Culinary Arts. So you Want to Become A Chef? The Hospitality Actor. Welcome!. Colors Test Kitchen Confidential. Can you Handle the Truth? I think you can…it all starts with a memory.
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Culinary Arts So you Want to Become A Chef? The Hospitality Actor
Welcome! • Colors Test • Kitchen Confidential
Can you Handle the Truth? I think you can…it all starts with a memory
The culinary profession has existed since time immemorial catering to man's taste buds and his appetite for good food. With the growth of the hospitality industry worldwide, prospects for chefs have risen manifold. • The hotel industry is unarguably the largest employer of chefs with F&B (food and beverage) as the biggest department within the industry. • Besides, the shipping and airlines industry, hospitals and institutions also have a lot to offer to culinary professionals.
However not so long ago, few wanted to join the profession, says chef Arun K Agarwal, Principal, Welcomgroup Management Institute, • "Good families would never imagine their child to be a part of the hotel industry, leave aside being a chef. Not much prestige was associated with the profession.'' Now, he adds, "The profession has got more recognition with the passage of time.''
What does it take to become a good chef? • The term 'chef' in French means boss. In the hotel industry, a chef is the boss of all the cooks. Beside the prerequisite culinary skills and taste for good food, a chef should possess management skills. • In other words, a chef is a production manager of kitchen/ hotel who should understand the market needs. • Dedication, focused vision, creativity, hard-work, dignity for labor and interpersonal skills are required in the profession as much as in any other job.
The crawl up… by Anthony Bourdain • If I may quote right from the book as the good chef describes himself during his post high school days..."I was a spoiled, miserable, narcissistic, self-destructive and thoughtless young lout, and badly in need of a good ass-kicking". And then it started to go downhill from there (my words).
Entry Level • With a proper blend of culinary and administrative skills, one can climb very high in the profession. • Five-star hotels in general follow a hierarchy, which is as follows: Apprentice, Commis (cook)-3, Commis-2, Commis-1, Chef de Partie (section in charge), Second Sous Chef, Executive Sous Chef (operation in charge) and Chef de Cuisine or Executive Chef (manager of food operations). • One can join the industry either after completion of school as an apprentice in a restaurant/hotel or acquire a professional qualification from a reputed hotel management institution and join a good hotel chain at a higher position. • "Though the 'Jack of all trade' concept does help a chef to keep oneself in good standing; • in the long run, specialization in a regional cuisine is important,'' believes Suman Roy, a chef de partie at Marriott's Marco Island Resort, Florida. Agarwal adds, "Specialization gives authenticity to a regional cuisine. For instance, Thai food prepared by a Thai chef appears more authentic than when prepared by an American.''
The most common route nowadays is to acquire professional qualification and then join a good hotel chain as kitchen trainee. Another route is to join as an apprentice after completion of school education. • One can climb up the hierarchy with adequate experience. • With further experience, a chef can start his own catering establishment and restaurant.
What are the prospects for fresh graduates from hospitality/culinary institutes? The courses at these institutes does not allow students to specialize. They train students in general aspects of hospitality / culinary management. Students have to decide which section of the industry would they like to join. Accordingly, they participate in training programs in various hotels. Most of the hotels have a kitchen management training designed for aspirant chefs.
?? One of the things that you hear is that the young culinary students have totally altered their expectations of the business, and have gone from food to celebrity, and by definition have become less effective as employees. AB: First let me say that I would hire an experienced dishwasher over a culinary school graduate, and I don't say this disrespectfully. I was a culinary student myself, and I had to find out the hard way what this business is really about. The schools are great, but you have to experience the real world before you have any shot of becoming successful in this business. I always recommend to anyone interested in the restaurant industry to spend six months as a dishwasher. It will tell you all you need to know. Chef Bourdain on Dishwashing…
?? You just introduced the subject of labor, and maybe the answer is to entice the culinary students to spend some important time doing things like washing dishes. AB: The truth is that there is no such thing as an American dishwasher. The American mentality is such that most of the critical restaurant jobs are beneath them-but believe me no job is. You will do them. Better to do them when everyone is happy then when everyone is throwing knives at you. It is about respect. Chef Bourdain on respect…
RR: On another subject, talk to me about the conflicts in terms of the back of the house vs. the front of the house. How serious is this problem as you see it? AB: This conflict that you call it is very much overblown. I'm not suggesting that are no problems, because there are. This business can get crazy, and during the heat of battle people are screaming at each other, and the chaos of the kitchen can result in conflicts. The back of the house sees the front of the house making too much money, and all too often, working conditions in the kitchen make them all the more resentful. I can see it when the cooks hold the power over the waitstaff, yet I still see the cooks and the waiters leaving work hanging out together, and I believe that a restaurant is really a team concept and everyone has to work together to make it successful. For the most part, they do work together surprisingly well. Chef Bourdain on the BOH VS FOH
Growth ProjectionsThe National Picture • In the 2002 Industry At- A- Glance- National Statistics from the National Restaurant Association, it was reported that there would be 11.6 million employees in the restaurant industry and the industry is the largest employer besides the government. These estimates include average growth rates of the categories of Chefs and Bakers at 12.7% and 18.6% respectively. These two categories are listed as the highest amongst the Culinary Arts industry. The National Restaurant Association also reported that the restaurant industry would see another million jobs open in the next seven years and will experience sales that are expected to reach $426.1 billion in 2003 (2002/2003 Statistical Report). • Among the areas of growth within the industry the categories of Catering, Hospitals and Institutional Feeding, College and Universities and Retails outlets are expected to have the most dramatic growth.
