Chef Career Information

Chef Career Information

Lip – Smacking delicacies have been cooked by mothers for their families, since time immemorial. Mouth – watering food items have been dished up by traditional cooks on social occasions such as marriages and religious funtions. But gone are the days when cooking used to be a daily chore or was meant for special occasions only. Today, cooking is an art; a craft to be acquired, that would give one a competitive edge.

The culinary industry is growing by leaps and bounds giving rise to win a demand professional chefs, if one nurtures the desire to win a million hearts by serving people with good food, a career as a chief is the right answer. As chef, one will not get the opportunity to spice up palatable dishes but will also have an oppotunity to make a fortune by way of it. Cooking, these days, has stopped out of the traditional kitchen and become a high flying career as an important adjunct to fine living. It is no longer a habit with people to dine out only when the cook does turn up or hen one comes back late from office.

But dining out, and that too in style, has become a lifestyle statement – a status elevating activity. And one’s status is further heightened if the chef is a well known name. A chef is one who prepares food in a hotel, restaurant, fast food joint or catering establishment. Beside being the chief cook, a chef plans menus, orders foodstuff, oversees preparation and supervises the kitchen staff. As a chef, one ensures the good the good quality and palatable taste of the food prepared. Chef is of prime importance in ensuring that a restaurant, hotel etc, is flocked by customers since the business of a food outlet is directly determined by the quality an taste of the food prepared by it.

A chef needs to be knowledgeable about various kinds of food and cuisine as also the methods of preparing such food and cuisine. When one talks of celebrities, the names of Jiggs Kalra, Sajeev Kapoor, Rakesh Sethi And Manhur Jaffrey crop up. They have not only made names for themselves as celebrity chefs but have also elevated the art of cooking in to a high profile job that combines passion, money and fame in itself. Apart rom them, there are thousands of chefs who work in the kitchens of several establishments but never receive the limelight. The Chef Career Option today and many youngsters have decided to choose his as their career.

Eligibility for Chef Career Information :

One needs to pass class X examination in order to go in for a diploma course in food craft. In order to opt for a degree course in culinary arts, one should have completed 10+2 in any stream.

Aptitude

Love for good food is the foremost criterion, as far as aptitude is concerned. One should have an experimental bent of mind and should have the curiosity to know the chemistry of various food ingredients. One should be knowledgeable about different kinds of food and cuisine and how they are prepared. One also needs to have an aptitude for service and hospitality. And as in other professions, one should be an outgoing person and be able to work in a team. In a nutshell, one should combine the 3 qualities – the passion for cooking; the ability to work one’s heart and the ability to offer one’s service with a simile in onself.

Chef Courses in India :

One Year Certificate Programs in food production are offered by several Hotel management institutes offer 4 Year degree and three Year diploma courses across the country under the national council of hotel management and catering studies, apart from many private hotel management institutes. Diploma in food production; bakery and confectionery and food and beverage service are some of the courses available to one interested to make a career as a chef. Various apprenticeship Programs to train chefs are offered by the professional culinary institutes and industry associations. The government of India also runs twelve food craft institutes which offer several course in food craft.

Alternately, one can pursue a course in hotel management after the completion of 10+2, since the core completion covers subjects such as food production and food service also. Before taking admission, one should check the faculty of the institute and the placement records for the last 2 Years. Secondly, one should also prefer old and established institutes because prospective employers mostly recruit students from such institutes.

While one is still in a management institute, one should try to work for at least 4 – 5 hours on a weekly basis or on weekends in some hotel / restaurant. This will give one an edge over other students when one is out in the job market, since employers to those with some work experience give preference. One should be very clear and focused from the very beginning about one’s area of specification. Essentially, there are three areas of specification which one can take up cold kitchen; hot kitchen and bakery confectionary. The cold kitchen area consist of salads, cold meat, butter sculpture, vegetables, fruit carvings done with hand, etc, hot kitchen area include gravies, tandoories, roasting, grilling and sauces.

Pastries, cookies, etc, come under bakery and confectionery. It is always preferable to specialize in a particular cuisine like Chinese, continental or mughlai. The finer aspects one learns at this stage generally prove to be of great help in one’s career in the future.

After the completion of one’s training, one has to go through a definite hierarchy in order to become a chef. One has to start as a kitchen trainee and then take the various rungs of the ladder that lead to the position of executive chef. They are : comiss 3, comiss 2, comiss 1, demi – chef – de – partie, chef – de – partie, sous ( deputy ) chef, senior sous chef, executive sous chef and executive chef. One starts as comiss 3, after 2 Years become comiss 2 and 3 Years later, if one’s performance is up to the mark, one becomes comiss 1. Next higher stages are demi – chef – de – partie and chef – de – partie. As chef – de – partie one will be made in – charge of one section, like Chinese, French, Italians.

