the science of food

Head Chef

In large establishments the duties of the head chef or person in charge are mainly administrative, only in smaller establishments would it be necessary for the headchef to be engaged in the handling of food. However although the production kitchen could be considered a small establishment, for the purpose of learning, the headchef is only involved in administrative duties to experience how the role would be performed in a larger commercial kitchen. Normally the headchef in a restaurant is concerned with duties such as organising the kitchen, engaging the staff, supervising the kitchen and be responsible for the stillroom, washing up of crockery and be responsible for the stores. In the long term purchase of equipment would also be duty of the headchef. This differs slightly in the training kitchen where most emphasis is put on the headchefs ability to engage, supervise and delegate to their peers. The lecturer usually compiles the menu in advance, however the headchef is responsible for allocating the class or staff to different sections of the kitchen.

The Menu

The menu is a three course table d\'hote menu offering three courses with two or three choices in each section. There are three starters, three main courses served with vegetables and potatoes, and two sweets. Tea and coffee are also served but are prepared by the restaurant staff in the still room.

The Kitchen sections are:

Pastry Section
All sweets and pastries are made by the pastry cooks. The headchef usually appoints two people to this section, depending on the number of people available and the difficulty of the deserts to be prepared. Some examples of deserts prepared in this years class include Pear "Belle Helene", Diplomate Pudding, Chocolate Praline Brouille, Butterscotch tart, Baked Rice Pudding and Almond Cake served with Orange Compote. The pastry section is a small department slightly seperated from the rest of the kitchen.

Vegtable Section

All the vegtables are prepared and cooked by the two people allocated to this section. Sometimes the garnishes for the other dishes are also prepared by this section. In some kitchens the Farinaceous dishes will also be cooked by this party. Examples of potatoes prepared by the kitchen are Arlie potatoes, Duchess potatoes, Baked potatoes with cheese and chive, and examples of vegtables include Creamed spinach, Ratatouille, Glazed Turnips and Colconnon.

Main Course

All the main courses are prepared by this section and it usually comprises of a meat, fish and poultry dish with one person appointed to preparing each dish. examples of main course dishes prepared in the training kitchen include Escalope of turkey "Cordon bleu", Roast fillet of Beef "dubarry", Roast Loin of Pork and plum sauce, Braised beef olive nepolitean and Supreme of Duckling "Bigarade".

Starters section

There are usually three starters on the training restaurant menu usually to include a soup and a salad. There is usually one person working on each starter. Examples of starters include Smoked fishcakes, consomme Julienne, Egg Croquettes, Minestrone, Smoked Chicken and Avacado Salad and Chicken Tartlets.

Sous chef

In a commercial kitchen the second chef or sous chef relieves the head chef when the latter is off duty and is generally the chefs right hand. In larger kitchens there may be several sous chefs each with specific responsibities for seperate services such as banquets and grillrooms. In the training or production kitchen the main function of the sous chef is to supervise the work in the kitchen so it all runs smoothly and according to the chefs wishes. they may also be required to assisst any section which may be falling behind schedule.


Certain leadership qualities are needed to enable the headchef or supervisor to carry out his her role effectively. These qualities include the ability to communicate, coordinate, motivate, inspire, make decisions and organise. The supervisor must be considerate, understanding, consistent and respectful to all members of staff and in return he/she can expect loyalty respect and cooperation.

Elements of Supervision
 Forecasting
 Planning
 Organising
 Commanding
 Co ordinating
 Controlling

A good head chef is able to obtain the best from those he/she has responsibility and can also completely satisfy the management of the establishment that a good job is being done. The job of the kitchen supervisor/ headchef is essentially to be an overseer. In the Industry they will be responsible to the Catering Manager. The