By Marli Naidoo
Usually a chef is in command of the kitchen of a restaurant, school, hospital, retirement home, home, university, passenger ship or resort. Hy manages the kitchen staff, plans menus, orders stock and prepares food. He is also responsible for administrative decisions that need to be taken. However, a chef’s most important tasks are to make sure that high quality culinary dishes are served on time and that problems are quickly solved.
There are different levels. A commis chef works under the Chef de Partie and is responsible for food preparation and will learn basic cooking skills.
The Chef de Partie is a junior chef, and usually in control of one aspect of the kitchen, such as sauces, vegetables, soups or salads.
A demi chef can have diverse responsibilities. He can be involved in meal preparation, compiling and managing the budget, or even in the training of employees.
The sous chef usually is second in command of the kitchen.
The executive or head chef is in command of the kitchen. He manages the staff, plans menus, compiles budgets and is generally involved in the business side and the food preparation side of the business.
How do you go about becoming a chef? There are different ways of acquiring training. You could start as a dish-washer and slowly but surely gain knowledge about different roles in the restaurant. Eventually you can in this way qualify to become head chef.
Many FET colleges, Universities of Technology and specialised hospitality institutions offer different courses in culinary art.
A beginner head chef with one to four years experience earn an average total annual income of R144 000. A head chef with five to nine years experience will earn more or less R192 000 per year, while an experienced head chef can receive an average total remuneration of R351 226 per year.
If you have a passion for food, are prepared to work long and irregular hours, are a good team player, and can spend long hours on your feet, this could just perhaps be the direction for you. Someone who is capable of functioning under severe pressure, can handle criticism, works well with their hands and are creative, will be well suited to the culinary art world.
Career Planet: https://careerplanet.co.za/careers-listing/chef/
Post Matric: https://www.postmatric.co.za/chef/