On Becoming a Professional Chef

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9780131137288: On Becoming a Professional Chef

This definitive text on the career ladder for professional cooking in America explains the disciplines and attributes needed to reach the chef level in the world of cuisine. It follows the American Culinary Federation¿s guidelines on professional culinary training, education, certification and competitions to prepare future chefs for the ACF certification. Provides insight regarding the skills needed to become a successful chef—encompassing all aspects of the modern chef¿s job such as marketing, human resource management, product management, financial management, and sales. For future professional chefs and those preparing for the ACF certification.

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In a world of high technology, with computers and machines commonly employed to do a better job than human beings, there is a craft that remains true to the days of Escoffier: the professional chef.

The creative act of taking a product of land or sea and making it into something both nourishing and pleasing to others is a true craft that is still done by hand. A chef today is different than a chef of Escoffier's era, with an endless array of opportunities within many sectors of the foodservice industry. Beyond the need to eat, for many the chef has become a form of entertainment, and is found on 24hour a day cooking channels, providing cooking tours, and cooking classes. This is the era of the "celebrity chef," a concept unheard of in the past. And yet with all this change, the old saying "the more things change the more they stay the same" remains true as far as becoming a professional chef is concerned.

This book will explain the disciplines and attributes needed to reach the chef level in the world of cuisine. It will give you insight regarding the skills needed and the journey ahead for those striving to become a chef. Being a chef is more than being a good cook. Marketing, human resource management, product management, financial management and sales are all part of the modern chef's job.

Cooking has evolved into the fusion of various cuisines, attention to nutrition and healthy eating, and the customer of today who believes that the chef is there to give them what they want, when they want it, regardless of anything else. Being a chef engulfs long hours, is stressful, and yet at the same time is unlike any other "high" when in the kitchen and orchestrating a harmony of one's cooks to produce delicious food for others to savor. It is one of few jobs where pride in one's work may be demonstrated nightly in satisfied customers. And be ready for feedback, both good and bad, as it will always be there and ready to be given.

As you work toward choosing a career, some may falsely sell you on the idea that being a chef is all "glory." It is not. It is, however, a time-honored craft, built upon a classical foundation and cooking principles developed by great craftspeople with a true passion for their work. It is an avocation that challenges one to master the craft and to create new dishes based upon the time-tested principles chefs master.

By reading this book, I hope that you will develop that passion and desire to start and continue a career as a professional chef and join us in this great craft of ours.

Edward G. Leonard, CMC, AAC
Certified Master Chef
President of the American Culinary Federation
Captain, ACF "Culinary Team USA 2004"

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Michael Baskette CEC CCE AAC
Published by Prentice Hall (2004)
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Michael Baskette CEC CCE AAC
Published by Prentice Hall (2004)
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