WOW!!! I just got through reading all the threads on this subject. I too have what I believe to be a true measure of the definition of Chef:
Kinda, sorta, tongue in cheek if you will:
“Thank you for applying….you want to be a cook huh?”
“No you say,….a chef?”
“Okay…I need to step out for a cup of coffee. Please read this, and if you’re still here when I get back…then we’ll talk.”
I hand the cocky applicant a couple of 3x5 index cards on which is typed the following:
Ok then, here’s the MINIMUM BASICS I expect you to know. Each of these skills you will be required to perform rapidly, under pressure, within a set time frame, in a team environment, with minimal supervision. You must work in a safe, organized, clean and sanitary fashion with little or no waste. These skills I expect you to perform with complete competence and understanding of proper techniques and procedure.
Ability to dice, slice, chop, julienne, carve, brunoise, peel, and turn standard fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
Knowledge of grading, butchering and cooking techniques of beef, pork, poultry, fish and shellfish.
Ability to bake, broil, boil, sauté, braise, blanch, grill, steam, stir-fry, and roast primary cuts of beef, fish, shellfish, pork, poultry and vegetables.
Know what can be baked, broiled, boiled, sautéed, braised, blanched, grilled, steamed, stir-fried or roasted…….and what can’t.
Know when a food is cooked enough.
Know when a food is cooked too much.
Know how long a food is to be cooked.
Knowledge of dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and pastas.
Stocks, demi’s, remi’s, fumes and glace. The how’s and why’s.
The 5 mother sauces and those that aren’t; purees, coulee’s, jus’s, essences, foams, etc…
Sanitation and hygiene: Safe temperature zones, holding times, cross contamination, basic food borne illnesses, receiving, and storage applications and pest control.
Knowledge of nutrition.
Full service, working experience of a la carte pantry, grill, sauté, and expedition.
Knowledge of salads.
Knowledge of salad dressings – vinaigrettes, and emulsions.
Ability to prepare steaks and roasts to desired doneness by internal temperature, time, and feel.
Service of hot food hot and cold food cold, and all that this implies.
Strong Garde Manger skills to include but not limited to hot and cold buffet/platter presentations, center piece art work, and hors d’ oeuvres.
Basic baking and pastry skills
Write, execute, and delegate mise en place and prep lists.
Menu development, costing, testing, training, set up and execution.
Read, create, write, calculate, adjust, and tweek recipes.
Knowledge of basic first aid.
Safely operate and maintain slicers, mixers, food processors, buffalo choppers, convection and conventional ovens, tilt kettles, flat tops, and steamers.
Interview, hire, train, evaluate, organize, lead, discipline, and motivate a staff of your peers.
Understanding of food costs, inventories, scheduling, payroll, P&L statements, marketing, ordering, and receiving.
Understanding of labor laws to include equal opportunity employment, workman’s comp, sexual harassment, and employee discipline and termination procedures.
“Let me ask you, did a book give you this knowledge?” “Yes…some” you say
“Did your 2 year associate of culinary arts degree give you this knowledge?” “Yes….some” you say.
“Great, please go over in detail your experience and expertise in each area I’ve listed that qualifies you for the chef’s position………..I thought so………….”
So ”endth” the rant!!! LOL Not to be taken too (cough) seriously.