Continental, banquet, pastry or butchery. Sous chef or deputy chef is obviously second in commend and works directly under the executive chef. Here, one is responsible for the performance of everybody in a kitchen. This position brings more prestige and money. The sous chef’s ultimate dream is to become an executive chef.

An executive chef’s responsibilities include the supervision of all the kitchens, planning, organization, running and operations of the kitchens as well as coordination with other chains of hotel.

Chef Career Prospects :

A degree or a diploma certificate in food craft; food production; food and beverage service or bakery and confectionery opens up many employment avenues which are varied and interesting.

One can find job in hotels / restaurants, air catering, railway catering, army catering, food processing, companies, confectioneries, theme restaurants, malls, base kitchens, private hospitals like Apollo or max, cruise liners, corporate catering, etc, and the salaries are whopping. One can also become food writer like the noted chef Arvind Saraswate who has penned a cookery book titled the art of fine cuisine. One cans also one’s hand at teaching.

And, of course, one can become an entrepreneur by setting up one’s own business. With Indian food becoming a craze over seas, the demand for Indian chefs is fast on the rise. The UK itself is home to a large number of restaurants specializing Indian food. People are traveling more frequently now and are aware of different types of cuisine. 5 – 6 restaurants are run in most five star hotels. Large hotels have kitchen staff numbering more 100.

Now there are many economy hotels too, who employ chefs. Job opportunities are plenty in this sector.

Chef Career Remuneration :

Even though the pay scales may vary from place to place, the differences are not too many. As a traince chef, one can earn Rs.10000 to Rs.15000 per month. As one gains experience of around 10 Years, one can draw a salary of Rs.40000 to Rs.50000 in a five star deluxe hotel. when one reaches the top and becomes an executive chef one’s salary can be anything between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 2 lakh per month. According to the ITC’s latest annual report 1, the executive pastry chef at maurya Sheraton earns a gross remuneration of Rs.52 lakh plus while the Chinese chef at grand Maratha Sheraton gets a package of Rs.50 lakh.

It is a well – known fact that mostly, food habits are culturally determined, so one should be adaptable to the changing social order and food habits of people. Besides, as a chef, one must keep oneself abreast of the latest technologies and techniques of cooking. If one works sincerely and passionately in this field, the sky is ultimate limit.

Chef Career Information Study Centres :

Chennai
Kattankulathur Campus
Address :
SRM Nagar,
Kattankulathur - 603 203,
Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu,
Phone No. : +91-44-2745 2270 Extn: 7001,
Fax : +91-44-2745 2343.
Ramapuram Campus
Address : Bharathi Salai, Ramapuram,
Chennai - 600 089,
Phone No. : +91-44-2249 2882, +91-44-2249 2887,
Fax : +91-44-2249 1777.
Ramapuram Campus Extn Vadapalani Campus
Address : No.1, Jawaharlal Nehru Road,
( 100 feet Road, Near Vadapalani Signal ), Vadapalani,
Chennai - 600 026,
Phone No. : 044 - 23620776, 4396 9999.
Head Office Address : 3 Veerasamy Street,
West Mambalam,
Chennai - 600 033,
Phone No. : +91-44-2474 2836, +91-44-2474 7231
+91-44-2489 2621, +91-44-2489 3688,
Fax : +91-44-2474 8925
Delhi
Modinagar Campus
Address: SRM University, NCR Campus,
Delhi Meerut Road,
Pin Code - 201204,
Phone No. : +91 - 01232 - 234301, 302, 303, 304, 234312,
Fax : +91 - 01232 - 234309, 234310,
Email id :ao@srmimt.com

Chef Catering :

A chef is sure to get a foothold in the food industry within a catering establishment. Catering is a specialist area which includes not only the preparation of food in an organised manner. As a catering professional, one can work as :

  1. Restaurant Manager
  2. Pub Manager
  3. Caterer for Industries, Schools and Colleges
  4. Caterer for Hospitals
  5. Caterer for Marriages and Parties.
  6. Caterer for Railways, Cruise Liners and Airways.

The position of a chef is the most important in a catering team since preparation of good food is the most important work in a catering establishment. As a chef, one will be required to work in a team with mangers, attendants and delivery boys in a catering establishment.

One has to be performed with good administrative and organisational skills in order to get in to the catering industry. The minimum requirement for getting in to the catering industry is a degree / diploma in catering technology. Specialised courses in catering are offered by all institutes offering coures in hotel management. Some of these institutes also have placement schemes for their students.