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A Career as a Chef

A Career as a Chef

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Published by sazkha2

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Published by: sazkha2 on Dec 01, 2009
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 A CAREER AS A 
CHEF
 
Institute Research Number 230ISBN 1-58511-230-5
DOT Numbers 187.161-010, 313.131.014, 313.361-014
 A CAREER AS A 
CHEF
THE CREATIVE COOK IS THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL RESTAURANT
 YOU CAN BE A RESTAURATEUR – OWN YOUR OWNBUSINESS
RUNNING A RESTAURANT IS A PRECARIOUS BUSINESS. IT’S COSTLY TO START UP
because of the necessary investment in equipment and furnishings. Andyou’re dealing in a perishable product (food), so there’s the potential for alot of waste, which translates into wasted money. Finding the perfectlocation is critical. The ideal area has a lot of foot traffic, but rent in such adesirable location can be astronomical. If you somehow find a great spacefor reasonable rent in an undiscovered but up-and-coming area, you canbe sure you won’t be the only restaurant there for long.Competition for so-called “share of stomach” is cutthroat. You’recompeting with other restaurants that are like yours, restaurants that aremore casual or swankier than yours, restaurants offering a different style ofcuisine. You’re constantly under pressure to market your restaurant as adesirable destination.A restaurateur wants both to attract a loyal following and to drawnew, first-time patrons, so you must offer a core menu of favorite disheswhile regularly revising and updating the daily, weekly, or seasonalspecials. Because after all is said and done, it’s really about the food.That’s what makes a good chef so valuable. The chef is the one keyelement that can make or break a restaurant. You may already know what restaurant chefs do, or think you know.Restaurant chefs cook. In restaurants. That’s all there is to it – right?
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Perhaps you even harbor a fantasy of a professional chef at work:Dressed in an immaculate white uniform and hat, he/she holds court in agleaming, stainless-steel kitchen, presiding over a busy team of diligentand accomplished sous-chefs. Every so often, a cry of “My compliments tothe chef!” is heard from the dining room and the chef is summoned to thetable of a rich and powerful person to be praised.Such a fantasy is loosely based in reality. But a chef may also serve asan accountant, inventory maintenance clerk, personal coach, and chiefbottle-washer. A chef wears many hats besides just a toque.This guide will introduce you to a career as a restaurant chef. You’lllearn what chefs do when they’re not cooking, supervising their assistants,or being treated like royalty. We’ll tell you what kind of training andeducation you’ll need, what’s appealing about this career and what arethe necessary evils, and the personal qualifications you should possess. You’ll also find out what chefs earn and what the outlook is for this career.And we’ll tell you how to get started right away.Like most artists, those who practice the culinary arts say they can’timagine making their living any other way. Cooking is simply somethingthey have to do. Whatever difficulties chefs encounter and sacrifices theymust make along the way are far outweighed by the joy and satisfactionthey derive from just doing their jobs.
PREPARING FOR THIS CAREER
THE ROAD TO BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL CHEF CAN BE A LONG, ARDUOUS, AND
expensive one, so it’s important to make sure you’ll find this kind of work rewarding before you make a commitment. And if you do decide toembark upon this journey, preparation will put you ahead of the game.Therefore, the most important things you can do right now are:
Practice cookingInvestigate the culinary worldTake your classroom studies seriously – not just cooking classes,academics as well.
There are opportunities every single day to practice cooking. Learningto cook requires more than just being able to follow a recipe. There areskills and techniques that must be honed: folding an omelet in halfwithout the filling sliding out; knowing when to remove pasta fromboiling water at the precise moment before it becomes soggy; trimming a
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