A cook is someone who professionally prepares food into meals. A cook can carry out his or her work in different types of catering establishments, such as in a restaurant, a lunchroom or within a hotel restaurant. A restaurant does not necessarily have to be an independently operating company, because restaurants are often included within a larger whole, such as within an amusement park, hotel, shop, nursing home or within a business premises. As a chef, you can also work for different types of companies, but you do work within the catering department of the organization in question. As a cook hyou have a great responsibility, because the field of a cook goes beyond just being able to cook well. Hygiene and the experience of guests who want to eat out in a relaxed way are just as important as the cooking itself. In addition, as a cook you rarely work alone, and you often have to deal with a whole team of people. A cook can therefore work for various types of catering establishments. Inside professional kitchens there can be other names are also used when we talk about a cook. These names depend on the specific activities and responsibilities as a cook. As described earlier, the profession of cook should also be seen as fairly general, because a cook can also be responsible for specific work. In other cases, it is perfectly conceivable that a cook should be seen as an all-round kitchen employee, who is responsible for all common activities. The substantive work of a cook can therefore vary per kitchen and type of kitchen. Cooking within a luxury restaurant cannot simply be compared to cooking within a healthcare institution.
Within restaurants, there is generally a whole team of different craftsmen, all of whom are responsible for specific work. The specific activities and responsibilities that a cook has within the professional kitchen team can differ per organization, because the larger kitchens usually use clean lines when it comes to the work and responsibilities. Within a large kitchen team, the cook usually works under the supervision of the sous chef and chef. Within smaller catering establishments, the cook will usually work more independently, because these catering establishments usually do not use a sous-chef and / or chef. The responsibilities of a cook can therefore differ per organization, because not all kitchens work in the same way. As described earlier, a cook rarely works alone and depending on the organization you have to deal with different colleagues, such as a restaurant manager, a host, a hostess, a sous-chef and a chef. Together with all colleagues who all have their own specific tasks, it really becomes possible to provide guests with a positive evening. Exactly how many colleagues a chef has is highly dependent on the type of restaurant and can vary greatly per organization. For example, a cook who works in a nursing home or hospital has less to do with customers and other colleagues than a cook who works in a luxury restaurant.
A DAY OF THE COOK
As a cook, you usually work long hours and actually cooking when the guests arrive is only a small part of your work. The preparatory work of a cook, such as purchasing ingredients and possibly putting together the menu are also important parts of your work as a cook. In addition, as a cook you usually work for a few hours, when the guests have already left, cleaning the kitchen. Cleaning the kitchen and the restaurant are very important, because hygiene in the hospitality industry is very important. In addition to the fact that a dirty restaurant makes guests stay away, there are also strict inspections when it comes to hygiene and food safety within the hospitality industry. Because as a chef you usually do not work alone and in many cases will work with several colleagues, it is very important within the hospitality industry to also do team building, and for example to gain inspiration together as a team, such as by following courses so that you as a team know how to come up with new ideas and the company or restaurant continues to surprise the guests. As a chef, it is also important that you have a broad knowledge of the hospitality industry, which certainly does not stop at being able to cook. Knowing different beverages such as wines, beers and hospitality are certainly just as important as being able to cook. A good experience of the guests goes beyond the food alone.
DIFFERENT NAMES FOR A COOK
As a cook, as described earlier, you may have different names within the kitchen, which will usually depend on your responsibilities within the kitchen or organization where you work. Within the larger and usually more luxurious restaurants, in many cases several chefs are worked with, and the manager in the kitchen is called chef, the second hand of the chef is usually called sous chef. The sous-chef is the person in charge within the kitchen when the chef is not present or directs the chefs together with the chef. In the smaller eateries or other types of restaurants, such as in a hospital, one usually does not speak of a chef or sous-chef, but simply of the cook.
