Cooking

Cooking

The professional chef can work in a wide range of establishments including high-class restaurants, hotels, welfare caterings such as hospitals and residential homes, theme parks and industrial sites; providing catering services to guests and staff. The range of skills and customer expectations will vary according to the work-place. There is also a direct relationship between the nature and quality of the service provided and the payment made by the customer or corporate client. As well as the skill of cooking, the role of a chef will also demand further skills that relate to cooking in a commercial setting and therefore working towards a budget or expected profit margin. These skills include menu compilation, food costing, purchasing, storage, and utilization of food commodities and their control, work/time management, planning, communication and managing a kitchen brigade.

The chef in a high-class hotel or restaurant offering fine dining will need to demonstrate outstanding skills in food preparation and its presentation. They will be expected to create and adapt dishes that meet the expectations of demanding customers who are used to dining in exclusive restaurants. Fashions and trends in cuisine fluctuate so it is important that the top class chef keeps abreast of these trends and adapts their product and service accordingly. The customer wishing to experience fine dining is expecting a memorable meal experience which incorporates the setting and ambiance of the restaurant, restaurant theatre, and outstanding customer care, as well as exceptional food.

Strict maintenance of the highest personal and food hygiene and safety are paramount at all times. Failure to fulfil this requirement can have a devastating impact on diners’ health and well-being, and may cause irreparable damage to the restaurant’s reputation and business.

Commercial kitchens are equipped with complex specialist equipment that must be used carefully to avoid accident and injury. Kitchens are potentially dangerous places to work. Staff work under intense pressure, often in a confined space, working with hot food and dangerous tools and equipment.

Effective communication skills are essential for the chef. A professional kitchen is a high- pressure environment where teams of chefs specializing in various producing aspects of the menu work together to produce the entire meal. Co-ordination of the kitchen brigade is essential to quality assure the dishes being sent to the restaurant and to meet very tight time frames. In addition, the kitchen team need to work effectively with other departments in the hotel or restaurant to ensure a good overall experience for the guest.

With globalization of cuisine, chefs can work all over the world. Talented chefs are always in demand and have opportunities to travel and work in some of the most interesting and exciting global destinations. This carries with it the need to appreciate diverse cultures, especially with regard to dietary requirements and traditions.

Score Guidelines:

