Chef facts for kids

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Chefs in training in Paris

A chef is a person who cooks professionally. In a professional kitchen setting, the term is used only for the one person in charge of everyone else in the kitchen, the executive chef.

The chef is responsible for everything about the food in a restaurant. He is responsible for buying the food, hiring and supervising the kitchen workers, creating the menus for the customers, and deciding the recipes (the details of how the cooking is done).

Word history

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Chefs in training at chef school in Oxford, England

"Chef" (from Latin caput) is the abbreviated form of the French phrase chef de cuisine, the "chief" or "head" of a kitchen, but in English usage has come to mean any professional cook, regardless of rank. The title chef in the culinary profession originates from the roots of haute cuisine in the 19th century and it is in the English language translation that the term chef has become a term that describes function or skill over that of rank. Thus every cook is potentially referred to as a chef from the short-order chef as well as the chef in fine-dining.

Various chef titles

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A chef working with a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking

Below are various titles given to those working in a professional kitchen and each can be considered a title for a type of chef. Many of the titles are based on the brigade system (Brigade de cuisine) documented by Georges Auguste Escoffier, while others have a more general meaning depending on the kitchen in which one works. Not all restaurants will use these titles as each establishment may have its own set guidelines to organization. Specialized and hierarchal chef titles are usually found only in fine-dining, upscale restaurants; kitchen staff members at casual restaurants such as diners may be called chefs but are more often called "cook" or "short-order cook."

Executive chef

The Executive chef is in charge of everything related to the kitchen, including menu creation, staff management and business aspects. While the position requires extensive cooking experience and often involves actively cooking, it also involves a high level of management and business aspects of the kitchen. They can also be referred to as the "chef" or "head chef". Although "head chef" may seem redundant, the word "chef" has come to be applied to any cook, kitchen helper or fast food operator, making the distinction necessary.

Chef de Cuisine

Chef de Cuisine ("Head of the Kitchen") is a synonym for the title executive chef. This is the traditional French term from which the English word chef comes, and is more common in European kitchens or those American kitchens which use the classical French brigade system. In some establishments this title is used to designate a chef who is the head chef at one location of an operation that has multiple locations where the corporate chef has the title executive chef,/ ,;fbnkpwrjwegfbhjwefbhwefbhjiwefbhiwefajbasefbjsdfhkbasdkadfhaukh blah blah blah

Sous chef

The sous-chef de cuisine (Deputy-chef of the kitchen) is the direct assistant of the executive chef and is second in command. He or she may be responsible for scheduling, and filling in for the executive chef when he or she is off-duty. The Sous Chef will also fill in for or assist the chef de partie (line cooks) when needed. Smaller operations may not have a sous chef, while larger operations may have multiple. The term "sous-chef" is pronounced like the rare spelling "su chef".

Expediter or Announcer (Aboyeur)

The expediter takes the orders from the dining room and relays them to the stations in the kitchen. This person also often puts the finishing touches on the dish before it goes to the dining room. In some operations this task may be done by either the executive chef or the sous chef.

Chef de Partie

A chef de partie, also known as a "station chef" or "line cook", is in charge of a particular area of production. In large kitchens, each station chef might have several cooks and/or assistants. In most kitchens however, the station chef is the only worker in that department. Line cooks are often divided into a hierarchy of their own, starting with "First Cook", then "Second Cook", and so on as needed.

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