Chef

Chef

Overview
A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.

The word "chef" is borrowed (and shortened) from the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 term chef de cuisine, the director or head of a kitchen
Kitchen
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation.In the West, a modern residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a...

. (The French word comes from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 caput and is cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 with English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 "chief".) In English, the title "chef" in the culinary profession originated in the haute cuisine
Haute cuisine
Haute cuisine or grande cuisine was characterised by French cuisine in elaborate preparations and presentations served in small and numerous courses that were produced by large and hierarchical staffs at the grand restaurants and hotels of Europe.The 17th century chef and writer La Varenne...

of the 19th century.
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Encyclopedia
A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.

Etymology


The word "chef" is borrowed (and shortened) from the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 term chef de cuisine, the director or head of a kitchen
Kitchen
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation.In the West, a modern residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a...

. (The French word comes from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 caput and is cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 with English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 "chief".) In English, the title "chef" in the culinary profession originated in the haute cuisine
Haute cuisine
Haute cuisine or grande cuisine was characterised by French cuisine in elaborate preparations and presentations served in small and numerous courses that were produced by large and hierarchical staffs at the grand restaurants and hotels of Europe.The 17th century chef and writer La Varenne...

of the 19th century. Today it is sometimes erroneously (in the view of those in the profession) used to refer to any professional cook, regardless of rank.

Titles


Below are various titles given to those working in a professional kitchen and each can be considered a title for a type of chef. Many of the titles are based on the brigade de cuisine
Brigade de cuisine
Brigade de cuisine is a system of hierarchy found in restaurants and hotels employing extensive staff, commonly referred to as "kitchen staff" in English speaking countries.The concept was developed by Georges Auguste Escoffier...

(or brigade system) documented by Auguste Escoffier
Auguste Escoffier
Georges Auguste Escoffier was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a legendary figure among chefs and gourmands, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine...

, while others have a more general meaning depending on the individual kitchen.

Chef de cuisine, executive chef and head chef


This person is in charge of all things related to the kitchen which usually includes menu creation; management of kitchen staff; ordering and purchasing of inventory; and plating design. Chef de cuisine is the traditional French term from which the English word chef is derived. Head chef is often used to designate someone with the same duties as an executive chef, but there is usually someone in charge of them, possibly making the larger executive decisions such as direction of menu, final authority in staff management decisions, etc. This is often the case for chefs with several restaurants.

Sous-chef


The Sous-Chef de Cuisine (under-chef of the kitchen) is the second in command and direct assistant of the Executive Chef. This person may be responsible for scheduling and substituting when the Executive Chef is off-duty and will also fill in for or assist the Chef de Partie (line cook) when needed. Smaller operations may not have a sous-chef, but larger operations may have several.

Expediter


The expediter (in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 aboyeur
Aboyeur
Aboyeur was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from 1912 to 1913 he ran seven times and won two races. In June 1913 Aboyeur won the Epsom Derby at record odds of 100/1. He was awarded the race on the disqualification of Craganour after a rough and controversial race...

) takes the orders from the dining room
Dining room
A dining room is a room for consuming food. In modern times it is usually adjacent to the kitchen for convenience in serving, although in medieval times it was often on an entirely different floor level...

 and organizes them on the tray, and a food runner will bring the food the guest. This person also often puts the finishing touches on the dish before it goes to the dining room. In some operations this task may be done by either the executive chef or the sous-chef.

Chef de partie


A chef de partie, also known as a "station chef" or "line cook", is in charge of a particular area of production. In large kitchens, each station chef might have several cooks and/or assistants. In most kitchens however, the station chef is the only worker in that department. Line cooks are often divided into a hierarchy of their own, starting with "first cook", then "second cook", and so on as needed.

Station-chef titles which are part of the brigade system include:
English French IPA Description
sauté chef saucier
Saucier
A Saucier is a position in the classical brigade style kitchen, which is still used in large commercial kitchens such as some restaurants. It can be translated into English as sauce cook. This position prepares sauces, stews and hot hors d'œuvres and sautés food to order...

[sosje] Responsible for all sautéed
Sautéing
Sautéing is a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking. The primary mode of heat transfer during sautéing is conduction between the pan and the food being...

 items and their sauce
Sauce
In cooking, a sauce is liquid, creaming or semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. Sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to another dish. Sauce is a French word taken from the Latin salsus, meaning salted...