The Local Picture • In the Austin area there are: 101 Bakery Outlets, 217 Retail Grocers, 1,444 Restaurants and 145 Caterers (source Smartpages.com). • Austin’s rapid growth in the workforce has created a demand for culinary professionals, including Baking and Pastry Chefs. In addition having a specialized degree has become more of a prerequisite.This demand gives ACC a great opportunity to provide individuals with what the industry is looking for, and will soon run short of. Providing trained chefs to the Austin area will benefit the Culinary Industry, and in return help the local economy. • The Bureau of Labor Statistics says, “By 2005, the demand for trained chefs in the United States will exceed the supply”.
Wages and Compensation In 1998 the U.S. Census reported that annual incomes are greatly affected according to the level of an individual’s education. The results were as follows; High school graduate’s annual income $28,307 College graduate with an Associate’s Degrees annual income $36,392 College graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree annual income $50,056 In the 2001 Compensation for Salaried Personnel in Restaurantsconducted by the National Restaurant Association, among Chef positions, the median base salary for the Executive Chef is $48,000; for a Chef, $35,000; for a Sous Chef, $30,000; and for a Pastry Chef, $30,000. These positions require more often than not, a minimum of an Associates Degree, experience and certification by the American Culinary Federation. • In comparison to the average hourly wage of $7.00 / hour (Texas Restaurant Association, 2003 Labor Statistics) for a line position it is apparent that the pursuit of higher education in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management areas are necessary.
The ACF • The American Culinary Federation, Inc., a professional, not-for-profit organization for chefs, was founded in 1929 in New York City by three chefs' organizations: the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, The Vatel Club and The Chefs Association of America. The principal goal of the founding chefs remains true to the ACF today - to promote a professional image of the American chef worldwide through education among culinarians at all levels, from apprentices to the most accomplished certified master chefs of the culinary arts.
The Certifications • Certified Master Chef (CMC), • Certified Master Pastry Chef (CMPC), • Certified Executive Chef (CEC), • Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC), • Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA), • Certified Culinary Educator (CCE), • Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC), • Personal Certified Executive Chef (PCEC), • Certified Secondary Culinary Educator (CSCE), • Certified Working Pastry Chef (CWPC), • Certified Sous Chef (CSC), • Personal Certified Chef (PCC), • Certified Culinarian (CC) or Certified Pastry Culinarian (CPC)
Education + Occupation = Certification • Former National Certification Chair, Roland Henin, CMC, CCE, AAC, once offered some very useful advice for getting your ducks in a row for certification. Basically, you should obtain a large sturdy envelope and mark it "Certification." Put your all of your documents in this envelope and then store it in a safe dry place far away from any foreseeable disaster. This is probably the best beginning step in the certification process!
THE TESTThere is a specific test for each level of certification. The test is mandatory. Begin to study for the test as far in advance as possible. To assist you, outlines for each level specific test are available from the national office and you can also find them on our website at: www.acfchefs.org. These outlines will give you a good idea of what subjects are covered in each test, the number of questions and the books from which the questions are taken.
THE MANDATORY COURSES • Every certification applicant must clearly document a minimum of thirty classroom hours (or approximately 2 college credits) for Sanitation, Nutrition and Supervisory Management. These can be taken during an apprenticeship or culinary program or separately by attending classes or taking correspondence courses. The classes should be no older than ten years from the actual date they were taken. Once they have gone past that time frame, a refresher class, eight hours minimum, must be taken. Both the original thirty hour class and the refresher must be documented with COPIES of letters, certificates or transcripts. • Education points, other than the mandatory classes, are basically anything that will assist you in your job or enhance your career. The basic rule of thumb is every six hours of class time equals one education point. Most college credits are equal to 15 classroom hours. The simple formula for converting college credits to education points is number of credits times 15 divided by six. (e.g 2 credits X 15 hours = 30 contact hours / 6 = 5 ACF education points).
WORK EXPERIENCE Some hard and fast guidelines: • Every job must be at least one full year in length. • Only one full time job may be used in any one time frame. • All work experience must be clearly documented. • All statements of work experience must be accurate and verifiable.
Apprenticeship • If accepted into an apprenticeship program, students will be required to: • pay an ACF enrollment fee of $110 which includes apprentice identification card, apprenticeship pin, Training Log (Cook or Pastry Cook), The Art and Science of Culinary Preparation (required text) and the Study Guide to The Art and Science of Culinary Preparation. • to join ACF as a Junior Member which includes the National Culinary Review (monthly subscription), Center of the Plate (national newsletter), and Chapter affiliation. • complete three years of full-time work (6,000 hours) of on-the-job training in a foodservice kitchen under a qualified chef. • complete a minimum of 192 classroom hours per year in addition to their work schedule. Technical courses are usually taken at a community college working in partnership with the Chapter. Tuition fees are established by the school. • What is an internship?
What will I be? • Culinarian • An entry level culinary professional positioned of any one station in a foodservice operation, responsible to prepare and cook sauces, cold foods, fish, soups and stocks, meats, vegetables, eggs and other food items. Possesses a basic knowledge of food safety and sanitation, culinary nutrition and supervisory management. • Must be a Junior Member of the ACF National • Basic Culinarian and AAS in Culinary Arts – fulfills “points” requirements
What I learned • You will never be a Chef? Even Chefs are never chefs • It comes from very deep • It is very hard, not rocket science, but sometimes I wish it was • You must remember why you got there, how you got there, who got you there, and who wants you out • You are never liked, never loved-the best jump from scum to icon • Even *&$_(#!!!! are admired as long as they tell the truth • You have to earn respect. No ONE is beneath you. You can be replaced and you will. • Respect the jacket, title, and art. People died to get you here • If you don’t feel pain, you are not doing it right
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