It is important to do your homework before you decide to pursue cooking careers, enjoying cooking at home can lead to a false sense of enjoyment versus working in a commercial environment kitchen. Chefs, cooks and food prep positions are responsible for many different kinds of foods including salads and soups to full out main dishes and desserts.
Some of the primary responsibilities of chefs and cooks are creating recipes and preparing meals for large numbers of people. Food preparation workers tasks involve getting the ingredients ready for the chefs and cooks, such as peeling vegetables, trimming meats, and ensuring cleanliness around the kitchen.
Chefs and cooks normally follow recipes that have been created by the establishment that they are employed by, or by following recipes that they have created themselves. An assortment of equipment is at a chefs disposal such as ovens, broilers, knives, pots and pans. Other duties of the head chefs or cooks is directing and managing the entire kitchen staff, estimating food supplies, inventory and ordering.
There are many niche areas that chefs may specialize in, such as soups, entrees or desserts. Some positions in larger kitchens are vegetable cooks, fry cooks and grill cooks. Executive chefs and head cooks organize and direct the kitchen that they are in charge of, so not only is a chef responsible for food management, but they must juggle the management of food along with the management of personnel.
There are a wide variety of positions for people who are interested in pursuing a cooking career. Institution cooks normally work in mass production type kitchens such as cafeterias, businesses, hospitals or schools, another sub niche specific to hospitals are nutritionists.
Restaurant cooks normally prepare food for smaller groups than institution cooks, and have the luxury of attention to detail on individual orders. Short order cooks are typically cooks that work in diners, and may fast food type restaurants. Private household cooks are normally hired by a family to prepare meals for the family on a set daily basis.
The type of food service establishment will determine in what direction of the food preparation field you would like to pursue as a career. Cooking careers are a very rewarding line of work, that takes dedication and a love for cooking.
If you are interested in a cooking career, I suggest you sit down and write out on a piece of paper, your interests in cooking, try and define what sub niche in the cooking industry that you are interested in pursuing, this will make a career path easier to map out once your mind is made up.
Careers in cooking will always be a stable form of employment. we all have to eat, and we always don’t have the time to prepare meals ourselves, especially in the fast paced world that we live in today. It was not my intent to discourage those of you who are thinking of a cooking career, but rather to inform you to the true nature of this line of work versus cooking dinner for your family. A cooking career truly is a rewarding career and takes a person who is passionate about food.