. This is usually the highest stratified position of all the stations.
fish chef poissonnier [pwasoɲe] Prepares fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 dishes and often does all fish butcher
Butcher
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments...

ing as well as appropriate sauces. This station may be combined with the saucier position.
roast chef rôtisseur [ʁotisœʁ] Prepares roasted
Roasting
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat , and is...

 and braised
Braising
Braising , is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour...

 meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

s and their appropriate sauce.
grill chef grillardin [ɡʁijaʁdɛ̃] Prepares all grilled
Grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

 foods; this position may be combined with the rotisseur.
fry chef friturier [fʁityʁje] Prepares all fried
Frying
Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat, a technique that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC. Chemically, oils and fats are the same, differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when needed. In commerce, many fats are called oils by custom, e.g...

 items; this position may be combined with the rotisseur position.
vegetable chef entremetier [ɑ̃tʁəmetje] Prepares hot appetizers and often prepares the soups, vegetables, pastas and starches. In a full brigade system a potager would prepare soups and a legumier would prepare vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s.
roundsman tournant [tuʁnɑ̃] Also referred to as a swing cook, fills in as needed on stations in the kitchen.
pantry chef garde manger
Garde manger
Garde manger , meaning "keep to eat" refers to a cool, well-ventilated area where cold dishes are prepared and other foods are stored under refrigeration...

[ɡaʁd mɑ̃ʒe] Responsible for preparing cold foods, including salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

s, cold appetizers, pâté
Pâté
Pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine or cognac, armagnac or brandy...

s
and other charcuterie
Charcuterie
Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef's repertoire...

items.
butcher
Butcher
A butcher is a person who may slaughter animals, dress their flesh, sell their meat or any combination of these three tasks. They may prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish for sale in retail or wholesale food establishments...

boucher [buʃe] Butchers meats, poultry
Poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

 and sometimes fish. May also be responsible for breading meats and fish.
pastry chef
Pastry chef
A pastry chef or pâtissier is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, breads and other baked goods...

pâtissier [patisje] Is qualified in making baked goods such as pastries, cakes, biscuit
Biscuit
A biscuit is a baked, edible, and commonly flour-based product. The term is used to apply to two distinctly different products in North America and the Commonwealth Nations....

s, macaron
Macaron
A macaron is a sweet confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron is commonly filled with buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. Its name is derived from an Italian word "maccarone" or...

s, chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

s, breads and desserts. Pastry Chefs can specialize in cakes in patisseries or bakeries by making wedding, cupcake
Cupcake
A cupcake is a small cake designed to serve one person, frequently baked in a small, thin paper or aluminum cup...

s, birthday and special occasion cakes. In larger establishments, the pastry chef
Pastry chef
A pastry chef or pâtissier is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, breads and other baked goods...

 often supervises a separate team in their own kitchen or separate shop.

Commis


A commis is a basic chef in larger kitchens who works under a chef de partie to learn the station's responsibilities and operation. This may be a chef who has recently completed formal culinary training or is still undergoing training.

Kitchen assistants


Kitchen assistants are of two types, kitchenhands and stewards. Kitchenhands assist with basic food preparation tasks under the chef's direction. They carry out relatively unskilled tasks such as peeling potatoes and washing salad. Stewards are involved in the scullery, washing up and general cleaning duties. In a smaller kitchen, these duties may be incorporated.

A communard is in charge of preparing the meal for the staff during a shift. This meal is often referred to as the staff or family meal.

The escuelerie (from 15th century French and a cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 of the English "scullery
Scullery
Scullery may refer to:*Dishwashing*Scullery * Scullery maid...

"), or the more modern plonguer or dishwasher, is the keeper of dishes, having charge of dishes and keeping the kitchen clean. A common humorous title for this role in some modern kitchens is "chef de plonge" or "head dishwasher".

Culinary education



United States and Canadian training


Culinary education is available from a wide number of institutions offering diploma, associate, and bachelor degree programs in culinary arts. Depending on the level of education, this can take one to four years. An internship is often part of the curriculum. Regardless of the education received, most professional kitchens follow the apprenticeship system, and most new cooks will start at a lower-level chef de partie position and work their way up.

European training


The training period for a chef is generally four years as an apprentice. A newly qualified chef is a commis-chef, consisting of first-year commis, second-year commis, and so on. The rate of pay is usually in accordance with the training status. Commis chefs, like all other chefs except the executive-chef, are placed in sections of the kitchen (e.g., the starter (appetizer) or entrée
Entrée
An entrée is a dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.The disappearance in the early 20th century of a large communal main course such as a roast as a standard part of the meal in the English-speaking world has led to the term being used to describe the main...

 sections) under the guidance of a demi-chef de partie and are given relatively basic tasks. Ideally, over time, a commis will spend a certain period in each section of the kitchen to learn the basics. Unaided, a commis may work on the vegetable station of a kitchen.

The usual formal training period for a chef is two years in catering college. They often spend the summer in work placements. In some cases this is modified to 'day-release' courses; a chef will work full-time in a kitchen as an apprentice and then would have allocated days off to attend catering college. These courses can last between one to three years.

Uniform



The standard uniform for a chef includes a hat, necktie, double-breasted jacket, apron, houndstooth
Houndstooth
Houndstooth, houndstooth check or hound's tooth , also known as dogstooth, dogtooth or dog's tooth, is a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes, often in black and white, although other colours are used...

