Chef

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Chefs plan and organise the preparation and cooking of food in a number of settings.  Future Growth Very StrongA chef prepares, cooks, arranges and presents food that is served in dining establishments such as restaurants, hotels, pubs, cafeterias, aeroplanes, cruise ships and work camps. Chefs that work in large establishments may specialise in a particular cuisine, such as Japanese or Thai.

A chef is also responsible for managing kitchen operations, purchasing foodstuffs, and keeping the kitchen clean and hygienic. Other responsibilities include receiving and storing provisions, planning menus, and training and supervising other staff.

ANZSCO description: Plans and organises the preparation and cooking of food in a dining or catering establishment.

Specialisations:

Chef de Cuisine
A chef de cuisine is the head or first chef.

Chef de Partie
A chef de partie may specialise as a larder cook, butcher, pastry cook, sauce cook, roast cook, relief cook, side-dish cook, breakfast cook, canteen cook or fish cook.

Commis Chef
A commis chef is a cook who has just completed an apprenticeship or has an equivalent qualification.

Demi Chef de Partie
A demi chef de partie is the second in charge of a particular section of the kitchen.

Sous Chef/Second Chef
A sous chef/second chef is the second-in-charge in the kitchen.




Knowledge, skills and attributes

A chef needs: Chef preparing pasta

  • an enjoyment and appreciation for cooking
  • high standards of personal hygiene
  • a commitment to safe work practices
  • an awareness of nutritional information and eating trends
  • good stress management, with an ability to work quickly and efficiently under pressure
  • physical fitness to stay on their feet for long periods of time
  • the flexibility to work shifts, evenings, weekends and irregular hours.

Duties and Tasks

Chefs may perform the following tasks:

  • plan menus and work out food and labour costs
  • plan staff rosters and supervise the activities of cooks and assistants
  • discuss food preparation issues with managers, dietitians and other staff members
  • order food, kitchen supplies and equipment
  • demonstrate techniques to cooks and advise on cooking procedures
  • prepare and cook food
  • divide food into portions and add gravies, sauces and garnishes
  • explain and enforce hygiene regulations
  • select and train staff
  • freeze and preserve foods.

 

Serving Salad



Working conditions

In larger establishments, the chef de cuisine or head chef generally does more supervision than cooking. Senior chefs have to attend staff meetings, where they discuss problems related to their areas, and receive or issue instructions to other managerial staff. In small restaurants, the head chef may prepare food, assisted by other cooks or apprentices. As well as expert cooking knowledge, chefs involved in supervision need a general knowledge of the skills and activities of all their workers.

Often a chef is expected to work long hours and weekends, in sometimes hot and humid conditions. Evening and weekend work can interfere with personal commitments and shift work can be tiring. Cuts and burns are common injuries for chefs as they work with sharp knives and hot appliances.

A chef can also expect to change employers often, in order to gain more experience or to be promoted.

Tools and technologies

Depending on the type of restaurant, a chef may be expected to use a range of cooking appliances and utensils. They will also be required to adhere to strict hygiene standards, and this may require the use of hair nets or hats. Their work is generally indoors in dining establishments, but in some circumstances, such as working in the armed forces, they may work in the 'field,' using a mobile kitchen.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a chef, you usually have to complete a chef apprenticeship. The apprenticeship usually takes 36 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

You can also become a chef by completing a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery. The course is offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.​


Did You Know?

Just like a household kitchen, commercial kitchens use many common appliences to make their job easier.


For example, prior to Stephen J. Poplawski's invention of the blender in 1922, chefs would have to push soups through sieves or cloths in order to make them into a smooth puree.

Dave Walia prepared and cooked a meal single-handedly for 1,081 guests in 50 hr. 30min. at Fissul, Silves, Algarve, Portugal between October 22-24, 1998!

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Cheesemaker

Locksmith

Retail Manager

Packer

Milliner

 Confectioner

Funeral Director

Dressmaker

Pastrycook

Clothing Patternmaker

Entrepreneur

Food Process Worker

Barista

Tattoo Artist

Brewer

Textile Designer

Abattoir Worker

Auctioneer

Primary Products Inspector

Events Coordinator

Restaurant Manager

Leather Goods Maker

Wedding Coordinator

Hotel Motel Manager

Drycleaner

Pet Groomer

Picture Framer

Makeup Artist

Visual Merchandiser

Screen Printer

Butcher

Jeweller

Waiter

Florist

Hairdresser

Salesperson

Baker

Chef

Greengrocer

Home Entertainment Store Attendant

Beautician

Newsagent

Fashion Designer

Pharmacist

Cheesemaker

Locksmith

Retail Manager

Packer

Milliner

 Confectioner

Funeral Director

Dressmaker

Pastrycook

Clothing Patternmaker

Entrepreneur

Food Process Worker

Barista

Tattoo Artist

Brewer

Textile Designer

Abattoir Worker

Auctioneer

Primary Products Inspector

Events Coordinator

Restaurant Manager

Leather Goods Maker

Wedding Coordinator

Hotel Motel Manager

Drycleaner

Pet Groomer

Picture Framer

Makeup Artist

Visual Merchandiser

Screen Printer

Butcher

Jeweller

Waiter

Florist

Hairdresser

Salesperson

Baker

Chef

Greengrocer

Home Entertainment Store Attendant

Beautician

Newsagent

Fashion Designer

Pharmacist

Cheesemaker

Locksmith

Retail Manager

Packer

Milliner