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Well rounded chef

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hay guys, names Luke I'm 23 and a qualified cook. Ive worked in country pubs, busy cafes, fine dining Italian restaurants, artisan Italian pasta bars, casual up market dining and hotels. Most of my training is Italian after i did the first 2 years of a very dodgy learn nothing despite my enthusiasm bull**** apprenticeship. but now Ive busted my b***s I'm running a small outlet under an exec chef who is not in kitchen. but enough bull****. my question to the world of you sick twisted no sleep workaholic bastards is this.

 

to truly be a well rounded chef do it all or at least have a f***ing clue, what should you know.

 

all stocks, french sauces?

pastry?

fish?

butchery?

deserts?

Indian?

Chinese?

Italian?

french?

Japanese?

Thai?

Vietnamese?

Greek?

 

what do you think u would need to know to survive any situation in any kitchen???

post #2 of 14

You can never know enough. Having said that, however, you will cover a lot of ground with classic French, Mediterranean and a basic understanding of Asian cooking. Unless you end up working in an Asian restaurant... ;-)
 

post #3 of 14

IMHO, once you understand the fundamentals you can pick up the nuances of a specific cuisine fairly rapidly.

 

For me, the critical criteria for a "well rounded Chef" are:

  • Organizational skills
  • Personnel management skills
  • Financial management skills (inventory, food costing, etc.)
  • Training and educational skills

 

in addition to a firm understanding of culinary fundamentals.

 

A "well rounded Chef" is management, not production, s/he knows what needs to be done when and in what manner and sees to it that it gets done. Someone else does it.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

IMHO, once you understand the fundamentals you can pick up the nuances of a specific cuisine fairly rapidly.

 

For me, the critical criteria for a "well rounded Chef" are:

  • Organizational skills
  • Personnel management skills
  • Financial management skills (inventory, food costing, etc.)
  • Training and educational skills

 

in addition to a firm understanding of culinary fundamentals.

 

A "well rounded Chef" is management, not production, s/he knows what needs to be done when and in what manner and sees to it that it gets done. Someone else does it.


Pete, that's if you work in a larger kitchen/organisation. In my place I have to have all those skills/fundamentals and do most jobs myself, including production.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Recky View Post


Pete, that's if you work in a larger kitchen/organisation. In my place I have to have all those skills/fundamentals and do most jobs myself, including production.

My apologies, I did NOT mean to infer that a Chef does nothing production-wise, just that the primary task of a Chef is to see to it that it gets done!

 

Sometimes, probably more than many would like, that means doing it as well.

 

My intent was to illustrate that a "well rounded chef" should know FAR more than culinary, laser.gifotherwise one is nothing more than a "well rounded cook" crazy.gif

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #6 of 14

First thing a well rounded chef learns is, there are all kinds of people coming into a public forum. It could be Sister Mary, Joe the bartender, an 8 yr old wanting to be a chef when he/she grows up. If the Chef is well rounded, they learn respect for others by posting something everyone can enjoy.

 

This isn't how a well rounded Chef asks a question.......Lesson 2 after you fix lesson 1..................ChefBillyB

 

 

to truly be a well rounded chef do it all or at least have a f---ing clue, what should you know.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

 

My intent was to illustrate that a "well rounded chef" should know FAR more than culinary, laser.gifotherwise one is nothing more than a "well rounded cook" crazy.gif

I wholeheartedly agree!

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

IMHO, once you understand the fundamentals you can pick up the nuances of a specific cuisine fairly rapidly.

 

For me, the critical criteria for a "well rounded Chef" are:

  • Organizational skills
  • Personnel management skills
  • Financial management skills (inventory, food costing, etc.)
  • Training and educational skills

 

in addition to a firm understanding of culinary fundamentals.

 

A "well rounded Chef" is management, not production, s/he knows what needs to be done when and in what manner and sees to it that it gets done. Someone else does it.

Amen. I've run plenty of small kitchens. Nothing different there. Sure, you are the one doing most the production work, but doing that work isn't your main focus. It's really the easy part of the job.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post

IMHO, once you understand the fundamentals you can pick up the nuances of a specific cuisine fairly rapidly.

 

For me, the critical criteria for a "well rounded Chef" are:

  • Organizational skills
  • Personnel management skills
  • Financial management skills (inventory, food costing, etc.)
  • Training and educational skills

 

in addition to a firm understanding of culinary fundamentals.

 

A "well rounded Chef" is management, not production, s/he knows what needs to be done when and in what manner and sees to it that it gets done. Someone else does it.

I totally agree, along with fundamental culinary knowledge, possessing these criteria will absolutely help you go far. The production aspect of it, whether you are doing it yourself or have your staff doing it, still requires strong organizational skills. Being able to efficiently manage your time as well as the time of others is a strong skill to have.

post #10 of 14

I am a culinary school graduate, a restaurant manager, and a fairly experienced cook, and I don't personally feel like I will ever know enough to be at a satisfying point.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

did not really answer my question but interesting feedback. thanx guys

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Madden View Post

did not really answer my question but interesting feedback. thanx guys

OK, now I'm puzzled, I read your question as what does a well rounded chef need to know. Was I incorrect?

 

Perhaps you meant a journeyman cook who was able to work in any kitchen, sort of like a jack of all cuisines?

 

As many of the answers posited, a chef needs to know FAR more than cuisines and, in fact, needs to understand only the cuisine(s) that s/he is in charge of at the time.

 

Of course, if a chef wants to be able to "jump ship" for a sudden opportunity, then a wide ranging knowledge of cuisines may be an asset.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Madden View Post

Hay guys, names Luke I'm 23 and a qualified cook. Ive worked in country pubs, busy cafes, fine dining Italian restaurants, artisan Italian pasta bars, casual up market dining and hotels. Most of my training is Italian after i did the first 2 years of a very dodgy learn nothing despite my enthusiasm bull**** apprenticeship. but now Ive busted my b***s I'm running a small outlet under an exec chef who is not in kitchen. but enough bull****. my question to the world of you sick twisted no sleep workaholic bastards is this.

 

to truly be a well rounded chef do it all or at least have a f***ing clue, what should you know.

 

all stocks, french sauces?

pastry?

fish?

butchery?

deserts?

Indian?

Chinese?

Italian?

french?

Japanese?

Thai?

Vietnamese?

Greek?

 

what do you think u would need to know to survive any situation in any kitchen???

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefamerica View Post


As many of the replies said. A well rounded chef should very well know the basic skills and techniques, not only to execute dishes and recipes but to teach your staff to as well, and be able to answer any questions. As far as cuisine goes you should have a good arsenal of recipes from over the years in which will be helpful. All in all knowledge is everything and it takes time and patience to get there, relax take your time to look at the small things try new recipes from different regions and countries before you know it you'll be there!
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