  • Work organization and management – 5%
    • The use and care of specialty tools used in gastronomy
    • Plan a well-balanced menu for a range of occasions and situations and within given restrictions and budgets
    • Maintain quality standards throughout production, even when under pressure
    • Prepare work plans for single dishes and plan schedules for the preparation of a menu. Plan daily work for self and others
    • Co-ordinate all preparatory tasks (mise-en place) prior to service
    • Apply energy saving practices when using cooking equipment
    • Knows and operate all commercial kitchen equipment and technology properly and safely
    • Adapt working methods to the situation and be an effective member to the team
    • Create and adapt recipes with own ideas and develop them further
    • Demonstrate a feel and understanding of ingredients and be able to create dishes without recipes
    • Treat all goods with respect and economic resourcefulness
    • Judge personal performance ability and avoid unnecessary stress
  • Customer service and communication – 5%
    • The characteristics of different types and styles of food service and when each would be appropriately used
    • The impact on food production of the various types of food service
    • The importance of the menu as a sales and communication tool
    • Legal restrictions on promotional materials and menu presentation
    • The importance of appearance when on public view and dealing with customers
    • The importance of effective communications within the team, with customers and contractors
    • Pay attention to own cleanliness and appearance at all times
    • Communicate effectively with colleagues, teams and customers
    • Apply appropriate food service styles to the situation and clientele
    • Demonstrate awareness that the hospitality and catering industry is a customer service orientated industry
    • Plan and implement meal promotions
  • Food hygiene and health, safety, and environment -15%
      Legislation and good practice relating to the purchase, storage, preparation, cooking, and service of food
    • Legislation and good practice for safe working practices in a kitchen and for using commercial catering equipment
    • The causes of deterioration of food
    • Quality indicators for fresh and preserved foods
    • Work hygienically and account for sanitary regulations for food storage, preparation, cooking and service (HACCP)
    • Store all commodities safely and hygienically
    • Ensure all work areas are cleaned based on highest standards
    • The business internal HACCP concept is applied to the last detail
    • Work safely and uphold accident prevention regulations
    • Use all tools and equipment safely and within manufacturer’s instructions
    • Promote health, safety, and environment and food hygiene within the working environment
  • Ingredients and menu knowledge development – 5%
    • Market prices for ingredients and the correlation between price and quality
    • The nature and types of ingredients used in cookery
    • Product seasonal availability and value
    • The correlation between product quality, menu sophistication, and gastronomic level
    • The nutritional properties of ingredients
    • The physical nutritional impact of cooking methods
    • Import regulations and restrictions that apply to some ingredients
    • Types and styles of menu
    • Balance in menu compilation
    • Issues surrounding sustainability and ethics when sourcing ingredients
    • The impact of culture, religion, allergies, intolerances, and tradition on diet and cooking
    • Advise on procurement of ingredients and equipment
    • Select appropriate product quality standards for menu, budget, and situation
    • Recognize and comply with ingredient labelling
    • Apply nutritional principles in order to comply with guests’ expectations and requirements
    • Identify the quality state of ingredients and recognize the signs of quality and freshness, e.g. appearance, aroma, structure, etc.
    • Appraise and reject sub-standard goods
    • Select appropriate products for specialty meals
    • Compose menus for a variety of situations and occasions
    • Ce accurate in menu preparation and account for obligatory declarations such as
    • dietary and allergy information
    • Compile menus for a variety of occasions and settings
  • Preparation of ingredients – 2-%
    • The structure of a carcass and a poultry or game bird and the uses for all cuts of meat, poultry, or game
    • Methods of butchering and preparing meat for cooking
    • The range of meats, game, and poultry and their best uses
    • Cuts of meat, poultry, and game commonly used in cookery
    • The range of fish and shellfish available and their suitable uses
    • Cuts of fish used in cookery
    • Methods of preparing fish and shellfish for cooking
    • The range of fruits, salad ingredients, and vegetables used in cookery and their methods of preparation for cookery or use
    • Accepted vegetable cuts and their uses
    • The methods of making stocks and their uses
    • The equipment and tools used in butchery, fish-mongery, and the preparation of ingredients
    • The safe use and care of tools, especially knives
    • Calculate, measure and weigh correct amounts of products
    • Apply excellent knife skills and common cutting techniques
    • Debone meat, poultry, and game cuts and prepare for further processing
    • Trim and tie meats, poultry, and game
    • Prepare, portion, and fillet kitchen meat cuts
    • Prepare whole fish for further processing, scale, remove entrails, fillet
    • Prepare accepted portions of fish for further processing and cooking
    • Prepare stocks, sauces, marinades, accompaniments, and dressings
    • Independently take care of miseen place for functions and banqueting
    • Utilize unused miseen place for other applications
    • Make preparations for the production of pastry, bakery products, and desserts
    • Produce a variety of pasta
  • Application of cookery methods – 15%
    • The range of cookery methods available and their appropriate uses for various ingredients and menus
    • Types of sauces used in professional cookery and the rules for making sauces
    • Types of soups used in professional cookery and the rules for making soups
    • Classic garnishes and extensions to basic dishes
    • Select the appropriate cooking equipment for the cooking method
    • Apply the correct cooking method for each ingredient and each dish
    • Apply a full range of cookery methods
    • Account for the cooking times
    • Combine and apply various cooking methods simultaneously
    • Account for shrinkage during cooking
    • Produce harmony of products, preparation methods and plating techniques
    • Align preparation methods with a gastronomic level
    • Follow recipes, adapting them as necessary, and calculate ingredients based on covers required
    • Combine ingredients to achieve the required result
    • Produce a wide range of dishes including:
      • Soups and sauces;
      • Starters (either hot and/or cold);
      • Salads and hors d’oeuvres;
      • Fish and shellfish dishes;
      • Meat, poultry and game dishes;
      • Vegetable and vegetarian dishes;
      • Specialty and international dishes;
      • Rice and pasta dishes;
      • Pastry, bakery products, sweets, and desserts
    • Prepare and cook complex dishes combining ingredients to produce interesting and innovative dishes
    • Prepare regional, national, and international dishes using recipes
    • Prepare and cook dishes for a range of meals including breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, high tea, and dinner
    • Apply modern technology and methodology in food production
  • Preparation and presentation of dishes – 25%
    • The importance of the presentation of food as part of the meal experience
    • The range of servicing dishes, plates and other presentation equipment available
    • Trends in food presentation
    • Styles of food service and their impact on the presentation of dishes
    • Accepted garnishes and accompaniments for traditional dishes
    • The importance of portion control in a commercial restaurant of catering operation
    • Portion the components of a meal to provide the required yield
    • Clarify or thicken and enhance soups and sauces
    • Produce and present cold cut plate and assorted salads
    • Present food items for hot and cold buffets and self-service settings
    • Prepare accepted garnishes and use them for the effective presentation of dishes
    • Adjust preparation and plating styles to service methods
    • Taste dishes and apply seasonings, herbs, and spices professionally
    • Present food attractively to enhance the meal experience and customer appreciation of the food
    • Present food using service equipment such as flats, tureens, dishes, etc.
    • Present plated dishes on appropriate service plates or dishes to provide an attractive and pleasing appearance
    • Produce a variety of pasta
  • Food purchase, storage, costing, and control – 10%
    • Seasonal availability and price variations of ingredients
    • The range and advantages of local, national, and international suppliers
    • Common payment and shipment conditions
    • The factors that influence the menu price
    • The methods for calculating selling price based on ingredients’ cost
    • The importance of sustainability, environmental impact, and the carbon footprint caused by their choices.
    • The food storage solutions available
    • Select suppliers based on quality, service, range, and price
    • Prepare daily requisitions
    • Accurately order required food and consumable items to meet the needs of the business
    • Complete purchase orders and submit on-line purchase orders
    • Receive goods on delivery and check all documentation to ensure that the delivery is correct and that the goods are of acceptable quality
    • Store all fresh, frozen, chilled, and ambient food items correctly, ensuring that appropriate storage temperatures and conditions are maintained
    • Account for storage losses
    • Estimate cost of storage
    • Align purchase orders with storage capacity