Discussing a Chef Resume

Introduction of the Job

It has been said by many that when one chooses to pursue the position of chef they are not simply choosing a career, they are choosing a lifestyle. The position of chef requires not only a love for food and commitment to creativity in the kitchen but dedication and passion as well. A chef is given the opportunity to work closely with others while developing their own signature style. The position of chef requires motivation and determination, as the hours can be long and the job fast-paced and stressful. Those who will be most satisfied with a career in the kitchen must have a passionate love and respect for food as an art form.

Key Responsibilities

The key responsibilities delegated to a chef can vary amongst employers but could include such tasks as deciding on a theme or motif for a restaurant and developing a menu that fits that theme, managing and overseeing other employees, actual food preparation in addition to some marketing responsibilities. Other managerial duties that a chef can be appointed to include overseeing customer relations as well as establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with vendors of products that the restaurant requires.

Level of Education Required

The level of education required to be a chef varies greatly depending on the rank of the position sought. Some beginning jobs as cooks or chefs may not even require a high school diploma, while the requirements to become an executive chef can entail 8 to 15 years of experience working in the culinary business. Most candidates pursuing a culinary career will complete a 2-4 year college program at a professional culinary institute where they will be trained and can pursue apprenticeship opportunities to work under the guidance of an experienced chef working in the field. The more experience a chef has the more valuable they will be to an employer, as the position of chef requires practical and first hand knowledge of how to work successfully in a commercial kitchen.

Career Path

The demand for chefs in the workforce is consistently increasing due to the general increase in population and the demand for food as well as the increase in household incomes allowing people to eat in restaurants more frequently. The average salary of a chef falls within the range of $35,000 to $75,000 per year. The ability to move up the ladder in the culinary world is highly dependent on experience. While degrees from professional culinary institutes can help to give you a jump-start, most career paths require that chefs start at the bottom and work their way to the top positions of head and executive chefs through years of hard work and dedication.

Summary

When discussing the Chef resume the responsibilities required of a chef are demanding. The work can be highly stressful and the hours long, but if one is passionate about food and the art of cooking these hours can be enjoyable. In order to be successful as a chef, an individual must be incredibly dedicated to the position and committed to their career. The position of chef requires that one consign to the lifestyle the occupation calls for.

The Qualities of a Great Sous Chef

As I mentioned in the introduction of this article Chef is a term that has taken on a new meaning recently in the hospitality world. If you know how to cook you now are referred to as “chef”. Well let’s look at what a chef is and what he/she does. The Qualities of a Great Sous Chef would require knowledge of all of the stations in a kitchen and the responsibilities of each of those stations and the Chefs that operate and manage those areas of the kitchen.

Chef as defined by Merriam – Webster

Chef: a skilled cook who manages the kitchen

Origin of Chef: French, short for chef de cuisine head of the kitchen First Known use: 1840

The key word in that definition is “manages”. A Chef has the training and experience to run all the operations of the kitchen. He / She are capable of running every station in the kitchen, and have the experience and training to train the staff of the kitchen to run each operation. They handle the ordering of supplies, including food, sanitation and typically works hand in hand with the Food and Beverage Manager of the operation to make sure the operation has complementarity beverages for the customer’s satisfaction.

Kitchen Managers usually have good management skills but may not have training in the Culinary Arts. Not to say a Kitchen Manager isn’t or couldn’t be a Chef. It just depends on the operation and how they label the people in the operations chain of command. However, usually an operation that has a Chef in charge of the kitchens is an upper scale food service operation. Like a Hotel, Fine dining restaurant or Country Club to name just a few businesses that would employ a Chef.

That brings us to the different levels of Chef and chain of command in a food service operation. There are many levels of Chef in a large scale operation. The chain of command, of the kitchen in a large scale operation, could have several different titles of chef within the operation. Large Hotels, Country Clubs, Resorts, Cruise Ships, Theme Parks just to name a few would have many of these Chefs in their employ.

Executive Chefs (Chef de Cuisine or Head Chef) this position is in charge of all operations within the food service operation. They are responsible for writing menus for restaurants, banquets, profit and loss reporting and budgets for food and labor, scheduling of all kitchen employees, sanitation and food safety within the kitchens. Ultimately they are the person responsible for every plate that leaves the kitchen and every banquet that is served. They will have several assistants in the kitchen that they manage and train to handle all these different goals.

Executive Sous Chef de Cuisine (known as the under Chef of the kitchen) this position has many of the same responsibilities as the Executive Chef. When the Executive Chef is not on the property the Executive Sous Chef is responsible for all of the kitchen operations. They report to the Executive Chef. And manage the training and production of the Sous Chefs and stations they manage in the kitchen.

Sous Chefs de Cuisine (Assistant to the Executive Sous Chef de Cuisine) in a large operation there may be several Sous Chefs managing different restaurants, banquet services and the many service stations within those operations. The Sous Chef reports to the Executive Chef and Executive Sous Chef in the kitchen.

