Chefs are in charge of planning menus and overseeing the preparation and cooking of meals and desserts. They often work in restaurants, dining facilities or for catering businesses and private clients such as celebrities or public figures. Chefs are completely in charge of all of the kitchen staff and delegate tasks and responsibilities to others. They must also ensure that all of the tasks are completed properly and on time.

Duties and tasks

  • Cook food
  • Estimate costs involved with preparation of meals
  • Freeze and preserve food products
  • Hire staff
  • Monitor food preparation
  • Monitor plate presentation
  • Operate kitchen equipment
  • Oversee that the kitchen is kept sanitary
  • Plan menu
  • Prepare food
  • Purchase all ingredients and menu items
  • Solve any food preparation problems
  • Teach staff proper procedures

Skills required

  • Ability to create and develop new dishes and menus
  • Ability to maintain decorum in tense situations
  • Ability to manage several people
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to work with business owners to better the quality of food
  • Attention to detail
  • Exceptional time management skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of kitchen equipment and its operations
  • Knowledge of proper cooking procedures
  • Understanding the importance of proper sanitation

Working conditions

Chefs always work under stressful and chaotic conditions. They need to have all food prepared and cooked to perfection quickly as customers rarely wish to wait long for their meals. Chefs must also handle any complaints regarding the quality, preparation and cooking of menu items. Although the kitchen is climate controlled, it can be very hot.

Professional associations / Industry information

AgriFood Skills Australia
Australian Hotels Association
Baking Association of Australia
National Baking Industry Association
Restaurant and Catering
The Food, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Skills Advisory Council

Related jobs and job titles

  • Baker
  • Caterer
  • Chef de Cuisine
  • Chef de Partie
  • Commis Chef
  • Confectioner
  • Cook
  • Demi Chef de Partie
  • Fast Food Cook
  • Pastry Chef
  • Patissier