Master chefs typically study culinary arts, business, or communication. We found them by analyzing 252 kitchen teacher curriculums to investigate the topic of teacher chef education with greater precision. A chef can choose from a variety of professional careers, such as personal chef, hotel chef, restaurant chef or private chef for a corporate client. Some chefs even own and manage their own restaurants.
In large kitchens, the head chef has the main management responsibilities, from menu planning to inventory control and staff supervision. A chef's professional preparation also varies, but it typically includes hands-on experience, often combined with formal education. Many chefs learn their skills through hands-on training in restaurants or other kitchens. Some start out as dishwashers or other support staff, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, while others start as cooks.
Becoming a chef through experience alone takes many years. Restaurants often ask their experienced chefs to advise and train other chefs and head cooks. Formal apprentice training programs for chefs often combine practical experience in the kitchen with work in class. The Department of Labor, labor unions, cooking schools, and the American Culinary Federation sponsor these training programs.
For example, the ACF offers a selection of internships that last 1000 hours, 4000 hours or 6000 hours, in addition to a hybrid program that includes in-class study. The 4,000-hour learning takes two years to complete. Secondary and post-secondary programs across the country have been accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). The curriculum usually includes instructions on sanitation, menu planning and inventory control, as well as practical classes and outplacement experience or internships.
Chefs can improve their qualifications and opportunities for advancement by becoming certified by the American Culinary Federation. The ACF has 15 different levels of certification, including entry-level certified culinary and high-level certified master chef. Other designations certify specialists such as personal chefs, pastry chefs and culinary managers. Certification requirements include education and experience, depending on the particular certificate.
The experience needed ranges from six months to five years. The French Brigade system was originally used to make the kitchen work in the best possible way. Typical roles start at the top with the executive chef, followed by the subchef and then that of senior chef. Other chefs may be solely responsible for an aspect of the menu, such as grilled foods, sauces, fried foods, or fish.
The instructors in these programs are certified chefs and certified bakers who will work closely with you as you progress through the program. Whether as an assistant or starting chef, with your experience and networking opportunities, you can land your first chef job. Depending on their professional goals, chefs can be certified by the American Culinary Federation as executive chefs, sub-chefs, or personal chefs, among other specialization options. Working as a chef requires a great deal of experience, so recent graduates are not likely to immediately start working as a chef.