Responsibilities and Specific Duties of a Chef
The term chef may conjure up different definitions for individuals. Some may view a chef as having general cooking knowledge whereas others may deem a chef to be an individual with great experience and cooking flair. In general, a chef will have greater experience than say a cook or sous chef in the culinary arts. In order to really get a glimpse as to the role which a chef plays, one must look at the general responsibilities and specific duties that a chef undertakes every day.
What Is a Chef?
A chef is an individual who oversees the culinary staff and wears quite a few different hats with regard to what goes on in their workplace. Frequently a chef will oversee the staff, place orders for culinary items and direct the overall preparation of the food which is served in the dining establishment. From time to time, the chef will also don the apron and help to prepare the meals as well.
General Responsibilities of a Chef
One who holds the title of chef has quite a few different general responsibilities related to their professional role. The chef is responsible for overseeing all who work below them in the establishment and ensure that their duties are being carried out to the fullest of their potential. An individual who is a chef will also be responsible for planning the set menu items and any specials as well as provide the recipes in most cases. In addition, the chef is usually responsible for placing food orders and necessary kitchen tool orders in order to enable the preparation of the meals. The chef will also address any complaints which affect his kitchen staff and resolve those issues. One who is the chef of the establishment may also like to get behind the burners and engage in some cooking and food preparation as well.
Specific Duties of a Chef
An individual who is a professional chef has a wide array of specific duties that they must carry out on a daily basis. The first duty which is overly encompassing in and of itself is that of overseeing subordinates in their daily work environment. The chef is responsible for overseeing all individuals who work under their charge in the kitchen. This list can include everywhere from assistant executive chefs to the kitchen preps. The chef will oversee the preparation of meals and ingredients, final presentation, sanitary issues and timeliness on the part of the employees, to name just a few duties related to the managerial position of the chef.
The chef is also the main planner with regard to the menu items and any specials which the dining establishments offer to its patrons. Along with planning the menu, the chef is also responsible for creating the recipes and may or may not allow input from the assistant chefs. One who is in the position of chef will spend many hours developing their recipes and making them just perfect to serve the patrons.
A chef may also choose to take part in preparing a few or many of the menu items on a weekly basis. This may occur due to the kitchen being short-staffed or simply because the chef has a love for his/her position and wishes to maintain cooking involvement as much as possible. Sometimes the chef will prepare the main courses whereas they may opt to only prepare a dessert or two now and again.
Administrative duties are also a part of the chef’s daily operations. Items such as ensuring employees show up to work, performing payroll calculations, calculate purchase order costs, placing food orders from merchants and addressing worker’s complaints are all duties which fall under the administrative category. In addition, the chef is the go-to guy or girl when a customer has a complaint regarding their meal preparation or quality.
Also, the chef is one of the main individuals who is responsible for training the kitchen staff. This individual is in charge of the employees who work in the kitchen and therefore must ensure that the job they do is a good one. The chef will detail what the worker’s duties are and how they should be carried out.
Lastly, one who takes the role of chef must ensure that all food-handling regulations are abided by and that everyone under his/her charge is aware of these items. The chef must ensure that safety standards and sanitary requirements are met each and every day.
Positive Traits for a Chef to Possess
In order to excel in the role of chef, one who pursues this profession may find their job a whole lot easier if they possess certain traits. One such trait is good communication skills. This is a very important attribute to have as there are many individuals who work underneath the chef in a dining establishment. A chef who can communicate his requirements well is one who will not only teach their staff as efficiently as possible but keep their staff as well. Communication skills are key components in the role of a chef.
A chef should also possess the trait of creativity. Creativity is important as it will allow an individual to prepare new and unique recipes and keep the originality flowing throughout their career. Patrons like to go to a restaurant where the food is not only flavorful but unique as well. A creative chef is quite able to pull off the originality and uniqueness factors with regard to their menu items.
One who pursues a career as a chef should also possess the beneficial attribute of professionalism. Since this individual will need to deal with a wide array of individuals such as patrons, managers and staff, it is important that they handle themselves in a professional manner. This is especially true since they are in a lead position in the dining establishment and should set examples for those who work with them.
Pursuing a career as a chef can be both challenging and rewarding all at once. This individual not only gets to do what they love, which is work with delicacies and food, but they also are able to take on a supervisory role. Their day will be filled with a variety of items ranging from planning the menu at one point to overseeing employees at another point in time. One who is a chef will find that their days will be run much more smoothly if they possess certain positive traits such as good communication skills, creativity and professionalism. The role of chef is a varied and exciting one which more and more individuals are showing an interest in pursuing.