22 - 27 August 2019

Cooking

Cooks embrace a wide range of skills from creating menus and preparing dishes for Michelin-starred restaurants, to workplace canteens and cafeterias. Apart from cooking delicious meals, chefs have to prepare budgets, calculate profit margins, control and order stock, and keep on top of the latest food trends such as organic and vegetarian cuisine and healthy eating regimes.

Chefs in top-tier hotels or restaurants will need to demonstrate outstanding skills in food preparation and presentation. They will be expected to create and adapt dishes that meet the expectations of demanding customers. It is important that chefs keep abreast of the trends and understand the needs of special diets due to culture, health, or religion. Strict maintenance of equipment as well as personal and food hygiene and safety standards are paramount considerations and often subject to strict regulation. Communicating well with a team is also part of the high-pressure environment in a successful kitchen.

Income growth increases demand for meals made from scratch at a variety of dining venues. As a result, more restaurants and other eating places open to satisfy consumer desires. To ensure high-quality dishes, these establishments are increasingly hiring experienced cooks to work in food preparation.

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Fun facts

The first professional chefs appeared on the island of Crete in 2600 B.C. At that time, a specially hired culinary expert would cook for the Imperial Army.

In the 18th century, the King of England George the Second made all culinary professionals put on caps to prevent their hair from falling into the royal food.

The French chef Auguste Escoffier invented the division of labour in the kitchen: workers were grouped into crews supervised by a chef de partie.

Europe’s first cooking school was opened in England in the 19th century, then they began to appear in other countries.

In France, they believed that one should start learning to cook at the age of 6 or 7 as the only way to become a truly good cook.

France has the most Michelin star restaurants, and Tokyo has more three-Michelin star restaurants than any other country.

Quotes

Tayla Jean Schou (South Africa)
Tayla Jean Schou (South Africa)
Competitor at WorldSkills São Paulo 2015

Skills made me see that the best profession is one that you love and not everything has to come from a book.

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