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Cooking

Cooking embraces a wide range of skills from creating menus and preparing dishes for Michelin-starred restaurants, to workplace canteens and cafeterias.

Why is this skill important?

The professional chef can work in a wide range of establishments including high-class and casual restaurants, hotels, welfare caterings such as hospitals and residential homes, theme parks, airlines, ships, clubs, retail HMR and Food To-Go, Fast Food outlets, and industrial canteens; providing catering services to both guests and staff. The range of skills and customer expectations will vary according to the workplace. There is also a direct relationship between the nature and quality of the service provided and the payment made by the customer.

The professional chef can also deliver different styles of dining such as fine dining, banqueting, casual dining, cocktail dining, canteen and take-away dining, as well as different styles of food service including plated, a la carte, and set menu service, buffet self-service, silver service, canteen counter service, and breakfast service. As well as the skill of cooking, the role of a chef will also demand further skills that relate to cooking in a commercial setting and therefore working towards a budget or expected profit margin. These skills include menu compilation, food costing, purchasing, storage, utilization of food commodities and minimizing wastage, as well as the control, work/time organization, planning, and communication required in managing a kitchen brigade.

Professional chefs need to demonstrate outstanding skills in food preparation (with both speed and accuracy), in production (using varied cooking methods and techniques) and in the final presentation and flavour. They are expected to create and adapt dishes that meet the expectations of demanding customers with varying nutritional and religious dietary requirements. Fashions and trends in cuisine also fluctuate, so it is important that the professional chef keeps abreast of these trends and adapts their product and service accordingly The Professional chef needs to be adept at managing food cost and maintaining environmentally-friendly sustainable food production by making use of locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, as well as controlling unnecessary waste by creatively re-using trimmings and reducing ingredient wastage.

Strict maintenance of the highest level of personal and food hygiene and safety are paramount at all times. Failure to fulfil this requirement can have a devastating impact on a diner’s health and well-being, and may cause irreparable damage to the restaurant’s reputation and business.

Commercial kitchens are equipped with complex specialist equipment that must be used carefully to avoid accident and injury. Kitchens are potentially dangerous places to work. Staff work under intense pressure, often in a confined space, working with hot food and dangerous tools and equipment.

Effective communication skills are essential for the chef. A professional kitchen is a high-pressure environment where teams of chefs specializing in various aspects of the menu work together to produce the entire meal. Co-ordination of the kitchen brigade is essential to quality assure the dishes being sent to the restaurant and to meet very tight service time frames. In addition, the kitchen team need to work effectively with other departments in the hotel or restaurant to ensure a good overall experience for the guest. - A customer is expecting a memorable meal experience which incorporates the setting and ambiance of the restaurant, staff interaction, and outstanding customer care, as well as exceptional food.

With the globalization of cuisine, chefs can work all over the world. Talented chefs are always in demand and have opportunities to travel and work in some of the most interesting and exciting international destinations. This carries with it the need to appreciate diverse cultures, especially with regard to using locally available ingredients, and observing local dietary requirements and traditions.

Location

Competitors

Camila Arancibia
Chile

Orlando Arcos Acosta
Colombia

Jessica Cummins
Barbados

Love Dahl
Sweden

Aurelien DE NOBLE
Belgium

Danijel Glogač
Croatia

Christoph Guggi
Austria

Ashleigh Hellowell
United Kingdom

CHE-WEI KANG
Chinese Taipei

Thanmayee Nallamothu
India

Hiep Nguyen
Finland

Korae Nottveit
Canada

Elizabeth P. T. Isai
Namibia

Donghyun Park
Korea

María-Emilia PIEDRA
Spain

Paul PIPARD
France

Daivy Ramphele
South Africa

Sabrina Rees
Australia

Maria Rezev
Estonia

Usukh-Ireedui Samdan
Mongolia

Samuel Santos
Portugal

ZHAIYK SEITKALYK
Kazakhstan

GAYANE SIMONYAN
Armenia

Jonathan Supsupin
Philippines

SKEIKH TASHNIAH TABASSUM
Bangladesh

Natsuki Ueda
Japan

Leyla Valiyeva
Azerbaijan

Puripat Wuttipattananon
Thailand

Leong Yuk Shang
Malaysia

Rino Zumbrunn
Switzerland