The Top 7 Alternative Skills To Learn From A Professional Chef
So it’s obvious you can learn to cook all the basic skills from a professional chef such as, cooking techniques, pasta skills, cake baking skills, vegetable preparation and cooking for speciality diets. There is a vast range of skills anyone can learn from an experienced chef. In addition, there are other skills that chefs use every day that is learnt through years of practice. To follow are my top 7 alternative skills to learn from a professional chef.
Knife Safety And Knife Skills
The most important tool for all chefs and cooks is the knife. First of all, there are a broad range of knives all useful for specific jobs. Knives include a chopping knife, a serrated knife and a paring knife. Throughout my career, I have used most styles of knives and have found the types that suit my style of work. Due to some knives being more comfortable to use than others and it’s not always the most expensive the better! Other areas include knife maintenance and knife safety.
Two – Three Course Meal Food Timings
To become a chef a vital skill is learning how to time the cooking and serving of ingredients and dishes. Meals can range from a one-course meal to a multi-course tasting menu. All ingredients need to be timed perfectly to serve a dish and the more ingredients and courses that are added the more complex it gets!! Such as, I am making a two-course meal of a soup starter and a pan fried fillet of fish with dauphinoise potatoes and vegetables. And In this meal I will have the soup prepared in advance, a soup is an easy first course as the work is done in advance. The fillet of fish will take a few minutes to cook and the potatoes will take a lot longer. Consequently, timings are essential to get this meal out on time and served correctly.
Team Work – Bonding
Professional Chefs learn how to work in teams early on and this is developed throughout the career. For a meal to be served to a customer it takes a team of chefs working together to get the dishes out. There is no choice, it’s a team effort or the wheels will fall off. Professional chefs are good at getting people to work together as one. Because there is a broad range of personalities and backgrounds that make up a kitchen brigade management skills have to be first class.
Following A Recipe
It seems obvious, just read it right! Wrong, this attitude can end up in mistakes being made. Recipes have to be read concisely and what happens if I don’t have the ingredient in stock that is in the recipe? Because this happens every day to chefs, we learn how to get around these obstacles.
Different recipes use measurements. Common measurements include Kilogrammes, grammes, litre, millilitre, cups, spoons, ounce and pounds!!! Due to this being overwhelming when cooking a new recipe, how many spoons in grammes or what exactly is a cup. By studying recipes for many years professional chefs understand all these issues.
Health And Safety
Professional chefs become masters at health and safety in the kitchen. Also, there are so many areas to consider including, knife safety, fire training and food safety. Because a kitchen brigade will be working with gas appliances hot ovens and boiling liquids. Furthermore, all of these make the environment a hazardous place to work where health and safety laws need to be followed to prevent injuries.
Hygienic Food Preparation
It is important to get this right, safe food preparation is crucial to anyone who prepares food. High-risk areas such as cross contamination are essential for a food handlers understanding. Cross-contamination is the spread of harmful bacteria from raw food to a food that will not be cooked. And also professional chefs know how to prepare and cook food hygienically. If you were to prepare a raw chicken breast on a board and then use the same chopping board or knife on a ready to eat food you can cause serious illness to whoever will be eating the food.
Hygienic Food Storage
it is important to understand safe food preparation and the correct storage methods. And why cooked foods should be chilled immediately and not left out on the surface overnight!! In professional kitchens, we use blast chillers, these rapidly chill foods to prevent the growth of bacteria. Furthermore there are ways this can be achieved without a chiller. Many foods are stored incorrectly such as, eggs don’t need to be kept in the fridge! A good tip here is to take a note of where the foods are stored in your local supermarket. What they have kept in the fridges and the foods that are not.