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What is a Garde Manger, Personal Chef, Gourmet Chef? More About Choosing A Specialty

This is step 9 in your multi-part online course about how to become a top chef.

Garde Manger

The Garde Manger chef is a specialized cook that is responsible for cold food presentations. The cold foods included in this specialization are salads, pates, canapes, and hors d’oeuvres.

You will also be responsible for all of the cold sauces like vinaigrettes, dressings, pickles, aspics, chutneys, and relishes. You are also responsible for buffet table settings for small and large gatherings, including corporate events, e.g. ice sculptures, etc..

Personal Chef

The personal chef is a chef that prefers to work in a family setting. This type of chef generally works in the employer’s home and prepares meals for the family.

In this position, you are basically responsible for all aspects of the meal including the ordering of the food. It is a relatively rare specialty that is reserved for those that really enjoy bringing families together for meal times.

For this type of work, you will have to check about allergies, personal likes and dislikes, as well as the expectations of your employers. In a sense you get to interview them for the job. You have a lot of freedom in this type of work and in some cases, fewer hours. A personal chef gets to work in a home environment. It is like cooking for your own family and can be very rewarding.

Gourmet Chef

The gourmet chef specializes in specialty cuisine, often foreign dishes. This type of chef is generally very skilled in foreign delicacies and what is often considered as “fancy foods”.

A gourmet chef generally works in upper class establishments or for those who can afford the expensive dishes that are prepared. As a gourmet chef, you will need to know even the often ignored things such as which wines best complement your cuisine.

Gourmet chefs are often schooled at overseas locations, but not always. It is an asset as a gourmet chef to understand the basics of culture, biological sciences, and art. It is a very prestigious field to study, and can be quite lucrative as well.

To continue to the next section of your chef training, please click this link: Qualifications and Advancement

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