January 7, 2013
Into the Fire
Everywhere you go there are restaurants, bars and diners and everyone that goes there all have one thing in mind, food. There is a team of people in the kitchen who help prepare and cook your food to order but the person who runs the entire kitchen is the head chef. In ten years I will be a head chef at a restaurant. To be a head chef you have to be responsible and be able to work in high pressure situations. This is an occupation in which there will always be a need for people to work because everyone eats food. There is also necessary internships and education involved in order to fill this high of a position. Head chefs play a very large role in how a kitchen will run and if it will be successful or fail. Every kitchen whether it be a hospital or a 5 star restaurant has a head chef, someone who is in charge of running the kitchen. Ever since restaurants start opening the head chef has been the second job that must be filled under the manager. The head chef doesn’t do much of the cooking; he or she mainly makes sure that the food coming out of the kitchen is plated right and hot. They also supervise all activities in the kitchen and purchase all inventory. “An executive or head chef must be able to spot problems and resolve them quickly and efficiently, maintain a level head, and delegate many kitchen tasks simultaneously (hcareers). A successful night is when no orders have come back and all of the paying customers are happy. The chef also “Inspects supplies, equipment, and work areas to ensure conformance to established standards” (careerplanner). This means that when inspection comes around any write up or comment is aimed at you because you’re in charge of the kitchen and keeping it very sanitary. “Determine production schedules and staff requirements necessary to ensure timely delivery of services” (Karen Page). This is because the head chef is watching you every day you work and they know what your good at. .Hands on experience is important but in order to fully excel at this job you also need to have the correct college education too. To fill such a high position in a kitchen you also have to have the right background in order to qualify. When being hired as a head chef they mainly look for on hand experience and creativity, but when you have a degree it makes this process a lot easier. They best thing you could do are internships and every head chef has been involved with this. “In order to fill this position the usually look for at least 5 years of steady hands-on training in all areas of the kitchen” (cookingschool). All head chefs also have a bachelors and or associates degree in the culinary field. When hired and put in this position you must go through a program called ServSafe, this is a program in which you learn how to properly prepare and store food in a safe way. Every full time employee in the kitchen must be certified in this program. However you can always go back to school to learn more because you never know it all when it comes to cooking dues to the many different techniques and styles people use, this is what makes every great chef different. As I am currently progressing to become a head chef I have started an intern to better my chances at getting a job in my future. In order to achieve my future goal of being a head chef I started my internship with my work, in which I work as a prep cook. I have been doing this for two and a half years now and I have learned very valuable tips in which will help me achieve my goals as being a head chef. “The entire staff, subconsciously or not, will look to their chef to see what reactions are acceptable and which ones are not” (Michael Ruhlman). This is very true in a kitchen setting because the chef always has the final say and there is no arguing with that. This means that the head chef has to be on their toes and ready to solve any problem at anytime. When being a head chef there is so much responsibility and dedication that you have to pertain I am gaining on hand experience everyday and I now have the knowledge and am capable to fill in as an assistant chef which is right under the head chef position. a competent “Sous Chef will handle many of the responsibilities, and will work hand-in-hand with an Executive Chef to form an effective team (Karen Page). Everyone in the kitchen needs to work together to get the job done right. The only way that you will be a successful kitchen is if the staff works together in order to solve underlying problems. I’m learning more and more everyday and I consider this to be the start of my career. I hope to continue my education and go to the Culinary Institute of America, which is the most well know cooking institute in the nation. With this I would be able to get a job at majority of fine dining restaurants. Being a head chef at a kitchen requires a lot of responsibility and time in order to do your job well. This is because the dining establishment relies on the food to be well brought up and that all falls on the head chef doing his job properly. This job takes a lot of hard work and dedication in order to do well but it is a very satisfying job when people come back for seconds. Cooking has been a passion of mine for years and that is why I want it as a future career. I plan on continuing with this journey in the culinary arts field until I reach my final goal. Chefs take pride in the food that they cook for people; this is something that I have interest in.
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