Chefs and Head Cooks

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About the Job

Direct and may participate in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts.

It is also Called

  • Wedding Cake Designer
  • Sushi Chef
  • Sous Chef
  • Second Baker
  • School Cafeteria Head Cook
  • Salad Chef
  • Pie Maker
  • Personal Chef
  • Pastry Cook Apprentice
  • Pastry Cook
View All

What They Do

  • Record production or operational data on specified forms.
  • Meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, or banquets.
  • Arrange for equipment purchases or repairs.
  • Demonstrate new cooking techniques or equipment to staff.
  • Collaborate with other personnel to plan and develop recipes or menus, taking into account such factors as seasonal availability of ingredients or the likely number of customers.
  • Recruit and hire staff, such as cooks and other kitchen workers.
  • Meet with sales representatives to negotiate prices or order supplies.
  • Prepare and cook foods of all types, either on a regular basis or for special guests or functions.
  • Analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, based on food, labor, and overhead costs.
  • Coordinate planning, budgeting, or purchasing for all the food operations within establishments such as clubs, hotels, or restaurant chains.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ERA.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Enterprising interests, but also prefer Realistic and Artistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Independence, but also value Recognition and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.



Pennsylvania Department of Education