Anyone who’s ever watched the Food Network has fantasized about a career as a Chef. Chefs are responsible for overseeing food preparation at restaurants and any other place where food is served. There are various different types of chefs who fall under a hierarchy system. Executive chefs/head cooks/chefs de cuisine: Manage kitchen operation; they are responsible for ensuring the harmonization and synergy between the Sous chefs, and any other cooks who handle food duties in the kitchen. In addition to this, they are tasked with creating distinctive menus. In some unique situations, the top chef will be responsible for managing administrative tasks. Sous chefs are the second-in-command. They oversee the cooks, and report results to the Executive/Head chef. In the absence of the Executive or Head Chef, they run the kitchen.
Chef Core Task and Skills Required
Being a chef isn’t just about creating elaborate and delicious meals for consumption. A successful chef is an excellent communicator and highly observant. It is requires you to be level-headed and possess the ability to remain calm in under intense situations. A kitchen setting can be quite intense and extremely fast paced. Some of the day-to-day tasks of a chef include:
- Oversee and develop recipe standardization. Demonstrate creativity and new cooking trends.
- Manage staff within their respective stations; ensure stations are clean and adhere to safety standards established my WHMIS.
- Inventory control; book keeping and administration duties as required. Responsible for kitchen budgets and monitoring expenditures.
In Canada, an entry-level Chef can earn between $24,375 to $40,922. Experienced Chefs can earn upwards of $69,567 per year.
Technically in Canada, formal training isn’t necessarily required, and many successful chefs have made their way to the top by simply starting from the bottom. However, from an employability standpoint, having a certificate, diploma or degree under your belt can sometimes make opportunities more accessible to you immediately. Depending on where you decide to pursue your formal education, training can take anywhere from 1 – 4 years to complete and is a combination of in-class and on-the-job training.
Useful Information About Being a Chef
No one starts out as a chef – and even with a degree or diploma, it is a journey to get to the top of the kitchen food chain. Here are some suggestions: Moderate your expectations – there’s a good chance you’ll start out by handling dull tasks like taking out the trash or washing dishes. A kitchen is very much a ‘pay your dues’ environment. Flexibility is imperative if you want to be a chef. Hours can often be erratic, and sometimes, depending on the environment – you may be in one location one day, and somewhere else entirely the next. You need to be willing to learn. Becoming a successful chef is a combination of time, experience, and a desire to learn from others.