HOW TO BECOME A CHEF

In order to start off as a trainee/apprentice chef you do not need to have any formal qualifications. However, one of the most important qualifications that you will need is a Basic Food Hygiene Certificate. Please see the following page for more information.

We recommend that you set your standards high right from the word go. Try, if possible, to work in top kitchens and restaurants. The amount of experience you will gain from this will be invaluable and it will also prevent you from picking up any bad habits.

Obtaining the CIEH Foundation Certificate in Food Hygiene will ensure that you meet the training requirements of the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 and that you are fully conversant with the practical procedures and methods of applying food hygiene in the workplace.

In order to obtain the certificate you will need to pass a course which usually lasts for approximately 6 hours. This is followed by a multiple-choice question paper consisting of thirty questions. In order to successfully be awarded the CIEH Foundation Certificate in Food Hygiene you will need to score at least 20 correct answers.

The Course Content

Introduction to food safety, the first principles , microbiology and illness, bacteria, how bacteria multiply, high risk food, contamination and prevention of illness, temperature control, preparing and presenting food, spoilage and preservation, delivery and storage, personal hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, food pests, premises and equipment, food safety control.

Please click here for a list of accredited organisations/bodies who are able to provide Certificate in Food Hygiene Training. Please note that we are not responsible for the content of external websites.

FURTHER FOOD HYGIENE QUALIFICATIONS
Once you have obtained your Food Hygiene Certificate you may decide to obtain further training throughout your career. Here is a list of further qualifications that you may wish to obtain:

Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering
This new award is aimed at anyone wishing to gain a basic understanding about safety relating to food preparation and handling within the catering and hospitality sector. It may also be appropriate for people whose work requires them to enter food premises e.g. equipment maintenance engineers and off-site business owners/managers.

Intermediate Certificate in Food Safety
This Level 2 qualification is designed principally for those who are, or intend to be, supervisors and potential managers of food handlers.

Advanced Certificate in Food Safety
This Level 3 qualification is designed principally for those who are senior staff and managers of food handlers in a food business.

GETTING TO KNOW THE BASICS

Before you become a chef it would be a good idea to understand how a kitchen operates and how it is structured.

Dependant upon the standard of kitchen you work in, most of the more professional ones have a very structured approach that depends upon the size of the kitchen and the number of people who work there.

Here are some of the people whom you will find working in a larger sized kitchen:

AIDES These are basically trainees and are the new people in the kitchen. Most people start off as an aide and this is a great way to start your career as a chef.

COMMIS DE CHEF
A commis chef is basically a newly qualified chef. He or she will work under the chef de partie and they will learn the basic in terms of food preparation etc.

CHEF DE PARTIE
Responsibilities of the chef de partie include cooking, running a small section of the kitchen, food preparation and also ensuring that the food goes out on time.

SOUS CHEF
The sous chef will work very closely to the head chef and they will carry out any job that the head chef requires them to.

HEAD CHEF/CHEF DE CUISINE
The head chef is basically the boss of the kitchen. As previously stated they will have the responsibility for hiring the staff and also firing them if required! They will also create the menus, deal with the suppliers and manage the budget if required.

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