Chefs and Head Cooks

Description

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.

Tasks

  • Check the quality of raw or cooked food products to ensure that standards are met.
  • Monitor sanitation practices to ensure that employees follow standards and regulations.
  • Check the quantity and quality of received products.
  • Order or requisition food or other supplies needed to ensure efficient operation.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of cooks or workers engaged in food preparation.
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, or work areas to ensure conformance to established standards.
  • Determine how food should be presented and create decorative food displays.
  • Instruct cooks or other workers in the preparation, cooking, garnishing, or presentation of food.
  • Estimate amounts and costs of required supplies, such as food and ingredients.
  • 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.
  • Analyze recipes to assign prices to menu items, based on food, labor, and overhead costs.
  • Prepare and cook foods of all types, either on a regular basis or for special guests or functions.
  • Determine production schedules and staff requirements necessary to ensure timely delivery of services.
  • Recruit and hire staff, such as cooks and other kitchen workers.
  • Meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, or banquets.
  • Demonstrate new cooking techniques or equipment to staff.
  • Meet with sales representatives to negotiate prices or order supplies.
  • Arrange for equipment purchases or repairs.
  • Record production or operational data on specified forms.
  • Plan, direct, or supervise the food preparation or cooking activities of multiple kitchens or restaurants in an establishment such as a restaurant chain, hospital, or hotel.
  • Coordinate planning, budgeting, or purchasing for all the food operations within establishments such as clubs, hotels, or restaurant chains.

Knowledge

Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.

Work Activities

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Interests

Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Style

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Banquet Chef
Bread and Pastry Baker
Cake Froster
Cake Icer
Cake Maker
Cake Mixer
Chef
Chef de Cuisine
Chef de Froid
Chef de Patite
Chief Cook
Confectioner
Cook
Cook Manager
Cooking Chef
Corporate Executive Chef
Culinary Artist
Culinary Chef
Culinary Specialist
Executive Chef
Executive Sous Chef
Food and Beverage Director
Garde Manger Chef
Head Baker
Head Chef
Head Cook
Head Pastry Chef
Kitchen Chef
Kitchen Manager
Line Cook
Master Chef
Menu Planner
Pantry Chef
Passenger Vessel Chef
Pastry Artist
Pastry Chef
Pastry Cook
Pastry Cook Apprentice
Personal Chef
Pie Maker
Salad Chef
School Cafeteria Head Cook
Second Baker
Sous Chef
Sushi Chef
Wedding Cake Designer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$20.42 hourly, $42,480 annual.
Employment (2008):
97,370 employees