A cook is a professional who prepares meals in restaurants or communities, in particular.
He can cook starters, main courses, and desserts.
However, the profession of a cook is different depending on the place in which it is exercised.
This is usually quite physically demanding work.
The cook can be a real artist capable of creating dishes or sublimating them.
He imagines, makes, test, and then offer his customers innovative and tasty dishes.
Cooking is part of the restaurant industry.
He often starts his day early in the morning because he selects the products at the market according to the menu he wishes to offer. It can also be delivered directly to the kitchen or use semi-prepared products. He then prepares each dish.
- Prepare meals for guests, a larger or smaller community.
- The cook is involved in all stages of the preparation of a meal:
- Selects the products, either by going to choose them himself in the markets or by ordering them
- Ensures the quality of food products and can also negotiate prices
- Makes his recipes or organizes his work team to prepare them as he envisions
- Goes through all the stages of the kitchen. (from peeling the vegetables and cutting them, to the glazes, including the marinades, the preparation of the sauces, etc.)
- Prepares the plates to make the dishes appetizing
- The cook also cleans his kitchen and train clerks in the most significant structures.
- Becoming a Cook: Qualifications required
- Responsible for stock supply, inventory, and also verification of deliveries,
- Ensures the careful presentation of each dish, and dispatch of the dishes
- Engages in the development of menus, orders, and also the supervision of a team,
- Ensures the preparation of sauces, pastries,
The cook’s activities may vary, depending on the level of responsibility, the type of food offered, and the structure
Education and Training
To become a cook in the United States, you do not need a formal education. Although, most employers prefer cooks with a high school diploma. Some colleges do offer programs in catering that last for a few months.
The skills in cooking are learned and perfected on the job. Licensure is not required for cooks in the United States. However, a food handler certification may be required.
It is possible to be a cook in a large number of structures.
This ranges from neighborhood restaurants to large restaurants: including caterers, fast foods, collective catering (for companies, schools, health establishments, etc.) or even catering on trains or planes.
Nevertheless, during his career, the cook, if he starts as a clerk, will generally be led to take the lead of a team. And then to become second and finally, chef or catering manager.
The cook can then be in direct contact with the owners of the restaurant. That is if he does not become one himself.
The average hourly wage of a cook in the U.S. is $13.10. It, however, ranges from $9.13 to $18.71
The profession of a cook is quite open and the vacancies to be filled are numerous.
In addition, it is possible to find seasonal jobs during school holidays to respond to the influx of tourists, both in summer and winter. Given the many structures in which it can be exercised, the profession of cook offers significant recruitment prospects in different environments.
For those who wish and who have the possibility, it is quite possible to open their restaurant or take over an existing one.
Any restaurant employs at least one cook, regardless of the size and type of catering.
A cook can therefore work in different types of companies:
- Traditional, gourmet, and hotel chain restaurants
- Community restaurants: schools, hospitals, company canteens, retirement homes
- Specialty restaurants: pizzas, pancakes, grilled meats, fish, soups, etc.
- Catering onboard transport: train, boat.
- Holiday centers and villages
To exercise the profession of cooking, many technical skills but also know-how are necessary:
- Know the products and the culinary arts
- Be passionate, creative, inventive
- Ability to manage stress and fatigue
- Manage supplies
- Sense of organization, organize the workstation
- Know the health and safety rules
- Master the techniques of making dishes from natural products or semi-prepared products: preliminary preparations, cooking, reheating
The profession of a cook is quite demanding. The cook is often under pressure.
The cook should be creative to stand out and offer tasty and innovative dishes. It is also necessary to respect health and safety rules, which require a certain rigor.