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A Variety of Rewarding Chef Careers

Aug 17, 2007
Choosing a career as a Chef is a noble and rewarding career choice. As a chef, you are limited only by your own imagination. The skills that are taught in culinary school are the basis for the rest of a chef's career.

A chef does not just cook food. A chef prepares culinary masterpieces using their skill and imagination. There are different kinds of chef in the culinary industry. All leave school with the art that they were taught, but only a handful has the true spirit of a chef.

A chef can prepare any meal, but there are specialty chefs who prepare specific menus. When choosing A Pastry chef career, the student is taught the in's and out's of every aspect of the pastry world. They are taught how to prepare decadent desserts that are fit for royalty. In some instances, after years of honing their art, they may be chosen for just that.

Choosing to be a chocolatier is another form of chef career. This for some is their calling. This form of chef creates incredible desserts and works of art out of chocolate. This type of chef career only the imagination will limit what can be accomplished.
When a chef career is chosen, the chef must prove himself or herself before being accepted. Some choose to start out in a small establishment to receive the hands on training that will develop their talents over time.

A souse chef is the position all chefs start out. They do all of the prep work. They chop, dice, boil and anything else that the master chef requires.

Line cooks who prepare just an entree. This can be where some find their calling. By working as a line cook, the chef can decide which area of the culinary field they want. Each station has the title of the chef. Grill cook, fry cook, or vegetable cook.

Each chef is stationed at a stove, grill or oven, and has all of the necessary ingredient to cook the entree that they are assigned. A chef who works in a five star restaurant is there because he or she has established him or herself and formed a reputation as being the best. They can prepare any dish with ease, and create culinary masterpieces. They know the best temperature for each dish and what condiments accent each dish.

A short order cook is found mostly in diners and coffee shops. They cook limited items such as pancakes, eggs, burgers and other fast food items. There is really very little creativity needed for a short order cook.

A chef is responsible for everything that that goes on in the kitchen. He or she is not only responsible the food preparations, but also ordering food supplies, cooking utensils, appliances, and instructing kitchen staff on what to do and how to do it. In mid sized to larger restaurants, the menu's tend to offer a variety of choices.

The kitchen needs to have a staff that can adequately handle the flow of orders. In mid to large sized establishment there would have to be several chefs, with the master chef being in charge. In larger establishment, there will also be an executive chef and a head cook. These two positions go hand in hand with the coordination of the kitchen. Depending on the type of restaurant, the responsibilities of the chef vary.

If the chef is working in a cafeteria, or an institution such as a daycare or nursing home or hospitals, the chef will prepare large quantities of specific foods and very limited menu options.

A restaurant cook usually prepares more of a variety. The menu in a restaurant is more diverse. There are more cultural dishes to be prepared in a restaurant and it is more of a challenge to a cook.

Another chef career choice is a personal chef. These chefs work in private households planning and preparing meal according to the client's dietary needs or wants.

They do everything, order food and supplies, prepare the meals, and clean the kitchen and wash the dishes. In some instances, the chef may also serve the meal. There is usually very little appreciation in this type of position.

Restaurant chains, food growers and manufacturers all have research chefs on staff. They have the knowledge of food and science combined to assist in the development of new recipes. Companies such as Frito Lay and Kellogg's use research chefs. For the most part, restaurants and kitchens in institutions have up to date kitchens with the most modern equipment.

In smaller, older diners, the kitchens are usually not as standard. They are designed poorly with inadequate ventilation and cooling systems. Kitchen staff, if any usually work in cramped quarters and sometimes safety is an issue. There are more accidents in smaller kitchen then in larger ones.

Chefs of every style of cooking have a few things in common. One being they all work long hours everyday and often on holidays. School cafeteria chefs are one of the few that have routine hours. The restaurant chef usually works a twelve-hour day. This is necessary because they have to check the food deliveries in the morning for freshness, and then plan the menus, which takes an enormous amount of time.

Because restaurants, big and small, are opened for business very early and close very late, the opportunity for teenagers to gain employment. These types of positions are great for high school and college students. It is also a great opportunity for a culinary student to find out if a chef career is the right move.

Short order cooks require very little training. The skills that are needed are learned on the job. For those who want to learn the skill and techniques of the masters, there are culinary schools all over the country, and the word. Most people cannot fly to Paris to attend culinary school, for them there are excellent culinary colleges in their own communities. The teachers at these schools are all master chefs, and can pass on their knowledge to their students.
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