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News- Articles and Releases that supports the fundamentals of TechnicalChef

You may be a qualified cook/chef but are you ready to become a credentialed chef?

The operation of the modern commercial cookery industry requires two categories of chefs, the “Industry chef” and the “professional chef”.

“Industry chefs” mainly carry out the day to day manual food preparation tasks, but are yet to reach the sophisticated level of a professional chef. They fundamentally are the “Jack and Gill of all Trades, Master of none”. Many hold insufficient culinary qualification to indicate competence as a cook, and believe that any culinary qualification is all that is required to justify being called a professional chef, but this is unfortunately untrue.

Even though a valid qualification may only be obtained from a government accredited source, the commercial cookery trade or “chef” is unregulated, therefore a culinary qualification does not verify one is a “professional”; a qualification only provides evidence that one should be competent at food preparation at the level of the qualification, usually as a competent cook.

Significantly a qualification does not indicate the person’s level of experience since completing the course, nor their mindset, status and entitlement to be identified as a professional chef.

Industry chefs need to realise a culinary qualification only opens the door to the commercial kitchen, the reality is; the very same day one successfully completes a culinary qualification, becomes the first day of a second learning curve that will in time add professionalism to a cooks/chef competency.

This secondary “professional education” builds upon their qualification, by developing a mindset of professional: attitudes, behaviours, beliefs, discipline, habits, self-discipline and values. It changes an undisciplined emotional connection with food ( Sometimes referred to passion)into a controlled outlook of a career and vocation, some will take years to achieve this, and not all will pass this test, but those who do, will emerge as a real professional chef.

This is where a credential serves its purpose.  Membership of the Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs (AITC) is a credential to demonstrate by a logo, the chef is both competently trained at the appropriate level, and has professionally advanced from a competent cook into a professional chef.

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Are you a credentialed professional chef?

Anyone can cook; preparing a meal is quiet simple, Google a million recipes and sort of replicate the pictures and wallah you are by definition a chef.

There are many who promote themselves to be a chef and even believe they have the right to call themselves a chef. This applies even to master chef, executive chef and many other industry titles, unfortunately quiet often promoted under false pretences with “fake news”.

It is only when a title holder has the evidence of suitable commercial cookery qualifications, sufficient kitchen experience, deservedly earned their culinary title and additionally have the attitude required to be a professional in spirit, that they can be a genuine professional chef.

Membership of the Institute is a new credential. It is a management of creditability and a new age trademark required to truthfully the use of the term “professional chef”.

In the new age culinary world, anyone can call themselves a Master chef, Executive chef, Head chef, Sous chef or Chef.  Anyone can write on social networks or make a comment on talkback radio claiming to be a chef, without any substantial evidence and backup of that claim.

Having a job with a title means very little without the evidence to support the title.

The general public need a brand name to associates the title “chef” whenever used, with a disciplined, qualified, professional tradesperson.

This is exactly the mission of the Institute of TechnicalChefs.

Membership of the institute is the only a way to separate the semi skilled from the highly skilled, and protect the genuine from the pretenders.

The days are fast disappearing when a person can claim on social media, print, or electronic media to be chef based only on what they say, or believe they can do.

Membership of the Institute is now proof of that one has the evidence to support what one says and believes they can do.

Its time for the new age identity as a credentialed professional chef, a credential that shows one is legitimate.

The Institute is expanding across Australia, more and more of professionals realise the only way to protect their vocation and their own reputation is to be inducted as a member of the Institute.

Adding AITC registration to your CV, I.e. Executive Chef (AITC Registered) or in a signature, the AITC Logo, simply separates you from amateurs and adds a public profile and creditability to your title.

As we said,  anyone can cook; preparing a meal is quiet simple, Google a million recipes and sort of replicate the pictures and wallah you are by definition a chef.

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How Chefs Grow – a philosophical view

A trainee or an apprentice is learning to use their hands to become a qualified cook.

A qualified cook has learnt to use their hands and now learning to use their brain to develop into a chef.

A Chef has learnt to use their hands and their brain and now learning to use other hands to advance to a Sous chef.

A Sous chef has learnt to use their hands, their brain and other hands and now learning to use other brains to be promoted to Chef de Cuisine.

