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A chef 1 is a highly trained culinary professional who works as the chief cook in the kitchen of a restaurant. Many chefs typically earn a culinary degree and are formally trained by another accomplished chef, making them very skilled and competent in their crafts.
Chances are, you've enjoyed the delicious creations of chefs a time or two yourself. But, what else is there to know about being on the other side of the table? Here's the nitty gritty information you need to know about pursuing a career as a chef. Bon appetit!
As you might guess, a chef spends a good chunk of his or her time in the kitchen cooking and directing other food preparers on the best way to whip together dishes-including appropriate garnishing and presentation of the dish.
However, chefs 2 are also creative professionals, meaning they're often involved in planning and creating menus for the restaurant. Many chefs enjoy this part of the job the most, as it's an opportunity for them to get creative and try new recipes.
Because chefs work as the head cooks in the kitchen, they're also supervisors of the other kitchen workers. In addition to overseeing food preparation, chefs also coach and develop other kitchen staff in order to help them grow and improve their own skills.
Finally, chefs are also responsible for managing the logistics of the kitchen operation. They order necessary supplies, provide cost estimates to their employer, and monitor staff requirements and schedules.
So, if you think a career as a chef means only wearing that white jacket and hat and working on delicious dishes, think again. There's much more involved than just fancy food preparation!
There isn't a standard educational requirement 3 for chefs. Many roll up their sleeves and start in the kitchen as line cooks. After gaining some experience, they can eventually work their way up to a chef role.
However, other chefs are formally trained in a culinary program-which many assert is what separates them from a cook. There are culinary certificate programs that last only a few months, as well as two-year and four-year degrees that aspiring chefs can obtain from community colleges, universities, or culinary institutes.
Those who are aiming for more hands-on experience will pursue an apprenticeship, where they'll train under other accomplished chefs.
If you're considering pursuing a career in this field, you're likely wondering how much opportunity there is for you.
However, the outlook is positive for those who make their living as chefs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics 4 estimates the projected percent change of employment between 2014 and 2024 to be 9%. Considering the average for an occupation is 7%, this career path is growing at an above average rate!
As far as what chefs can expect to be paid, there's a pretty large range. Salaries can vary depending on location and in what sort of restaurant a chef ends up being employed-as you might guess, fine dining will likely pay more than a casual dining establishment.
PayScale 5 states that the salary range for executive chefs is between $36,000 and $87,000, with a median salary of $57,700. So, regardless, you can expect to earn a respectable living when working as a chef.
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Below are alternative career paths for Chef jobs with percentages representing overlap in skills for Chef jobs. If you’ve already mastered the skills required to be a Chef, then one of the jobs below could be the next career move for you!