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Encyclopedia > Chef
Chefs in training in Paris
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. Chef may have the following meanings: A Chef is a person who cooks professionally. ... Image File history File links Cooks_050918_154402. ... Image File history File links Cooks_050918_154402. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... Cooking is the act of preparing food. ...


Word history

"Chef" (from Latin caput) is the abbreviated form of the French phrase chef de cuisine, the "chief" or "head" of a kitchen. The title chef in the culinary profession originates from the roots of haute cuisine in the 19th century. English use of the word chef has become a term that is sometimes used to mean any professional cook, regardless of rank. For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... A kitchen is a room used for food preparation and sometimes entertainment. ... The original pronunciation was CÅ«linary. As the english language progresses, the accepted pronunciation of the word is CÅ­linary. The culinary profession is cooking as a profession, i. ... Haute cuisine (literally high cooking in French) or grande cuisine refers to the cooking of the grand restaurants and hotels of the western world. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

Various chef titles

An American chef

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 individual kitchen. 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 are more often called "cook" or "short-order cook."[1] Brigade de cuisine is the term used to describe the hierarchy of the apprentice system in a professional kitchen. ... Georges Auguste Escoffier (October 28, 1846 (?)-February 12, 1935) was a French chef, restaurateur and culinary writer who popularized and updated traditional French cooking methods. ... For other uses, see Restaurant (disambiguation). ... Look up diner in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

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.[2] For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...

Sous chef

The sous-chef de cuisine (under-chef of the kitchen) is the direct assistant of the executive chef and is second in command. They may be responsible for scheduling, and filling in when the executive chef 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.[2]

Expediter (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.[3] The dining room at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, England A dining room is a room for consuming food. ...

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. Cooks in training in Paris Chef is a term commonly used to refer to an individual who cooks professionally. ...

Station chef titles which are part of the brigade system include-[4]
Sauté Chef (Saucier) [sos.je] - Responsible for all sautéed items and their sauce. This is usually the highest position of all the stations.
Fish Chef (Poissonier) [pwɑ.so.ɲe] - Prepares fish dishes and often does all fish butchering as well as appropriate sauces. This station may be combined with the saucier position.
Roast Chef (Rotisseur) [ʀo.ti.sœʀ] - Prepares roasted and braised meats and their appropriate sauce.
Grill Chef (Grillardin) [gʀi.jaʀ.dɛ̃] - Prepares all grilled foods, this position may be combined with the rotisseur.
Fry Chef (Friturier) [fʀi.ty.ʀje] - Prepares all fried items, position may be combined with the rotisseur position.
Vegetable Chef (Entremetier) [ã.tʀə.me.tje] - Prepares hot appetizers and often prepares the soups, vegetables, pastas and starches. In a full brigade system a potager would prepare soups and a legumier would prepare vegetables.
Roundsman (Tournant) [tuʀ.nã] - Also referred to as a swing cook, fills in as needed on station in kitchen.
Pantry Chef (Garde Manger) [gaʀd mã.ʒe] They are responsible for preparing cold foods, including salads, cold appetizers, pâtés and other charcuterie items.
Butcher (Boucher) [bu.ʃe] - Butchers meats, poultry and sometimes fish. May also be responsible for breading meats and fish.
Pastry Chef (Pâtissier) [pa.ti.sje] - Prepare baked goods, pastries and desserts. In larger establishments, the pastry chef often supervises a separate team in their own kitchen or separate shop.

A Sauciér (so-see-ay) is a position in the classical brigade style kitchen, which is still used in large commercial kitchens such as some restaurants. ... Roast is a term used in a number of contexts. ... Braising, not to be confused with Brazing, is cooking with moist heat, typically in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid. ... For other uses, see Meat (disambiguation). ... Grill or grills may refer to: In food: Grill (cooking), a device or surface used for cooking food, usually fueled by gas or charcoal. ... Crudités variés, a typical hors d’œuvre in French cuisine Hors d’œuvre in Bosnian cuisine Hors d’œuvre, (IPA: French but often in English as ; French plural: hors d’œuvre, without an extra s; English plural often hors d’œuvres), also known as appetizer(s), refer to... For other uses, see Vegetable (disambiguation). ... Garde manger, a French term for pantry, refers to the task of preparing and presenting cold foods for banquets and buffets. ... This article deals with food. ... Crudités variés, a typical hors d’œuvre in French cuisine Hors d’œuvre in Bosnian cuisine Hors d’œuvre, (IPA: French but often in English as ; French plural: hors d’œuvre, without an extra s; English plural often hors d’œuvres), also known as appetizer(s), refer to... Various pâtés and terrines Salmon terrine, with a cream and herb sauce A slice of Bloc de foie gras Pâté (French pronunciation: ; RP pronunciation: ; General American pronunciation ) is a form of spreadable paste, usually made from meat (although vegetarian variants exist), and often served with toast as... Charcuterie (from either the French chair cuite, cooked meat, or the French cuiseur de chair, cooker of meat) is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as sausage and confit primarily from pork. ... Butcher shop in Valencia A butcher is someone who prepares various meats and other related goods for sale. ... Butcher shop in Valencia A butcher is someone who prepares various meats and other related goods for sale. ... Butcher shop in Valencia A butcher is someone who prepares various meats and other related goods for sale. ... Ducks amongst other poultry The Poultry-dealer, after Cesare Vecellio Poultry is the category of domesticated birds kept for meat, eggs, and feathers. ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Meat (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... A pastry chef or pâtissier is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, and other baked goods. ... A pastry chef or pâtissier is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, and other baked goods. ... A pastry chef or pâtissier is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, and other baked goods. ...