A Chef de Cuisine has learnt to use their hands; their brain, other hands other brains and now learning how to use other hands and brains in external kitchens to progress to Executive chef.

An Executive Chef has learnt to use their hands; their brain, other hands, and other brains in local and external kitchens and is now learning how to grow their professionalism to reach their full potential and reach the ultimate career goal as a TechnicalChef.

A TechnicalChef It is the highest category of chef with a professional attitude.

TechnicalChef is an attitude that can be achieved at any level from becoming a chef through to Executive chef, and continues for those who have turned  their skills to other commercial cookery careers that require the foundation skills and attitude of a trained and experienced chef.  Attitude is very influential to being successful, that’s why TechnicalChefs are successful people.

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Do you consider a chef to be a manual worker or practising professional in a legitimate career? ( Posted May 20th  2017)

Here is the reality; commercial kitchens require two levels of chefs; the basic or semi skilled and the advanced professional.   Similar to an accountant  and a charted accountant, both necessary for their industry,

However, to be justifiably placed in the advanced group as a leading professional in an industry, one is required to provide evidence of appropriate qualifications, commercial experience, and fitness; with public recognition of advanced expertise provided in the form of a licence issued by a valid independent organisation that exists to safeguard standards.

In the commercial cookery industry, the Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs (AITC) is the organisation that identifies a chef’s advanced professional status and licenses them at the advanced level.

Chefs now have a choice; to remain at the basic – semi skilled level, or submit an application with proof of their qualifications and experience to be publically acknowledged at the advanced level.

Many chefs have already seen the need for a culture that identifies the professional from the basic chef, and have applied to the Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs (AITC) for a license as an advanced professional chef.

To celebrated Australian professional chefs who established the Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs Inc. The Institute is has released, a full colour handbook across Australia that identifies chefs  who were licensed in 2016.

Amongst other useful material, the 2016 handbook contains the Australian Culinary Codes of Practice, the requirements to be a AITC licensed professional chef, and a summary of the mission and philosophy of a licensed professional chef.

The handbook identifies chefs who are the current leaders in Australian commercial cookery, the catalysts who will lift commercial cookery with experience and drive to protect the reputation of a chefs in Australia.

The handbook is additionally supported by quality hospitality businesses and associations who have similar attitudes towards a commitment to excellence.

Since the institute has been established, we had over 40,000 unique visits to the website, and the Institute is now well and truly entrenched as a cookery community that will promote those who operate in the higher ranks as a commercial chef.

Apply now to join a growing group of passionate professional chefs who are protecting industry standards and committed to excellence, and be featured in the next edition of the handbook.

Professionals know something needs to be done, ignoring the current situation of declining standards and skill shortages will mean that in only a few short years, the true commercial chefs will be stripped from the power of decision-making within the commercial cookery industry. This would endanger what chefs have worked so hard for all these years.

In addition the industry urgently needs a culture that will attract the right minded people to be future professional chefs. A classification that provide them with a professional career target and a professional future that is beyond just a cookery certificate.

We invite all qualified and experienced commercial chefs to join a leading group of commercial chefs and demonstrate to the public and industry, they are an advanced accomplished Australian commercial chef with the qualifications, commercial cookery experience, appropriate disposition, and whose passion has matured into a professional.

View the 2016 TechnicalChef 2016 Handbook and see who was inducted as a chef in 2016 : http://technicalchef.com/handbook-2016/index.html

APPLY NOW: Go online at technicalchef.com to apply online (or download the application form in word format).

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2017 Presidents Report. AGM Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs Inc. (AITC) March 27. 2017

This evening I am honoured to deliver the inaugural Presidents report to the first Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs Annual General Meeting.

We welcome all who are personally attending and those who are here through technology on Skype. We also understand the geographical limitations that prohibit others personally attending, but are here in spirit.

AITC originated from a group discussion of chefs who were having a brief coffee break during a cookery competition at a food show in Melbourne May 2015.

Nothing immediately happened, however the notion of a registration / licensing board was seeded in the minds of the chefs, who had come to realise that waiting for any official government initiated licence of a professional chef would never come from any government agency and for many reasons.

For decades, as far back to 1980 approaches to authorities had been put into the hard basket and additionally politically influenced to not happen.

