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Work in Culinary Management
Cooks and chefs plan menus and prepare food for restaurants, cafeterias, lunchrooms,
hotels and other places that serve food. Their specific duties vary depending on the
type and size of the establishment for which they work. Whether working in an elegant
French restaurant or an elementary school, cooks must take pride in their work and
aim to please their customers.
Most kitchens are air-conditioned, have convenient work areas and modern equipment and are well organized. Despite these conveniences, cooks and chefs require stamina and physical strength. They work near hot ovens, grills and ranges in a very noisy and chaotic environment. Cooks stand most of the time, and they must have the strength to lift heavy pots and kettles. Cooks and chefs typically work 40 to 48 hours per week, including nights, weekends and holidays.
Applied mathematics skills are needed in this field. Chefs must work with budgets, order food, supplies and equipment, and convert recipes, plus manage food costs.
Cooks and chefs must be able to work under pressure during rush hours. They should enjoy working as part of a team and be able to organize and direct the kitchen staff effectively. Head cooks and chefs work with little or no supervision; other kitchen helpers work under their direction.