Kitchen chefs prepare foods for other people. They work in both the private and public sectors. When kitchen chefs work in the private sector, they often work for restaurants, entertainment venues, cruise ships and large corporations. Kitchen chefs are also needed in the public sector, including schools and other institutions. They sometimes plan meals and menus, and often supervise kitchen assistants, waiters and hostesses. Many chefs are employed by the owners of the venue where they work, and some of them own the restaurants themselves.
Being a kitchen chef is a physically demanding job. They often work long hours and may work late into the evening. Kitchens get very hot, so the working environment can be difficult. Kitchen chefs are on their feet for long hours and are sometimes required to lift heavy objects. In addition to the physical demands, kitchen chefs perform mental labor, as well. They have to be experienced in cooking different types and styles of food, which requires knowledge of recipes and ingredients. Kitchen chefs also sometimes do the ordering and bookkeeping work for a restaurant. Their job responsibilities depend on where they work.
Kitchen chefs prepare appetizers, salads, meals and desserts. They often cut and dice meat, vegetables and fruit. They also prepare stuffing, glazes and sauces. Kitchen chefs are knowledgeable about product selection, pricing and ordering. They also perform supervisory roles.
Many kitchen chefs receive on-the-job training. However, they also attend culinary and vocational schools to learn their trade. They sometimes travel to take special classes to learn how to prepare desserts and special meals. Kitchen chefs usually begin their careers by working under the supervision of an experienced chef. They sometimes start out working part-time hours and transfer to full-time once they become experienced.
Kitchen Chef Tasks
- Utilize extra meat in new menu items.
- Chop, slice, grind, and garnish meats, vegetables, and cheeses.
- Prepare appetizers, salads, sandwiches, sauces, stuffing, and glazes.
- May supervise pantry staff.