We came to ask ourselves, why not initiate a driven industry license, every organisation like the medical association, the Royal Automobile Club, the paramedics all must have logically started from a small group of people who had a dream, and just began it. In other words someone had to start it. They grew and proved their worth and only then officialdom was forced to eventuate.

Realising the industry requires two kinds of chefs; the semi skilled novice and the fully skilled professional; we shaped a structure that reflects the two levels, a lower level  called chefs and an advanced level of chef. Almost similar to an accountant and Charted Accountant, both required by their industry, however one needs to provide evidence of higher levels of qualification and experience and consequently be endorsed   at a higher level in their career or a TechnicalChef.

Consequently in September 2015 a meeting was convened to discuss the potential of a professional chefs organisation to implement the ideology, subsequently, the Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs Inc, was formally established.

We basically said let chefs be chefs be they station chefs or executive chefs, we cannot change that fact, we cannot change the reality ,there are many chefs who are unskilled  or incorrectly titled, however let those who practice at a higher more responsible and experienced level be identified as a professional chef and be acknowledged for what they have earned and deserve.

In the immediate months a constitution was developed, by-laws written, a webpage developed. It was only in very late 2016 and early 2017 that serious marketing commenced.

What has been achieved in the time since commencement is frankly remarkable. AITC has achieved positioning itself in the industry that took other associations more than 10 years to achieve. While AITC has a long way to go, the association however is now set to move forward.

First I am privileged to have had a passionate and visionary inaugural council who without exception have been instrumental in positioning AITC quickly.

I personally thank Robert Ford for his vital pedantic and knowledgeable approach and experience in ensuring that the Institute is legally established. On many occasions, I needed some advice and asked Robert who immediately  provided the answers. Robert registered the association, created standardised minutes and more, Thank you Robert.

Raquel Townsend  stood for Vice president, and demonstrated extraordinary professionalism and enthusiasm by attending meetings coming all the way from Warrigal, where travelling back and forth was longer than the actual meeting. But Raquel is also instrumental in making sure special projects were achieved, such as the production and distribution of badges, and each time in council meetings providing sensible views in the discussions. Thank You Raquel

Domenico Tellatin, our treasurer has done a great job in setting up bank accounts and keeping track of member payments, sending invoices, maintaining records and keeping us informed of who has paid fees, Great job Domenico, Thank you.

Ernst Schwab arranged meetings with TAFE providers, presentations at teaching seminars and spoke on many occasions to Tafe administrators and others to promote TechnicalChef. We have many members through Ernst, Thank you

Thank you Kevin Starow for arranging the great badge design with is magical simplicity and a symbol that is exceptional, effective and emotive. Kevin has also placed a great deal of effort in social media particularly with Facebook. Ensuring the AITC Brand only demonstrates quality in everything we do. Chefs now know AITC is quality in everything.

Andrew Wisken has spent many hours ensuring that every applicant has the professional requirements to be a licensed member, I know sometimes sending many emails combined with research to ensure  Only Legitimate Only Professional (AITC motto)  in joining AITC. thank you Andrew, for a great job particularly setting the stage for the future.

Martin Probst produced numerous press releases.  Releases that demonstrated how serious we were about AITC, and more importantly greatly positioned us in the Industry. Thank you Martin

Handi used his influence in the Asian community to promote the ideals of a professional association and explaining TChef that resulted in applications thank you Handi we need your enthusiasm to nourish the association

Belinda only recently joined council and your input is greatly appreciated and I am sure a great future contribution in the making.

We made the decision to only conduct four meetings a year, with meetings scheduled to only last between 1 and 1.5 hours. In the modern culture, where electronic communication is entrenched and everyone time poor, this was a good decision and will continue as a policy.

The council does not meet for a talk feast. When everyone is achieving their role and contribution, all that is necessary is give a report to show achievement, explore future opinions, outline the next step, obtain agreement and move forward.

We have a great deal to thank our many supporters and sponsors and acknowledge individuals and companies who see our vision to lock in professional standards that mirror their own standards of operation.