CAREER AS A COOK
In order to obtain a managerial position within an organization as a chef, such as the position of chef, you will usually have to work hard and absolutely be able to cook at the top level and always know how to innovate. There are many people working as cooks, who in many cases dream of a managerial position. Obtaining a managerial position as a cook is certainly not for every cook and requires a lot of knowledge and perseverance. Continuing to learn and develop as a cook is therefore an absolute must. As a cook you are never finished learning because the way of working within a kitchen is constantly changing. In order to build a good career as a chef, it is therefore important that you have the right diplomas and work in the right restaurants, which help you as a chef to develop into a top chef.
WHAT DOES A COOK DO:
TRAINING TO BECOME A COOK
To be able to work as a cook, it is best to first follow the Mbo training cook at level two. Within this programme you will also regularly do an internship under the supervision of a teacher, and you will be supervised by an internship supervisor. During the training to become a chef, attention is paid to preparing dishes, preparing ingredients, cutting vegetables and managing the kitchen stock. In addition to the subject-specific courses, attention will usually also be paid to the subjects mathematics, Dutch and English. A further education as a chef can be the Mbo training independently working cook, where even deeper will be discussed on the hospitality profession. In addition, there are also plenty of external training institutes where you can follow a course. Accounting is also important as an entrepreneur.
COMPANIES WHERE A COOK CAN BE EMPLOYED
As a cook you are of course working in a kitchen that exists in many ways, such as in a restaurant, nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, amusement parks, company buildings, shops or you work for a shipping company. As a chef you can work at many different types of companies and you certainly do not have to work in a restaurant. As a chef, it is also possible to work as an independent entrepreneur within your own restaurant, or, for example, to cook on location with, for example, your own catering company.
The most important competence of a chef is the all-round professional knowledge of ingredients, dishes, preparation method and techniques. Without sufficient professional knowledge, it is not possible to cook in a professional manner. In addition to the professional knowledge, it is important that you are well-versed in communication, because as a cook you regularly have to deal with guests. Other important competencies of a cook are being able to work cleanly and especially hygienically, because this is very important as a cook. In addition, as a cook it is very important that you are eager to learn and regularly follow extra training, because as a cook you are never really finished learning. Continuing to follow trends and gaining inspiration is then important as a cook. This is especially important when a cook works for the better restaurants. Because a cook is also responsible for making purchases, the cook will also have to have a commercial attitude. It is not the case that all chefs are automatically responsible for the purchases, because this can differ per organization. Generally important words for a cook are passion, motivation, energy, product knowledge, quality, performance, independence, collaboration, planning and control. Checking mainly relates to continuing to taste dishes in order to guarantee quality. If a cook works as an entrepreneur, a cook must also be able to be regarded as a networker.
LABOUR MARKET PERSPECTIVE AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AS A COOK
As a well-trained cook, finding chef vacancies and self-employed assignments is actually no problem at all. Those who have the right training will generally have no trouble finding work as a cook. A cook can also work for many different companies and institutions, so obtaining work is no problem at all. Most catering companies and institutions are eager for good cooks. The career opportunities of a cook must be seen in building up sufficient experience and knowledge, so that a cook can eventually grow into a chef. Becoming a chef is generally only possible if the cook also has managerial abilities. In other words, in that case, a cook must also be able to be regarded as a kind of manager. Starting your own business as a cook can also be seen as growing within your career. Starting your own business as a food truck entrepreneur is also possible. Blogging as a food blogger can also be one of the possibilities.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT AND SALARY COOK
The specific employment conditions as a cook can often differ per company, but in general the employment conditions for a cook are well arranged. Anyone who wants to work as a cook must realize that you are often at work when other people are free, such as in the evenings, weekends and during holidays. The salary as a cook can often differ in terms of age, years of service and responsibilities, but will usually be between 1700 and 2500 euros gross per month. In order to earn more as a cook, it is very important to work for the better restaurants or organizations, where you have a job with more responsibilities.
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