 (check) trousers (to disguise stains) and shoes with steel or plastic toe-caps, or clogs
Clog (shoe)
A clog is a type of footwear made in part or completely from wood.The Oxford English Dictionary defines a clog as a "thick piece of wood", and later as a "wooden soled overshoe" and a "shoe with a thick wooden sole"....

. A chef's hat was originally designed as a tall rippled hat called a Dodin Bouffant. The Dodin Bouffant had 101 ripples that represent the 101 ways that the chef could prepare eggs. The modern chef's hat is tall to allow for the circulation of air above the head and also provides an outlet for heat. The hat helps to prevent sweat from dripping down the face. Skullcaps are an alternative hat worn by chefs.

Neckties were originally worn to allow for the mopping of sweat from the face, but as this is now against health regulations, they are largely decorative. The chef's neck tie was originally worn on the inside of the jacket to stop sweat running from face and neck down the body. The jacket is usually white to show off the chef's cleanliness and repel heat, and is double-breasted
Double-breasted
In clothing, the term double-breasted refers to a coat or jacket with wide, overlapping front flaps and two parallel columns of buttons or snaps; by contrast, a single-breasted coat has a narrow overlap and only one column of buttons. In most modern double-breasted coats, one column of buttons is...

 to prevent serious injuries from burns and scalds. The double breast also serves to conceal stains on the jacket as one side can be rebuttoned over the other.

An apron is worn to just below knee-length, also to assist in the prevention of burns because of spillage. If hot liquid is spilled onto it, the apron can be quickly removed to minimize burns and scalds. Shoes and clogs are hard-wearing and with a steel-top cap to prevent injury from falling objects or knives. According to some hygiene regulations, jewelry is not allowed apart from wedding bands and religious jewelry. If wound dressings are required they should be blue—a colour not usual for foodstuffs—so that they are noticeable if they fall into food. Bandages on the hands are usually covered with rubber glove
Rubber glove
A rubber glove is a glove made out of rubber. Rubber gloves can be unsupported or supported . Its primary purpose is protection of the hands while performing tasks involving chemicals. Rubber gloves are worn during dishwashing to protect the hands from detergent and allow the use of hotter water...

s.

See also



  • American Culinary Federation
    American Culinary Federation
    The American Culinary Federation was established in 1929 and is the largest professional chefs' organization in North America.ACF, which was the progeny of the combined visions of three chefs' associations in New York, comprises more than 22,000 members in 230 chapters across the United States,...

  • Auguste Escoffier
    Auguste Escoffier
    Georges Auguste Escoffier was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. He is a legendary figure among chefs and gourmands, and was one of the most important leaders in the development of modern French cuisine...

  • Brigade de cuisine
    Brigade de cuisine
    Brigade de cuisine is a system of hierarchy found in restaurants and hotels employing extensive staff, commonly referred to as "kitchen staff" in English speaking countries.The concept was developed by Georges Auguste Escoffier...

  • Culinary art
    Culinary art
    Culinary art is the art of preparing and cooking foods. The word "culinary" is defined as something related to, or connected with, cooking. A culinarion is a person working in the culinary arts. A culinarian working in restaurants is commonly known as a cook or a chef. Culinary artists are...

  • Development chef
    Development chef
    A Development chef is often a classically trained restaurant chef who has moved to working with a food companies such as Marks and Spencer or Tesco to design chilled or frozen dishes. In a typical year, development chefs may design as many as 800 new products....

  • Great Chefs
    Great Chefs
    Great Chefs is a franchise of cooking shows and cookbooks that began with thirteen half hour programs produced for the American Public Broadcasting Service entitled Great Chefs of New Orleans...

  • Marie-Antoine Carême
    Marie-Antoine Carême
    Marie Antoine Carême , known as the "King of Chefs, and the Chef of Kings" was an early practitioner and exponent of the elaborate style of cooking known as haute cuisine, the "high art" of French cooking: a grandiose style of cookery favored by both international royalty and by the newly rich of...

  • International Association of Culinary Professionals
    International Association of Culinary Professionals
    The International Association of Culinary Professionals is a United States based not-for-profit professional association whose members work in culinary education, communication, or the preparation of food and beverage....

  • List of chefs
  • Tenzo
    Tenzo
    Tenzo is a title given to the chef at a Buddhist monastery. The literal translation is 'Heavenly Monk'.From ancient times Buddhist monasteries have had six office-holders who, as disciples of the Buddha, guide the monastic community. Amongst these, the tenzo bears the responsibility of caring for...

  • World Association of Chefs Societies
    World Association of Chefs Societies
    The World Association of Chefs' Societies , is a global network of chefs associations first founded in October 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris. At that first congress there were 65 delegates from 17 countries, representing 36 national and international associations, and the venerable August Escoffier...

  • Personal Chef
    Personal chef
    A personal chef is a chef who prepares meals for a client in the client's home kitchen, based on the client's needs and personal preferences. In most cases these meals are left packaged in containers and refrigerated or frozen for the client to enjoy later...



External links