Register

Register
forgot password?
remember me



Chef Career,Catering Careers

 
Chefs prepare food in the kitchen of a restaurant or, sometimes, for an outside catering company. The role of a chef varies depending on their level of experience and responsibility, and also the type of operation and style of food offered:

commis chefs (trainee or apprentice chefs) spend time in each section of the kitchen, learning how to make sauces and desserts, and how to cook meat and fish
chefs de partie run a section of the kitchen, such as sauces, pastries, the larder or grill, or they deal with a range of dishes from the menu, such as all the cold dishes
sous chefs are more senior and may deputise in the absence of the head chef
head chefs are in charge of the whole kitchen and are responsible for creating and producing food of the highest quality.
Chefs almost always work shifts, and may put in overtime during busy periods. Chefs working for a contract caterer may work more regular hours. Kitchens are hot, steamy, noisy and hectic places to work. Chefs are under a lot of pressure to prepare meals quickly without reducing quality. They are on their feet for most of the time.

Salaries for chefs range from around �12,000 to �50,000 a year, or more.

Chefs should:

be able to stay calm under pressure
be able to cope with several tasks at once
work effectively as part of a team
use creativity and imagination in food presentation
have a real passion for food and the industry.
There are approximately 240,000 chefs/cooks working throughout the UK. There is currently a shortage of qualified and experienced chefs. They are employed in every kind of eating establishment, from restaurants and fast-food outlets to hotels and company restaurants. The contract catering sector is currently expanding.

Many chefs start without any formal qualifications and learn their skills in the kitchen. Relevant qualifications include a GCSE in Hospitality and Catering, Apprenticeships in Hospitality and NVQ/SVQ in Professional Cookery at Levels 2 and 3. Degrees and foundation degrees in subjects such as professional culinary arts and culinary arts management are also available.

Apprentices spend time working alongside an experienced chef, whilst training at college or with another learning provider. Apprentices work towards NVQs/SVQs at Levels 2 and 3 in various aspects of food preparation and cookery. Some trainees may choose to specialise in areas such as kitchen, larder, confectionery or patisserie.

In larger organisations, chefs may be able to work their way up to head or executive chef. In smaller businesses, progression may mean moving to another employer. Experienced chefs may move into a related role, such as managing the food and drinks side of a hotel business, or running their own restaurant or pub.

What is the work like?
Celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay are among the most famous faces in catering, but there are plenty more chefs creating delicious food in restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels across the UK.

Chefs prepare food in the kitchen of a restaurant or, sometimes, for an outside catering company. The term 'cook' is used more in places such as schools, colleges, hospitals and business canteens. People who prepare food in snack bars, takeaways and fast-food shops tend to be called 'short-order cooks', 'call-order cooks' or 'quick-service cooks'.

The role of a chef varies depending on their level of experience and responsibility, and also the type of operation and style of food offered. In large kitchens chefs normally work as part of a team responsible for one section of the kitchen, for example pastries and breads, or vegetables.

Commis chefs (trainee or apprentice chefs) spend time in each section of the kitchen, learning skills such as how to make sauces and desserts, and how to cook meat and fish. They may also have to wash up and look after the kitchen utensils.

Chefs de partie run a section of the kitchen, such as sauces, pastries, the larder or grill, or they deal with a range of dishes from the menu, such as all the cold dishes.

Sous chefs have a more senior position. Their work may include:

deputising in the absence of the head chef
placing orders with suppliers and costing ingredients
monitoring and maintaining the quality of the food provided
planning menus and developing new ideas
recruiting and training the kitchen team
ensuring health, safety and hygiene regulations are met at all times.
Head chefs (or executive chefs or chefs de cuisine) are in charge of the whole kitchen. They may be responsible for:

creating and producing food of the highest quality
managing the restaurant or kitchen's budget
planning staff rotas and shift patterns
recruiting, training and developing staff
liaising with other managers and/or clients.
In smaller restaurants, head chefs prepare and cook the food themselves, possibly with the help of a few assistants. They may also serve diners and clean up. 'Chef patrons' have their own restaurant, and do all the cooking and management.

Starting salaries for commis chefs may be between approximately �12,000 and �16,000 a year.

Hours and environment
Chefs almost always work shifts, and may put in overtime during busy periods. The basic working week is around 40 hours, although this varies according to the nature of the business. Most chefs work late evenings, weekends and bank holidays as this is the time when restaurants are at their busiest.

Chefs working for a contract caterer may work more regular hours. Many caterers, though, specialise in providing food for entertainment events, which means a large amount of evening and weekend work.

Part-time, casual or seasonal work is often available.

Kitchens are hot, steamy, noisy and hectic places to work. Chefs are under a lot of pressure to prepare meals quickly without reducing quality. They are on their feet in the kitchen for most of the time. Chefs wear uniforms, often including an overall, apron and a hat, to protect the food and themselves.

Salary and other benefits
These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.