Restaurant Chef (Chef de Restaurant) this person is in charge of a Restaurant in a large operation where there may be several restaurants on the property. Large Hotels typically have several restaurants and require this kind of position to manage a restaurant of a property within that operation. They are responsible for the training and production of all the executive responsibilities of the restaurant they manage. They report to the Sous Chef and Executive Sous Chef in the kitchen.

Banquet Chef (Chef de Banquet) This position typically works with the Food and Beverage Director (manager) and sales department in the planning and execution of parties that are on the property and possibly “off site” banquets the property has sold. In a large operation to most banquets are sold from a menu of several different options the Executive Chef has put together that are part of his / her style. It is the responsibility of the Banquet team to work together to provide excellent service to these quests. Banquets are usually a high profit part of the operation. Because the menu is known in advance as well as the number of guests being known, there is very little chance for profit loss as long as the banquet is accomplished as ordered. These areas of an operation are often the highest profit centers in an operation. They report to the Food and Beverage Director and the Sous Chef in charge of their area.

Next are the stations that make up the classical kitchen. These positions may be people that are in an apprenticeship. Learning all the different stations is required to become a Sous Chef. If one desires to become a great Sous Chef it is vital they learn all of these stations and the responsibilities of those stations of the kitchen. Some people choose to specialize in one of these areas of the kitchen and have reached the goal they set out to do and are happy to just master one area of the kitchen.

Fish Chef (Chef de poissonnier) People in this area are responsible for the preparation of all the fish and seafood. They do the butchering and cooking, as well as, prepare the stocks and the sauces that will be served. This person frequently has duel responsibilities of Chef de Saucier. They report to the department head of the kitchen they are working in. This could be a Sous, Restaurant or Banquet Chef.

Pantry Chef (Chef de Garde-Manger) This person is responsible for most of the cold items served out of the kitchen. Like salads and cold appetizers, pates, and other charcuterie foods. They also report to the department head of the kitchen they are working in.

Sauté Chef (Chef de Saucier) the Sauté Chef is responsible for the Sauté Station in the kitchen and usually handles responsibilities of sauces served from the kitchen. They also report to the department head of the kitchen they are working in.

Roast Chef (Chef de rôtisseur) this person is responsible for braised and roasted meats. Depending on the size of the operation they will also serve duel responsibly of running the Grill station as well. They report to the department head of the kitchen they are working in. This could be a Sous Chef or Restaurant Chef or Banquet Chef.

Grill Chef (Chef de grillardin) The Grill Chef is responsible for all the grilled meats. In a lot of restaurants this person works a wood fired grill that handles several hundred plates a night. They also report to the department head of the kitchen they are working in.

Fry Chef (Chef de friturier) this person is responsible for all the fried foods in a kitchen. This person is often responsible for the breading and preparation of meats and vegetables on the menu. They report to the department head of the kitchen they are working in.

Vegetable Chef (Chef de entremetier) this person is responsible for checking in of the produce making sure it is up to par standards. Then preparing it for the different parts of the kitchen that will use these ingredients. They report to the department head of the kitchen they are working in.

Executive Pastry Chef (Executive Chef de pâtissier) Like the Executive Chef the Executive Pastry Chef has responsibility for the Pastry, Cakes and Deserts for the operation. Depending on the size of the operation they may have several assistant Pastry Chefs that they manage.

Pastry Chef, (Chef de pâtissier) trained to handle the production of the Pastries, Cakes, Cookies and other deserts for the operation.)

Baker, the person that handles all the fresh baked breads and cakes and pastry. The baker during the last half century has become blurred between a baker and a pastry chef. Typically an operation that has a baker usually only does just that. They bake products to be used in the operation. A pastry chef is usually in charge of the baker and places orders daily for what is needed from the bakery, including pastry that the pastry chef finishes.

So as you can see there are many different places in a food service operation where a person might be know as “Chef” in a modern, organized kitchen, in the world today. If you are a student of the Culinary Arts you probably know about August Escoffier. He is the father of modern cuisine. He was credited with what we now use as the chain of command in the modern kitchen. The way the work stations are set up within that kitchen and how manages what.

If you haven’t heard of Escoffier and are interested in his works, I highly recommend studying his works. His five Mother sauces are what most kitchens in the world today use and the base sauces for every sauce made. I will have another article published soon that will cover those Five Mother Sauces by Escoffier.

Become a Commis Chef

When you have completed your training at a chef or culinary school you will have to face the work force and in the chefing industry in an industrial kitchen a group of chefs is known as a kitchen brigade. When you become a chef you should know that there is a lot of team work involved and you cannot become a top chef overnight.

A commis chef will be someone entering the industry either after their training or as an apprentice where they will learn on the job, being paid a little less as if someone were coming from chef’s school.

