Cooking is a form of creative art and in this case chefs are the artists. All the experts in the field of culinary arts have trained for many years and were involved in learning the basics of cooking for excelling in their selected field of expertise. Just like the profession of teaching has got a variety of subjects for covering and there are different types of lawyers than most of the people are able to count, becoming a chef would be a great choice of work with different other options.
As a professional in this field you can aim of getting towards the position of an executive chef who is basically responsible for everything that’s happening inside the hotel kitchen. However, the path for getting in here needs you to join different jobs like sous chef, patissier or saucier – most of which would be well paying and viable career choices.
It would be ideal to call the sous chef as the executive chef’s right hand and a hotel or restaurant has more than one sous chef. Sous chef are involved in a lot of work than only micromanaging inside the kitchen. They notice all the details of each dish and also work in the trenches for making sure that everything properly gets prepared.
Sous chef can also be said the person who’s second in charge and checks out all the work inside the kitchen while the executive chef remains off duty. The sous chef would mainly be responsible for making sure that all the line cooks and chefs in the kitchen work according to the orders of executive chef.
There won’t be any requirement for Sous chef in small restaurants, whereas in many other places with wider operations there would be multiple sous chefs available for work.
Line Chefs or station chefs have to work under the watchful eyes of sous chefs. All line chefs are in charge of certain part of meals. In most of the kitchens, line chefs would only cook while working on the specific parts of meals. However in large sized operations, the line chef would have to work with various assistants and other chefs while being under supervision.
Line cooks can also become chefs while working their way up through lower position and necessarily won’t require a culinary degree. However, if the line chef aspires to reach the position of a head chef or sous chef, he or she would need to find a culinary degree or an apprenticeship or internship.
Different Line Chef Work Positions
Sauté Chef – Sauté Chef would be mainly responsible for all sautéed items and also their sauce. This would generally be the highest position of different stations.
Fish Chef – The Fish Chef is responsible for preparing all the fish dishes and is often involved in the assembly of fish sauce or does fish butchering. This station would be combined well with saucier position.
Roast Chef – Is responsible for preparation of all braised and roasted meats and also their ideal sauce.
Fry Chef – Would be great for preparation of all the fried items. This position would be combined well with the position of rotisserie.
Cold-Foods Chef – The cold foods chef is also referred to as the pantry chef, cold-food chefs are also responsible for preparation of cold foods, such as cold appetizers like salads, pates and various other charcuterie products.
Roundsman – The position is also referred to a swing cook. This position would fill in as required on any of the station inside the hotel kitchen.
Vegetable Chef – Is responsible for preparation of hot appetizers and often works many hours for preparing vegetables, soups, starches and pastas. In a whole brigade system, a potager also prepares soups and a legumier and oil guide for healthy cooking would also help in preparation of vegetables.
Pastry Chef – The work is to prepare desserts, pastries and other baked foods. The pastry chef would generally supervise a team within a separate shop or their own kitchen in wider operations. Some hotels would also work with an executive pastry chef.
This work station can be divided into various smaller specialization areas like:
Boulanger – Makes unsweetened dough for rolls and breads.
Confiseur – Makes petit fours and candies.
Decorateur – Helps in preparation of specialty cakes and show food items.
Glacier – Involved in preparation of cold and frozen desserts.
In the chef hierarchy, the chef the Cuisine would be the chief- the one who’s in charge of all about all things that are related to the hotel kitchen. Chef the Cuisine or executive chef would envision the different dishes and would instill his personality in the entire restaurant. It is made certain that the establishment’s dishes are at par with all quality standards and he would estimate the right portioning of all menu items.
The executive chef is seldom involved in cooking tasks, although if the need arises, he would do so. The main job of executive chef involves efficiently managing the kitchen staff and scheduling payroll and assignments. He can be said as the boss of the entire kitchen. Generally you can find only one per restaurant (or chain), so the competition for getting in the field top would be fierce and it would ask for years of formal training at culinary school as well as decades of experience for landing your dream job.
As an executive chef, you would have to worry less regarding the minute details of food preparation rather than acting as overseer, keeping the kitchen functioning efficiently and planning the restaurant menu well with various other recipes as conceived.
Life Of An Executive Chef
Executive chefs would compete to get certification as a Master Chef. This would further lead to advancement and better life in the hospitality sector with better pay packages.
Another most pursued option by the professionals in cooking line is to begin their own business such as opening up a restaurant or a catering service. Some would also go on for becoming instructors in different culinary schools.
Generally students in the renowned culinary schools would start with better pay packages and higher status jobs without the need to spend more time inside the kitchen. Graduates of culinary schools are also able to get higher positions with ease in the culinary sector.
The expediter can be called as the link between wait staff and hotel kitchen. These individuals are in the last line of dish preparation before you’ve got the food plate served in the table. These professionals are also responsible for properly delivering the plate by using their own hands or through the waiter.
Most often the executive chef will also do this work when needed, especially when it seems vital for ensuring that the dish is in its finest condition before it is moving out for serving. A chef’s job is mostly physically challenging yet highly satisfying. The harder a restaurant chef works and the better he gradually gets at his work, the more lucrative the salary of a chef would become. Besides getting the pay, all hard work and many years of dedication behind, often gets the professional moving with a strong passion for the art of cooking.
Irrespective of where you’re starting out or what is your area of specialization, you’ll surely find a place for you in the culinary world. And with the right kind of sincerity and training, you just only move closer from an upper-level position where the better pay and respect simply awaits for your appreciation.