Are you passionate about cooking and thinking about pursuing a career in cooking? Then you should smile as a career in the culinary industry is available to everyone who is wiling to put in the time and effort, even those without proper training in the field. Restaurant kitchens are constantly in search of would-be-professionals who can tackle cooking with energy and excitement for the field. From chopping, dicing, sauteing and frying, to grilling and broiling, a professional requires the ability to do many things at once. So if you can stand the heat of the kitchen, joining the profession as a line cook is a great place to explore the options of the culinary industry.
To be precise, line cooks are hospitality industry professionals, who work in the kitchens of hotels and restaurants, cafe’s and diners. Though some kitchens will hire a newbie with no experience, it would serve your career far better to complete some formal education from a culinary arts school before you complete the training period necessary to become a successful professional in this field. There are various duties and responsibilities that a professional line chef must know to be successful.
Professional line cooks play a major role in the production of a great meal. It’s their responsibility to handle all the procedures regarding maintenance, cleaning and operation of a kitchen. Depending on the size of the kitchen, a line cook may be required to clean the kitchen after or, even, between each seating. In various kitchens tasks are split between head chefs, sous chefs, and line cooks. Typically professional chefs are responsible to cook and plate, and line cooks help with cutting, precooking and marinating, basic prep work, and line duties.
Some restaurants don’t have any formal requirements to become a line cook as there is a high demand for this work, and often they need help and are willing to take on unskilled labor. Formal training can be helpful if you are looking to secure job or career advancement opportunities. Expensive restaurants typically expect their line cooks to demonstrate some training from the best culinary schools. Programs are readily available at local community colleges, vocational schools and culinary institutes. These schools offer coursework that may take from months to years to complete depending upon if you are looking for a certificate or a full degree. Various schools offer training programs specifically designed to train one in the skills of a line cook. Coursework includes professionalism, sanitation, cooking and baking skills. These usually result in a certificate.
A certification to work and prepare food for others can be generally obtained by attending short classes, which only take 6-8 weeks to complete. Here are some skills that a line cook will learn before starting their day in a typical kitchen:
1. Chopping, dicing, baking, broiling, frying and cooking 2. Basic knowledge of various ingredients 3. Inventory management 4. Portion control 5. Sanitation rules and regulations
Line cooks should work towards earning a technical certificate or associate’s degree in culinary arts as it helps in job market security and advancement. Skills learned from the best culinary schools will make your job something you feel prepared for, and excited to do. Working as a line cook is a position of respect and responsibility; having the education to walk onto the floor and perform skillfully will put you in line to move up quickly and explore even more in the world of culinary arts.