July 31st, 2012
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In many ways, going through the basic if involved training to become a chef is only the beginning. Once you have completed your basic training you can focus on other more focused chef jobs that may appeal to your own interests.
Here are some of the chefs jobs you will find advertised today in South Africa, along with a description of what each one involves.
This type of chef focuses on far more than just pastry dishes. They will also typically make a variety of breads and also desserts, so there is a definite role here in both sweet and savoury dishes.
This is a more senior role that means you will be the assistant to the head chef. If the head chef is away for any reason, you will often be the stand in and thus be in charge of the entire kitchen. This is a far more responsible role that is only attained with several years experience in the kitchen.
In much larger kitchens, there may be sous chefs in specific areas. For example you may find a role for a pastry sous chef.
As the name would suggest, a sushi chef will focus purely on creating and presenting sushi (raw fish) dishes.
Chef de partie
This role means the chef is responsible for one particular area of the kitchen. For example this could mean taking responsibility for desserts or for main courses or perhaps for some other area, depending on the size of the kitchen.
The other title for this role would simply be a chef. As such it is typically the first rung on the ladder and there are many roles that may be taken on in this way. For example the commis chef may be involved in preparing meat and/or fish for cooking in various recipes. Another example would be a vegetable chef, who prepares all vegetables for all types of recipes and dishes.
This is the highest role of all – someone who is in charge of at least one kitchen and in some cases two, depending on the outlet. You would only expect to take on this kind of position once you have had a decade or more in the profession. However as the highest rung on the ladder (apart from owning your own restaurant or similar outlet) it pays extremely well. It also carries a lot of responsibility as you will be responsible for everyone working in the kitchen.
The main thing you will notice here is that there are many opportunities for anyone who wants to start working as a chef. The training is hard and demanding and the way up the ladder can be challenging as well, but for the right people there is the potential to enjoy a rewarding career.
If you explore the different chef’s opportunities in South Africa today, you will notice there are many job openings for chefs at all levels of knowledge and experience.