You know, when I hear about specialties in a certain profession, I always seem to think about those doctor TV shows where they refer to a certain doctor having a “specialty” or an area of medicine on which they specifically focus. Of course, doctors are not alone when it comes to choosing a specialty. You inspiring chefs out there may also find that you can specialize within a certain area of cooking. This will become useful if you plan on cooking for a restaurant with a specific theme in mind, or if you hope to one day work for a big, fancy restaurant that employs several types of chefs. Either way, there’s a nice list of specialties to explore, most of which have awesome French names too.
-Fish chef- also called a poissonier, this chef’s job is to prepare and create a variety dishes involving fishes. They learn the anatomy of different types of fish, they learn how to butcher the fish, and they can play with the different flavors of fish. Ahoy!
-Fry chef- aka the friturier, spends a lot of time around deep fryers decided how different foods should be battered, flavored, and fried. Warning here: most injuries in the kitchen happen around a fryer due to splashing hot oil. Don’t drop the baskets!
-Grill chef- or the grillardin, uses his day to grill and broil various menu items. Grill chefs tend to be multi-taskers since they handle a huge load of orders, so be ready for that. Great news for you here: grill stations are in virtually every kitchen, so you’ll find work here.
-Pasta chef- no fancy French name for this guy since he deals with pasta, an Italian specialty. You get to make ravioli, tortellini, and lasagna here, and with the different types of ingredients that can go with different types of pasta dishes, you’ll need a good memory. And you get to make sauces too.
-Pastry chef- also called the patissier, you’re all about the baked goods. Cakes, pies, candies…I’m getting a sugar rush just thinking about it. Look back through the blog for a post about pastry chefs specifically to learn more about this one.
-Pizza chef- yes, you too can specialize in making pizza! Of course, pizza has been an ever evolving food, so you’ll get to make pizzas for lunch and dinner as well as breakfast pizza and dessert pizza. Can you think of a better way to spend your day than making dessert pizza?
-Saute chef- or saucier in French, this person will make sauteed items as well as sauces. This guy is one of the most sought-after positions in the kitchen, and you better believe that if you get it, you will be busy. You’ll be covering multiple dishes at once on a regular basis. If a restaurant doesn’t have a saute chef, the sous chef or even the executive chef takes on this role. That’s how big it is.
-Vegetable chef- or the French vernacular calls this the entremetier, this chef is responsible for preparing vegetables as well as, often times, hot appetizers and soups. In fact, if the restaurant is really fancy, they might have two such chefs, a legumier who works with vegetables and a potager who makes soups.
So there you have it. A long list of possible specialties. Remember, if your dream is to one day be an executive chef, you’ll probably dabble in a little bit of all of these, but aside from that, happy cooking!
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