What does a head chef to do? Before the word "head" was applied to cooking, chefs were known as cooks. In the beginning, this job description was something like a farmer who was given a large area to prepare food for a large number of people.
He was tasked with preparing many dishes and therefore had to know a lot about cooking. The first dishes prepared in these kitchens were very different from the recipes we are familiar with today. The main difference was that they didn't have refrigerators and ice machines at that time.
Back then, the main way to prepare food was by preparing it over an open flame. And since there was no ice in the refrigerators, the food had to be cooled by hand. And since the food was cooked directly over the open flame, the heat in the fire would cook out the food and leave it raw. Because of this, the chefs worked as fast as possible.
The cook had to start working in the morning and finish the night before closing time. He also took a break after two hours of work. He could not take a break more than two hours, since he needed to clean up all the burnt food that had been left over. The last break the cook got was to rest.
Working in this kitchen was very fast paced and a stressful atmosphere was created because there was so much to be done in such a short amount of time. And since there were more cooks, it took longer to cook some of the foods. But in order to make the food last for a long time, it had to be prepared properly.
I have graduated The Culinary Institute of America in 2013 and became a chef assistant in one of New York city restaurants. I began to move up the career ladder – just a few years later I've worked as a chef in a 4* restaurant.