A commis chef may earn between �12,000 and �16,000 a year.
A chef de partie may earn up to �18,000, while a sous chef may earn around �28,000 a year.
Executive chefs may earn up to �50,000, or more.
Skills and personal qualities
Chefs should:

be able to stay calm under pressure
be able to cope with several tasks at once
work effectively as part of a team
use creativity and imagination in food presentation
be patient when doing routine tasks such as slicing vegetables
be good communicators, organisers and managers
understand health, safety and hygiene requirements
be able to work with figures, if they are responsible for budgets.
Interests
It is important to:

have a real passion for food and the industry
be creative and have an eye for detail.
Getting in
The hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry is one of the UK's fastest growing sectors, employing nearly two million people. There are approximately 240,000 chefs/cooks working throughout the UK. Whilst celebrity chefs have raised the profile of this career amongst young people there is currently a shortage of qualified and experienced chefs.

Chefs are employed in every kind of eating establishment, from restaurants and fast-food outlets to hotels and company restaurants. The contract catering sector is currently expanding as more organisations are taking on contract caterers. An increasing number of chefs are needed for jobs in schools and higher education, the health service, local authorities, the prison service and the Armed Forces.

Jobs are advertised in trade magazines such as Caterer and Hotelkeeper, and in regional and local newspapers. There are lots of recruitment agencies that deal with catering and hospitality vacancies, including www.caterer.com, www.caterersearch.com and www.hcareers.co.uk.

Entry for young people

Many chefs start without any formal qualifications and learn their skills in the kitchen. However, there are also many ways of gaining valuable qualifications before getting a job, or whilst working.

Relevant qualifications include:

GCSE in Hospitality and Catering
Apprenticeships in Hospitality
SQA Higher in Professional Cookery
Diploma in Professional Cookery (Level 2)
NVQ/SVQ in Professional Cookery at Levels 2 and 3
HNC/HND in Professional Cookery.
Degrees and foundation degrees in subjects such as professional culinary arts and culinary arts management are also available.

The minimum entry qualifications for HNCs/HNDs are typically one A level/two H grades. For degrees, entrants usually require a minimum of two A levels/three H grades and five GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), or equivalent qualifications.

Apprenticeships which may be available in England are Young Apprenticeships, Pre-Apprenticeships, Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships. To find out which one is most appropriate log onto www.apprenticeships.org.uk or contact your local Connexions Partnership.

It is important to bear in mind that pay rates for Apprenticeships do vary from area to area and between industry sectors.

There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For further information contact Careers Scotland www.careers-scotland.org.uk, Careers Wales www.careerswales.com; and for Northern Ireland contact COIU www.delni.gov.uk.

Entry for adults

Adult entry is possible. Experience in preparing food or customer service may be an advantage.

Training
Many employers offer Apprenticeships or placements with a structured training programme. Apprentices spend time working alongside an experienced chef, whilst training at college or with another learning provider.

Apprentices work towards NVQs/SVQs at Levels 2 and 3 in various aspects of food preparation and cookery.

Some trainees may choose to specialise in areas such as kitchen, larder, confectionery or patisserie, and there are many courses specifically designed to provide training in these areas.

It is also important to gain training and qualifications in various aspects of food safety, and health and safety in the workplace.

Getting on
In larger organisations, chefs may be able to work their way up to head or executive chef. In smaller businesses, there may be fewer promotion prospects, and progression may mean moving to another employer.

Experienced chefs may move into a related role, such as managing the food and drinks side of a hotel business, running their own restaurant or pub, or managing a contract catering organisation.

Chefs can also lecture or teach, train in areas such as nutrition or food technology, or work as advisers for food manufacturers.

Further information
People 1st, 2nd Floor, Armstrong House, 38 Market Square, Uxbridge UB8 1LH. 0870 060 2550 . Website: www.people1st.co.uk

Springboard UK, 3 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8LP. 020 7497 8654 . Website: www.springboarduk.org.uk

Further reading
Getting into Hotels and Catering - Trotman

Opportunities in Restaurant Careers - Contemporary Books

Real Life Guide to Catering - Trotman

Target Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism - GTI

Working in food & drink - VT Lifeskills

Magazines/journals
Careerscope - Springboard UK

Caterer and Hotelkeeper

The Caterer Careers Guide

Hospitality Magazine

Restaurant Magazine



ChefsWorld a World created by Chefs for Chefs.
We Provide the facility for Chef Employers and Chef Recruitment Agencies to advertise their jobs online to recruit a Chef or find a Chef online.
http://www.chefsworld.net/about_us.asp#employers
The Chef Jobs site has : Executive chef jobs, Head chef jobs, Sous Chef jobs, Chef de Partie Jobs, Commis Chef Jobs, Pastry Chef Jobs, Development Chef Jobs, Consultant Chef Jobs, Specialist Chef Jobs - all levels of chef and Catering Jobs.
http://www.chefsworld.net/search_job_adverts2.asp
The Chef Section has : Chef Forums, Chef Network, Chef Recipes, Rate Employers, Suppliers Offers and Chef Links.
http://www.chefsworld.net/chefs_forum1.asp
http://www.chefsworld.net



+ChefsWorld Tim Capper  
Tags: Caterer , Catering Career , Chef Career , Chef Jobs , Commis Chef , Culinary Arts Salaries & Catering
 


Follow us on Twitter  Follow us on Twitter Find Us on Facebook
© ChefsWorld.net ChefsWorld   |  Terms of Use |  Site map  |  Web Design by OS3