  • Australian Community Network for website (Garry Hill)
  • Going Forward
  • Sanjeeev Gill
  • Chef Works Australia who also provide great TCHEF logo chefs coats
  • Dilmah Tea
  • Comcater Food Service Equipment
  • Comcater Rational
  • Moffat Catering Equipment Australia
  • There are more sponsors in the process who will be identified on the AITC website.

I strongly urge members to note and remember individuals and the companies that assisted this organisation when we needed them.  A friend in need is a friend indeed. We express our gratitude for their assistance. And look forward to a long and close association between AITC senior chefs and their business.

The first meeting to discuss forming a formal association based on a registration process with a board empowered to issue an industry driven chefs licence to proven professionals, was convened on 15th September 2015.

Looking at our statistics since  (21 March 2016)

  • 157 registered online to read the application form.
  • 64 applications registered to apply, after those who did not follow through or become inducted, the approved membership stands at 55.
  • 379 belong to face book general public.

The achievements have been remarkable and include:

Online achievements:

  • A Facebook Members only page.
  • A Facebook General public page.

 Legal achievements:

  • Registered ABN.
  • Registered a PO Box.
  • Incorporated as a Non Profit Association.

 Administrative achievements:

  • Produced an online application form.
  • Produced a hard copy word based application form.

Member resource achievements:

  • AITC Certificates.
  • Membership Decals.
  • AITC Posters.
  • Email Signatures.
  • Labels.
  • Car Stickers.
  • Promotional Pamphlets.
  • Designed a TChef jacket with logo available from Chef Works and negotiated value for members.
  • Designed and distributed a metal logo badge.
  • Spoke to a teachers conference on TechnicalChef.
  • Designed an emotive logo.

Promotion

  • Created a U-tube page and header promotion.
  • Constantly updated an online membership directory.
  • Produced five press releases.
  • Spoke on community Radio.
  • Spoke at an industry exhibition on Masterchef the Reality.
  • Council members were asked to join advisory groups.
  • Produced a prospectus and designed a campaign for sponsorship.

Submissions achievements:

  • Forwarded submissions to Skills Victoria.
  • Forwarded submissions to SkillsQI Australia.
  • Responded to Skills QI with AITC views on current training.

Other achievements

  • Officially recognised by Skills QI as a stakeholder in culinary training and education.
  • Designed online testing for anyone who claims to be a chef: E.G lost their certificates or cannot prove training and experience.
  • In the process of producing a handbook that actually will return over $1000 in value to a member who has only spent $60 for their two years subscription.
  • Les Toques Blanches, the leading chefs association and network in Australia identified that AITC was good for the industry and we swapped logos on websites.

We have been disappointment with Australian Culinary Federation who has never officially recognised AITC even though many official written and verbal approaches have been made to them; explaining that AITC stated policy is to recognise all chefs associations. That AITC is only focused as a registration/licensing board, based on evidence of commercial experience irrespective membership of any other association and will only be involved with issues associated with training and professional standards.  And that the issuing of a license by a neutral organisation to show professional integrity is a process not provided by any other association; even though many chefs who are also ACF members have identified the need for this initiative and have been inducted into TechnicalChef.

There are three important observations

  1. We must not and never view AITC as a state organisation. It is for ALL Australian Chefs. Its only for convenience that currently the council members are mainly in Victoria.  One day this will change where council will meet once a year, no matter where they reside. AITC must look at strategies to engage more with other members in other states to ensure inclusiveness.
  2. All members must attempt to position AITC in the General Public eye more, every member “must talk the talk and walk the talk” to promote AITC to whoever and whenever possible.
  3. Every member in their own interest must convince colleagues to join and grow the Institute.

The ingredients have been purchased, the mise –  en – place basically prepared, now is the time to start cooking and hopefully the banquet is yet to come.

I ask councillors to give their report  before I disband the inaugural council and ask Robert to administer the first election and AGM of the AITC.

George Hill Interim President

ADDENDUM

The first annual general meeting and the election of the first council of the Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs Inc  (AITC) with the responsibility to manage TChef going forward is an historic moment from which there can be no return. TChef now gives a choice to real chefs to remain just an ordinary chef as a vague definition of a career or realise the benefits and difference of being recognised as a professional chef.