The duties of a commis chef would be just about anything that his or her head chef requires. They would be preparing vegetables and food for the day. A commis chef should know they are at the lowest point of the rank and should be able to put up with anything. Often it is not a very good environment to work in with orders from other chefs shouting at you, demanding you to run around the kitchen and do their dirty work, but this is where everyone started and you can’t shoot straight to the top.

The chef’s salary of a commis chef is not the greatest either, but as you progress like with any other job your head chef will assess your situation. When you enter the industry for the first time you should have a lot of passion and it should not be about the money in the beginning.

With a lot of perseverance you will eventually climb up the ladder to demi chef, the next level or maybe you will be promoted as junior chef de partie, which would involve specializing in one particular type of food, such as fish, meat or vegetables. You could even become a pastry chef if that is your goal.

Chef Hat History

Chef hats have a history that can be traced as far as the beginning of the centuries. Although the real origin is not really known, it does go back a long way. It is a popular belief that the chefs in the courts of Iran and the nearby nations wore the chef hats even in the B.C. times, although for reasons that might be different from now. However, the shape and sizes must have considerably undergone some drastic changes since then. Even with all the noticeable changes, the chef hat is still being worn by all the chefs and cooks worldwide to avoid stray hair from falling into the dish being prepared allowing contamination of the dish.

Tradition indicates that the number of pleats on the headdress indicates the experience of the chef. Of course, this means the head chef, who is the one with the maximum experience gets to wear a hat with a hundred pleats. Although a hundred pleats are not found on a head chef’s hat these days, these hats do contain the most number of pleats still. The number of pleats also indicates the number of ways the chef can prepare a dish as so any head chef worthy of the title must be allowed to wear a head chef hat in honor of the knowledge possessed.

A chef’s hat worn these days is mostly a covering for the head than to depict any other symbolism. They also come in different sizes, heights and shapes depending on who would be wearing them. All the cooks, chefs, and others involved in the kitchen work are supposed to wear them without fail – taking hygiene into account more than anything else.

History indicates toque to have been worn by both men and women as a head covering while cooking. French, Italian, Spanish, German and other countries adopted a unique style by the early 16th century. Although the basic usage remained the same, to cover the head to avoid any stray hairs from falling into the dish being prepared, unique styles had come into vogue and were very distinguishable from one another. They were also named different in different languages, although they are all popular currently as the chef’s hats.

Starched cloth and wool chef hats came into picture in the early 17th century in many countries. These are still popular as along with keeping the hair in place, they also absorb the heat and sweat caused due to the heat in the kitchens. Early 19th century saw a revolution in the chef’s hats. Chefs dealing with various food preparations ended up putting on different caps to be distinguished in their areas of specializations.

Even with all the advancements in the history of chef hats, they still distinguish the chefs and the cooks even when they are currently made from paper and fiber instead of cloth. Cooks and chefs all over the world wear these hats regardless of the history and the tradition, which resulted in evolution of the chef hats.

The Chef Apron and Pants

The chef apron and chef pants were all primarily designed for protection purposes. Many restaurants pride themselves on having a culinary team that can sport the bright white uniform which represents cleanliness, efficiency and a high quality of in the kitchen. So, while the uniform may have been designed for protection and cleanliness, the chef profession added a distinct cultural stamp to the clothing by embracing the idea that pure white is a sign of ultimate professionalism.

Another unique attribute of the chef uniform seems to be its almost ageless and immediately identifiable recognition. The uniform itself immediately identifies its wearer as a food professional. When the chef apron and chef pants are worn with the chef hat you immediately bring validation and identity to the wearer as a culinary professional. The uniforms also add that fancy finesse to the back yard grill master who wants to impress friends and family.

Today’s chef aprons come in a variety of colors and styles to meet the needs of aspiring chefs at any level.
The chef apron is a very predominant part of the chef outfit. The chef apron can be worn short or long. If it is worn short, it barely covers the chefs’ lower body and leaves no protection against spills and burns.
“Ouch”…. This is a personal preference for each chef apron wearer.

Another description of the chef apron is cooking apron. In essence these words mean the same thing but the chef apron is used somatically in the restaurant setting and the cooking apron is used in the more informal home environment.

Chef pants can range from a variety of styles and colors. The typical white pant is still very popular with bakers. The most popular standard design in chef pants are the blue and white or black and white check hounds tooth design which helps to camouflage spills.

Many of today’s food professionals like to have their work attire reflect their own specific flare and many of today’s culinary businesses like to have their employees wear attire that is reflective of a corporate mission, vision or value of some kind. iD by Landau can present fashion uniform options to match your own mission, vision or values.

iD by Landau can provide your customized chef apron, and cooking apron needs. Customizable chef aprons can take your restaurant business to the next level. They also have many styles of chef pants to choose from and iD by Landau offers a rainbow of colors and has the ability to custom embroider your chef uniform. You owe it to yourself and your company to find the best chef uniforms available. Work with a sense of style and pride. Visit iD by Landau to find your perfect design, color and style for your culinary attire needs.