Most of the time, chefs are mistaken for cooks with the notion that their job only involves cooking day in day out. Surprisingly, the responsibilities of a chef are much more than the culinary arts and are even at times outside the kitchen. Depending on the setting of the business where he or she works, a chef can also easily fit in as a part-time personnel manager, businessman, special events coordinator or a public relations specialist. A chef’s business is not only about the food, but also good business practices too. A typical day for a chef can include prep work, ordering and purchasing, developing ideas for future specials and menu options, menu planning, safety standards compliance and much more.
A day in the life of a chef unfolds as listed below;
A chef usually arrives at the restaurant before the other staff. His first immediate task on arrival is to start taking inventory of all food and beverages. Most supplies are often delivered in the morning; hence he has to ensure that all fruits and vegetables delivered are fresh. He must also check the rest of the inventory to see to it that nothing is expired.
The Kitchen staff starts streaming in shortly after the chef’s arrival. The chef ensures that all employees have reported on time as he also doubles as the supervisor of all employees in the kitchen. He oversees the commencement of work, starting with preparations for dishes that take longer to cook such as soups and desserts.
At this time of the day, the chef’s attention is solely focused on the performance of his staff in the kitchen. He will often give advice and directions to the staff members on varying issues. He may also join in and help with whatever task or duties that may be lagging behind in the kitchen.
This is when the chef and his staff take some time of to relax and take a lunch break following the hustle and bustle of the lunch rush. It is unlikely for any kitchen personnel to leave the restaurant for lunch, as they also get to sample some new additions to the menu. Majority of beverage distributors make their deliveries during this time, hence, the chef has to ensure that the delivered items are the exact match of those ordered.
This is when preparations for the dinner crowd begin. The chef supervises his staff as they chop and slice vegetables, make sauces and start to cook any foods that may take longer time to cook such as baked poultry or roast meat.
This is mostly the busiest time of the day as the dinner crowd starts to stream in from around six up to nine or ten o’clock. During this time, there is a lot of activity in the kitchen and it is the chef’s responsibility to oversee everything to make sure all the activities are well coordinated.
After a long and busy day at work, the chef will still be planning the activities of the following day, including reviewing the menu and placing orders for supplies and beverages for the next day.
A seen from the above set of daily duties, the chef is usually responsible for a 100 percent of the work in and around the kitchen. Other cooks and the sous chef only assist in these duties, but it is the sole responsibility of the head chef to see to it that all tasks are performed to his specifications and satisfaction, as he is the leader in the kitchen. A chef often thinks about preparations for lunch or dinner way before that time even arrives. Inventory taking is also another huge part of being a chef so as to make sure there are enough ingredients to be able to cook off the menu.