Dream Jobs: Chef
We all eat, usually several times a day. In your home, who does most of the cooking? Do you ever help out, at least with easy meals? Some meals are very quick to make and require little or no knowledge about spices, cooking times and mixing flavours. Others are more complicated and need a skilled cook to prepare them properly. When people want a meal like that, they usually have to understand the basics of food preparations that cooks and chefs know. Professional cooks and chefs work in all kinds of restaurants and cafeterias, preparing many different types of meals for the people who come to eat.
Do you know the difference between a cook and a chef? Usually, the difference is where they work. In expensive restaurants, the cooks are chefs who have experience and training in cooking steak, lobster, and other fancy types of food. Cooks might work in cafeterias or other restaurants serving everyday food like hamburgers and pizza. Some cooks prepare entire meals, but others prepare only certain parts, such as salads or soups. Others might work on an even smaller part of the meal, such as cooking hamburgers on a grill. Many young restaurant workers begin with this kind of work, and about 20% of food preparation workers are between sixteen and nineteen years old.
As young workers gain experience and knowledge in restaurant work, they can move up to more complicated levels of cooking. Some people become short-order cooks in fast food restaurants, making food for people who want quick meals. Whether they work in fast food or in regular restaurants, however, cooks and chefs need to know many of the same things. They have to be able to follow recipes and to be able to use pots, pans, knives, mixers, and other equipment. They have to be able to cook several different meals at once and to make both main meals and desserts. Knowledge of safety, hygiene, meal planning, and ordering supplies is often part of a cook’s or chef’s job. An apprenticeship and a certificate in food preparation are required for many people working in high levels of food preparation.
Do you love to cook? If you enjoy work with preparing all kinds of food, the job of cook or chef might be a good choice. You can start learning new skills right away.