Information About Becoming an Assistant Chef

Never underestimate the role of an assistant chef in a kitchen – there is a lot of responsibility and the job can be very stressful and time consuming. An assistant chef must work under the direction of the head chef while preparing food, measuring ingredients, and regulating temperatures on cooking equipment.

Training

Most restaurants have a minimum requirement of one to two years of kitchen experience for assistant chef positions. They must train in each area of the kitchen and fulfill a variety of different roles, especially if they ever hope to be promoted to head chef.

Cooking Course.

Certifications

ServSafe

Restaurants generally require employees to complete their ServSafe certificate, which can be taken online at servsafe.com. The exam takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes to complete, and costs $95. If you wish to complete in-class training, go to the ServSafe website and type in your city in the “Class Locator” search field.

Assistant Chef Certificate

An assistant chef certificate takes one year to complete, and besides the cost of textbooks, students must also purchase uniforms and knife sets for an estimated $300. These types of certificates are available at various culinary and chef colleges, as well as some community colleges and trade/technical schools.

Diplomas

Another option is to invest in a commercial cooking or advanced culinary diploma program. These programs generally take one to two years to complete, and the cost varies depending on which institution you choose.

Degrees

There are various types of higher-level culinary degrees available, but they tend to be expensive and are not needed in order to become an assistant chef. However, they do provide excellent hands-on training as well as externships in restaurants and other businesses. An associate’s degree is a one to two year program, and is generally cheaper than a bachelor’s degree, which takes four years to complete. Both degrees are available in most culinary schools, chef colleges and universities.

Jobs

As an assistant chef you could work for any of the following:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Catering companies
  • Private businesses
  • Homes
  • Retirement villages
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Prisons
  • Community Centers
  • Cafeterias
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Cruise Lines
  • Casinos
  • Bars

Salaries

The average assistant chef can make up to $10 or $12 an hour, and usually get paid the most working in a hotel kitchen or for a catering company.


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