Commis Chef

A Commis Chef is an apprentice in larger kitchens that works under a chef de partie or station chef in order to learn the station's responsibilities and operation.[3] They are Chefs who have recently completed formal Culinary training or are still undergoing training. [5]

In Europe, the training period for a Chef is generally four years. Thus a Commis would have 4 levels: 1st year Commis, 2nd year Commis, and so on. The rate of pay is usually in accordance with their training status.

Commis Chefs are usually placed in sections of the Kitchen (eg. the Starter/entrée section) under the guidance of a Chef de Partie and are given relatively basic tasks. Ideally, over time, a Commis will spend a certain period in each section of the Kitchen to learn the basics. Unaided, a Commis will also very often work on the Vegetable section of a kitchen.[6]

The usual formal training period for a Chef at the start of his/her career is two years in Catering College and will spend the Summer seasons in work placements. In some cases, this is modified to 'day-release' courses, whereby a Chef will work full-time in a Kitchen as an apprentice and then would attend Catering College on days off. These courses can last between 1 and 3 years.

Once the Chef has completed the fourth year in training, they would usually move up to Demi-Chef de Partie or Chef de Partie. [7]

Kitchen assistants

Kitchen assistants are usually kitchen workers who assist with basic tasks, but have had no formal training in cooking. Tasks could include peeling potatoes or washing salad for example. Smaller kitchens more commonly have kitchen assistants who would be assigned a wide variety of tasks (including washing up) in order to keep costs down.[3]

A communard would be in charge of preparing the meal for the staff during a shift. This meal is often referred to as staff or family meal.[3]

The escuelerie or dishwasher, (from 15th century French) is the keeper of dishes, having charge of dishes and keeping the kitchen clean. A common humorous title for this role in some modern kitchens is, Chef de Plúnge.


The standard uniform for a Chef is as follows: hat, necktie, double-breasted jacket, apron, checked trousers and steel-toe capped shoes or clogs. The colour is classically white, but other colours can be used.[8][9]

A Chef's hat (toque) is tall to allow for the circulation of air above the head and also provides an outlet for heat. The hat will also usually assist in the prevention of sweat dripping down the face. Skullcaps are now becoming more popular however as the traditional tall hats can be both unwieldy and uncomfortable.

Neckties were originally worn to allow for the mopping of sweat from the face, but as this is now against health and safety regulations (due to hygiene), they are largely decorative.[10]

The jacket is usually white to repel heat and double-breasted to prevent serious injuries from burns and scalds.

An apron is worn to just below knee-length also to assist in the prevention of burns due to spillage. The safety aspect of this being that if hot liquid is spilled onto the apron, it can be quickly removed to minimise burns and scalds.

Shoes and Clogs are hard wearing and with a steel-top cap to prevent injury from falling objects or knives.

According to hygiene regulations, jewellery is not allowed apart from plain wedding bands.

See also

Established in 1929, the American Culinary Federation (ACF) is the largest professional chefs organization in North America. ... The World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), is a global network of chefs associations first founded in October 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris. ... The IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) is a non-profit professional association whose members work in culinary education, communication, or the preparation of food and beverage. ... Culinary art is the art of cooking. ...


  1. ^ Dellanno
  2. ^ a b McBride, 8.
  3. ^ a b c d McBride, 9.
  4. ^ McBride, 8-9
  5. ^ [1]bbc.co.uk/food
  6. ^ [2]learndirect.co.uk - chef training options
  7. ^ [3]info on kitchen hierarchy
  8. ^ [4]content4reprint.com - importance of uniform cleanliness
  9. ^ [5]sunculinary.com - chef jackets designs and colours
  10. ^ [6]chefolio.com


External links



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