Commercial Cooking FAQ’s
What is Commercial Cooking?
Commercial cooking is the practice of professionally preparing different meals within large-scale settings such as schools, commercial kitchens, and restaurants. Commercial cooking is less intensive than chef work and typically requires less training. Some responsibilities of a commercial cook include:
• Maintaining and cleaning commercial kitchen supplies
• Working with diverse kitchen equipment for different functions
• Preparing generic and gourmet meals, depending on clientele
• Understanding menu options and making identical meals
• Working with a team constantly
• Performing prep work such as cutting food or putting food in respective bowls, plates, etc.
• Understanding health and safety codes as well as basic emergency protocols if an emergency happens in a commercial kitchen
There are other responsibilities for commercial cooks, but they generally stick to preparation and cooking, as well as working with a large team to make meals possible.
What Type of Interpersonal Skills Should I Possess for Commercial Cooking?
Certain skills are essential to successfully work within a commercial cooking environment due to the fast-paced work, multiple cook duties, and safety hazards in the commercial kitchen. Some skills may include, but are not limited to:
• Time management and multitasking abilities
• Interpersonal and leadership skills, especially during supervisor duties
• Stress management skills for busy work days
• A willingness to constantly learn health and safety techniques to prevent or minimize errors in the kitchen
• Patience when dealing with new workers or apprentices
• The ability to teach apprentices in your area if they need help
Overall, commercial cooking is largely based around team work with each part of the team living up their role in a timely fashion. Being a team player is essential to becoming a great commercial cook.
What Type of Schooling is Needed to Enter the Field of Commercial Cooking?
Schooling for a commercial cook can vary depending on the workplace, so speaking to a venue that interests you may be the best way to understand what courses they expect. Typically, commercial cooking requires post-secondary schooling that is based around culinary arts and can involve either a diploma or certificate. A degree program could be used to advance one’s cooking skills to a chef level or manage a restaurant in the future. Although the typical level of schooling doesn’t always involve a degree program, it may beneficial for future use. Some options may include:
• Bachelor’s degree in culinary arts
• Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or business (restaurant focus)
• Culinary courses (online or in-school)
• Other culinary school courses
• Fast-track, part-time, or online certificate, diploma, or degree courses
There are a series of other qualifications that can be gained, and after graduation, an apprenticeship may be required to prove your ability to keep up.
How do I get Started in Commercial Cooking?
If commercial cooking seems like something that you would be interested in, speaking to a reputable school in your area may be the best way to understand what course loads to start with. As well, speaking to current cooks in the field will give you a good idea of the lifestyle, hours, and job enjoyment!