Cooks or cooks work in the kitchen of all types of catering establishments, from bars to cruise ships, to educational centers and prisons. Their duties vary based on their knowledge, specialty and position in the kitchen.
In general, the functions of a cook consist of:
- Menu planning and preparation of meals. Menu planning and grocery shopping are usually done by the chef. Subordinate cooks, especially apprentices or assistants, are mainly occupied with preparing food before cooking and with tasks such as cleaning floors and emptying rubbish bins. In a small kitchen with only one or two chefs working, they have to do all of the food prep and then prepare the various dishes from starters to desserts.
- Manage the team and the distribution of tasks. In some kitchens (for example in a small bar) the cook can work alone or with the help of one or two people. However, there are other kitchens (e.g. in hotels) where the chef could have dozens of staff and a number of specialist chefs working on behalf of a chef.
- Manage cooking time and food preparation. Cooking a dish can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours so time management and teamwork are essential, some of the tasks they perform are more routine than others.
- Perform administrative tasks. Senior chefs oversee the work of their team and can get involved in other tasks like bookkeeping and budgeting, managing staff training, and controlling inventory.
- Update menus and keep up to date with culinary trends and techniques. Cooks need to be well trained in cooking techniques and retrain according to customer needs. One of its functions is to keep abreast of current trends, gastronomic fashions and the nutritional properties of foods in order to develop menus that attract customers.
- Keep and obey strictly Health, hygiene and food safety standards.
exist different types and levels of chefs. In a large kitchen you will find:
- A pastry chef (pastry chef).
- A Chef-Saucier (cooks the sauces and main dishes).
- A Chef Poissonier (fish cook).
- A head entremétier (vegetable cook).
The roles of each chef depend on their specialization. A fish cook, for example, is not only familiar with the cooking techniques of his specialty, but is also responsible for ordering fish, checking deliveries and preparing it for cooking.
In addition, chefs can be targeted for work in restaurants with vegetarian cuisine, exotic …