Chefs and Head Cooks

Recruiter.com helps professionals in chef or head cook careers find better opportunities across all specialties and locations.





Also known as:  Banquet Chef, Chef De Cuisine, Chef De Froid, Executive Chef, Head Chef, Kitchen Chef, Master Chef, Pastry Chef, Sous Chef, Sushi Chef

ABOUT CHEF OR HEAD COOK CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
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.
SNAPSHOT Expand
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
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.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Thinking Creatively 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.
Getting Information 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 Expand
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.
Food Production 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.
English Language 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.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity 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.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Information Ordering 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).
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Originality 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.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Time Management 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.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening 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.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking 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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