Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A chef (also executive chef or chef de cuisine), from the French for chief or head person, is the executive in charge of a kitchen, responsible for recipe and menu creation, staff training, and overseeing all cooking. A chef directs the staff of cooks, bakers, butchers, and everyone else involved in the preparation of food. The duties of chefs are to plan the menu, determine the price and how much it will cost to make the dish. Cooks and chefs are on their feet throughout their work day, and during mealtimes must work under pressure. They face such hazards as cuts and burns, and may be exposed to oily mists, dusts, fumes, and smoke.
Almost all establishments that prepare large amounts of food, such as restaurants and hotels, employ a chef to run the cooking operation. Chefs normally are trained by an apprentice system, wherein they spend time during the beginning of their career doing all the jobs involved in food preparation, eventually gaining the experience needed to become a chef. Additionally, culinary schools for the training of chefs have been established in the major cuisine centers of the world, such as Paris, San Francisco, New York, and Tokyo. Graduating apprentices are often hired by the restaurant in which they have completed their training. There are also college and high school programs available for cooks and chefs.
The word chef is a shortened form of chef de cuisine (head of kitchen). In French, chef is generally used in the sense of boss, a fact which may lead to misunderstandings. The same goes to say about the related term sous chef (pronounced "soo-sheff"): it usually means the number 2 chef in the kitchen hierarchy – the direct executive assistant of the head chef but in large establishments in English-speaking countries, the title may be given to any of several assistant chefs and it occasionally describes a line cook or a – possibly entirely untrained – kitchen aide. Recently the term marmiton has emerged to represent an amateur chef or foodie, a person of non-formal training that has superior culinary skills to that of cooks, homemakers, or general lay people. The international association of amateur chefs, Les Marmiton, has seven organizations in five countries. Each organization is limited to 100 individuals, and membership is much prized.
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