What exactly is ‘Professional’ Cookery?
Professional Cookery is the preparation and cooking of food in a commercial environment. This can take place in a wide variety of situations and locations including restaurants, hotels, pubs, hospitals, canteens, the armed forces, care homes and even on ships! It’s a creative, often fast-paced and rewarding career which can offer exciting opportunities for development and travel.
What’s it like working in this industry?
Chefs prepare food using a variety of cooking methods, usually using fresh ingredients. In most kitchens you will work as part of a team under the direction of a Head Chef who is responsible for running the whole kitchen. You will need a keen interest in food and cooking and to do several tasks at once–at times under pressure. If you are creative then this is one career where you will be able to show off your skills by presenting dishes in imaginative ways.
You will usually start as a kitchen assistant or trainee chef, also known as commis chef. At this level you will normally spend time in each area of the kitchen, learning a range of skills and how to look after kitchen equipment. With experience, you could progress to section chef, also known as station chef and chef de partie. In this role, you would be in charge of an area of the kitchen. The next step is sous chef, where you would be running the entire kitchen for the head chef when needed. At Head Chef level, you would be responsible for creating and updating the menus, and for producing and meeting financial budgets.
Hours are likely to involve early mornings and/or late nights depending on where you work. You can also expect to cover weekends and public holidays. Kitchens are hot and humid and very busy around key meal times. You would wear chef whites and a hat for hygiene reasons.
What can I expect to earn?
- A trainee (commis) chef may start on a salary of around £13,000 a year.
- Section chefs (Chefs de Partie) can earn up to £16,000 a year, and a second chef (Sous Chef) may earn around £22,000 a year.
- Head chefs (chefs de cuisine) can earn up to £30,000 a year.
- An Executive Head Chef in a top hotel can earn between £40,000 and £50,000 or more.
Figures are supplied by the National Careers Service and are intended as a guideline only.
Can HTP Apprenticeship College help me get a job?
Yes – and you don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to start a programme with HTP Apprenticeship College, although you will need to have achieved a minimum of Grade 4/C in English and Maths on completion of training to secure employment.
We offer three great ways to get your career started: a Full-time course, a Traineeship or an Apprenticeship. Full-time courses are available at Level 1, Traineeships where you undertake work experience to make sure that becoming a chef is right for you, or an Apprenticeship where you will be earning and learning right from the start.
See below for more details of our programmes:
Discover our Professional Cookery Programmes
Full-Time Study Programme
Courses for Legislation
Why learn with US?
- Rated 'Good' by OFSTED;
- Industry-experienced tutors;
- Great facilities, centrally located in Newport Isle of Wight and Portsmouth;
- Smaller group sizes, with personalised 1-to-1 support.
How is HTP different to school and other colleges?
The main difference between learning with us compared to school or other colleges is that we give you the flexibility to learn in a way that works for you.
Our full-time courses blend classroom learning with practical work experience in a real company giving you the opportunity to bring your learning to life in an industry setting.
Our apprenticeships are a great route directly into working life. You can start earning a real salary right away and fast-track your career options by working in-house as part of a team. You'll be supported by one of our expert Training Consultants, alongside the day-to-day guidance of your employer.
Whichever route you take, our promise is that we put you and your needs first, so you'll always have the support you need to succeed.
Sounds good. How do i find out more?
Give us a call on 01983 533926 or fill in your details here and one of the team will be in touch soon.
Lauren Dove completed her Chef de Partie Advanced Apprenticeship at The Royal Hotel.
Seb Jones completed his Commis Chef Intermediate Apprenticeship at One Holyrood.
Call us now • IoW: 01983 533926 • Portsmouth: 02392 374752