Though some people think the words "chef" and "cook" mean the same thing, in the restaurant world, there's a big difference. Chefs are more highly skilled and better trained than most cooks, and have more responsibility for designing the meals that make a restaurant's reputation.
But it's not ...
all about the food - this job requires good organizational and management skills. Sometimes called a head cook, the chef supervises the entire kitchen staff and keeps track of supplies and schedules. Chefs should have a highly refined and inventive sense of taste. He or she creates the menu items and often prices them, too.
Advancing in this field may depend as much on limiting food costs and supervising less=skilled workers as it does on creating a memorable menu. To keep things running smoothly in a hot, noisy kitchen, chefs need to be expert multi-taskers. The work is fast-paced and a missed detail can result in time lost and food wasted, not to mention an unhappy customer. Chefs are on their feet for house at a time, often working evenings, weekends, and holidays.
While many cooks can learn skills on the job, chefs and head cooks usually hold degrees in the culinary arts from a recognized cooking school. Many employers look for safe food handling certificates as well. Chefs advance by moving to new jobs and learning new skills, sometimes opening their own restaurants. And while only a few ever get their own cooking show, they're always delighted to accept your compliments.
Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Demonstrate new cooking techniques or equipment to staff.
Arrange for equipment purchases or repairs.
Recruit and hire staff, such as cooks and other kitchen workers.
Meet with sales representatives to negotiate prices or order supplies.
Analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, based on food, labor, and overhead costs.
Meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, or banquets.
Estimate amounts and costs of required supplies, such as food and ingredients.
Order or requisition food or other supplies needed to ensure efficient operation.
Prepare and cook foods of all types, either on a regular basis or for special guests or functions.
Check the quantity and quality of received products.
Instruct cooks or other workers in the preparation, cooking, garnishing, or presentation of food.
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitoring and Controlling Resources
Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Management of Personnel Resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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