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Professional Chef

Professional chefs are the core of the food service industry. They work in lunchrooms, cafeterias, restaurants, hotels, and other places that prepare and serve food. Their specific duties vary depending on the type and size of the establishment for which they work. And as they move up in rank, they get paid very well and sometimes even become celebrities.

Professional chefs need a great deal of knowledge and experience working with food. The minimum requirement is a high school education plus on-the-job training. High schools, vocational or technical schools, two-year and four-year colleges, adult education programs, and the armed services all offer cooking programs and courses. Most courses run from two months to two years.

Applicants interested in being professional chefs are required to have a keen sense of taste and smell and must enjoy food preparation. They must also be clean, neat, and healthy. They should have sound mathematical aptitude because many a times, they might have to order specific quantities of food at certain prices while staying within their budget.

Professional chefs require stamina and physical strength. Although most kitchens are air-conditioned, have convenient work areas and modern equipment, and are well organized, chefs work near hot ovens, grills, and ranges in a very noisy and chaotic environment.

Professional chefs must be able to work under pressure during rush hours. They should enjoy working as part of a team and be able to organize and direct the kitchen staff effectively. Head chefs work with little or no supervision; other kitchen helpers work under their direction.

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