?

Job Description Chef

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chefs have the job of overseeing daily food preparation. When you first start out in this field, you may spend some time as a line cook or prep chef. However, your goal is to stop cooking directly and to start managing a kitchen. You will eventually be in charge of your kitchen staff, and will also develop menus for your clients.

Of course, part of managerial duties includes keeping close watch on what everyone else is doing. The head chef must ensure the freshness of food. He or she must lead and supervise other cooks and workers. The chef also figures out the best way to present the food and create recipes for the target audience.

The chef also inspects all supplies, ensures cleanliness and proper hygiene, and also hires staff members. The chef also has the responsibility of controlling inventory and delegating the ordering of new supplies, so the stock is always full. Lastly, this person makes sure all kitchen standards follow compliance with local and state authorities. Remember that safe entertaining is the only way to do business because the last thing anyone wants is a food poisoning scare in this modern age!

What Lies Beyond the Job Description of Chef Workers?

Of course, much will be expected of you—perhaps even more than what is listed in the job description. After all, there is a big difference between meeting the qualifications and actually impressing the people you work with. So, make it a point to become well acquainted with a professional kitchen, in advance of completing your degree. Find lower paying jobs, so you can gain experience in line cooking and other areas. Learn the software that restaurants use, and take notes, so that you will be prepared to manage some day, when your qualifications match the position.

Many chefs actually run their own restaurant, or lately, even their own mobile catering business. With the emergence of food trucks, this is a growing trend and it can be quite profitable. Sheer talent is most important, but teaching yourself the fundamentals of the cooking business is essential to success. For that matter, supplementing your education with cooking classes, and learning other related jobs, like creating sauces or pastries, is always a progressive step.

You are training for a leadership role, so don’t become complacent. You can succeed by working in a moderately big city, gaining the minimum degree you need to get attention, and then perfecting your craft over time in a professional setting. If you have the talent and the “good taste” to be a great chef, you can make a top paying career out of this wonderful talent.