Job description: how to become a cook?

Categories: Blog

The catering industry, and particularly the profession of cook, is attracting more and more people. Although young people are still represented in this profession as much, the profession is also attracting more and more people in professional retraining projects.

If you too fancy a professional career in the restaurant business, you have come to the right place. Let’s find out together why and how to become a cook.

Summary :

The cook’s missions

The cook, depending on whether he works alone or in a large kitchen team, can carry out a wide spectrum of missions. The most common are obviously the preperation and the presentation of dishes, from starter to dessert, but it can also be brought to buy the products, negotiate the price, check their quality then manage the stock. At the end of the service, he must participate in the cleaning and storage in the kitchen. Finally, the cook must carry out all his tasks in the strictest respect of the rules of hygiene and safety.

The qualities required to become a cook

Cutting vegetables by a cook

The main qualities sought by an employer for a cook’s post are :

By evolving towards the profession of chef, the professional must demonstrate other qualities:

  • Management capacities (stock, budget, planning, etc.)

  • Relational skills: managing a team, showing authority, …

How to train to become a cook?

The profession of cook is accessible directly after the 3rd. the CAP kitchen is a first step to evolve in the field of catering trades. This training can be obtained after two years of study in a structure or as a free candidate. Specialization certificates and additional mentions (light cuisine, desserts or employee-caterer) allow the professional to specialize in a field.

The cook can then orient himself towards a professional catering baccalaureate or hotel business then a BTS hotel and catering option culinary art, tableware and service. Apprenticeship training is valued by employers. Likewise, while it is true that diplomas help to find their way more easily in the upper echelons, they are not necessarily compulsory. The catering trades are sectors which still strongly value experience.

Cook, a varied and constantly evolving profession

Cooks presenting dishes for service

If you are still undecided about the idea of ​​embracing the career of a cook, know that this profession actually includes very varied missions and fields but that it can also be a real springboard. Food trades and the catering sector are in constant demand for motivated professionals.

First of all, the term cook actually encompasses several professions. The classic evolution in the profession begins with the kitchen clerk, the chef de partie, the party leader then the second cook and finally the Chef see the catering manager in establishments that sometimes have several kitchens. Other people, on the other hand, prefer to open their own restaurant.

As a cook, you can practice your profession in various sectors. Indeed, the work of a cook in a bistro with 15 tables is totally different from that of a second in the kitchen in a large gourmet restaurant or even that of a chef in collective catering.

Just as size and category vary, the profession of cook can change dramatically depending on geographic location. The methods, like the products worked, change depending on whether he has to work in Paris, Provence or Brittany. And we’re only talking about France! Indeed, the profession of cook is an ideal profession for those who are on the move since French know-how is sought after all over the world.

The cook may also decide to specialize in a culinary discipline. The chef de partie is, as his name suggests, responsible for his part, namely that he can be fishmonger, saucier, take care of the meat part or even be a revolving party leader, that is to say a versatile cook who must be able to occupy all positions. A cook can also specialize in a field complementary to that of cooking, such as pastry making.

The cook’s salary

There are great disparities in the profession due in particular to the geographical location, the sector, the size of the restaurant, the diplomas, the professional’s specialization or even the reputation and the standing of the establishment. Thus, a chef in a gourmet restaurant may very well be paid more than € 5,000 gross per month, while a chef in his own establishment may not pay himself a salary during the first year of practice. the salary of a kitchen assistant at the end of his training generally begins at the minimum wage. The average salary of a cook is around € 1,800 gross per month.

Cook: what are the constraints of the profession?

For a first professional project as for a retraining, it is important not to idealize the job, as beautiful as it is. By becoming a cook, some people satisfy a passion. However, this passionate profession can quickly turn into a nightmare if one has neglected to learn about its binding aspects before starting.

First, the profession of cook is physically demanding. The pace is sustained and it can get very hot in a kitchen. To this physical aspect is added a mental pressure because the cook is often required to work in an emergency and under stress. He should not let himself be overwhelmed or overcome by emotions. Finally, just like the profession of baker, the cook is brought to work in staggered hours, weekdays like weekends or on public holidays.

The cook’s outfit

The full outfit of a cook understand :

  • a head covering: it keeps the hair in place and brings a neat touch.
  • a cook’s jacket: it protects against dirt and burns while respecting freedom of movement.
  • the apron: short, long or with bib, they protect the cook and can sometimes be equipped with storage pockets.
  • kitchen pants: they must be well adjusted to remain comfortable during long hours of work.
  • kitchen shoes: safety shoes must meet the EN ISO 20345 standard to protect the professional’s feet.

The cook must feel good in his uniform and be able to move. Kitchen outfits are generally designed to be breathable and comfortable. They may even have antibacterial properties.

Fortunately, on our online store, you can find a wide selection of clothing and equipment for the catering trade.