Chefs now have a clear choice to ignore the decline of a great career and vocation as a chef influenced by the growing number of people identified as chef who fundamentally are not, believing the decline does not affect them. Or move forward by collectively and forcefully banding together in one simple concept that will objectively identify the professionals in the industry and collectively return the title professional chef  by being acknowledged  and inducted as a member of AITC.

More than ever before professionals need a mechanism in which to function in the ever changing culinary world yet keep alive the values, attitudes and reputation that underpins what a genuine professional chef stands for.

A mechanism that will return clarity to a position and promote to the community what is genuine chef is.

TChef will continue to acknowledge and closely collaborate with existing Chefs organisations, TChef intends to operate constructively and cooperate as a partner in a culinary trilogy.

There is a need for a chefs organisation focused on conducting competitions for young cooks and chefs, as is the focus of the Australian Culinary Federation. Just as there is a need for senior chefs to directly network or socialise in their own sphere of influence as one does as a member of Les Toques Blanches.  There is however a third and equally vital component, the need for a neutral organisation to focus on licensing professional chefs, by professional chefs; that every chef  who considers themselves a professional must join to protect their industry

TChef is now on that road, offering huge opportunities, a simple roadmap to enshrine chefs as professionals and provide an opportunity for everyone to succeed no matter their affiliations.

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Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs (AITC) June 16 – Press Release

AITC is a not for profit organisation of professional chefs initiated in 2015 and launched in early 2016 by a group of contemporary passionate chefs who are concerned with the direction of the commercial cookery industry. The organisation delivers a brighter future for the profession chef by lifting the vocation to new heights, with a vision of the future.

A fully professional, Australia wide Institute, that is fundamentally a registration board for qualified and experienced chefs is now firmly established, and growing.

In Australia, a license or registration is required to be an electrical contractor, nurse, paramedic, plumber, real estate agent, travel operator, valuers among other occupations that individuals must meet the requirements of their respective registration board before legally allowed to practice. Yet, as a chef is a self- regulated occupation, anyone can operate as a chef irrespective of their skills, knowledge, or fitness and use the title chef.

The occupation of a chef may never be licensed by government, mainly because the industry requires two kinds of chefs,   those who are semi-skilled who perform the mundane tasks, who work alongside the highly skilled who are trained to be the leaders. Professionals who are competent at perceiving the whole attributes required in the culinary process, including a professional attitude towards their vocation.

As government cannot, and will not license those who practice in commercial cookery at any level, (even highly qualified professional chefs) the next step in the evolution of the culinary industry in Australia is for professional chefs to license their own, by creating an industry driven professional chefs registration board.

It is time to publicly promote an organisation that endorses by licensing chefs who meet minimum requirements in training, education and ethical obligations, chefs who practice at the highly skilled professional level.

An association that:

  1. By simply identifying and separating, trained professional who have the grounding and commitment, from those who operate with the same title, many of whom do not deserve the title, unable to substantiate their claim to be a commercial chef and not willing to agree to standards of practice in commercial cookery.
  2. Insists on high measurable and objective standards of entry, ensuring members are aware of their ethical obligations as identified in professional codes of conduct and attentive to the Institutes expectations of continued self development,
  3. Has the potential in time to ultimately transform the trade of cookery into a genuine professional career for those who deserve the recognition and status of the highest integrity, and who have earned the title professional chef.

The TechnicalChef concept is simple, effective and accountable, and is being supported by an increasing number of professionals who have applied to be licensed as a TechnicalChef.

Applicants who prove they have five attributes,  (A roadmap that involves (1) approved training standards,  (2) commercial cookery experience, (3) fitness to be titled  a chef, (4)  commitment to follow codes of practice  and a duty to (5) continuously  develop ones career) are licensed to show they are a professional commercial chef, or a TechnicalChef.

The Institute seeks:

  1. Chefs who are commercially trained, experienced, and able to understand their ethical and functional responsibilities as a professional to make this initiative work.
  2. Chefs, who can lead the industry forward into a new era of professionalism never thought possible in an industry, where chefs not only quote they are professional, but personally demonstrate the qualities and attributes required to belong to a professional industry .
  3. Chefs who, are passionate about their career, can inspire others, willing to stand up and be counted, and openly willing to promote that a professional chefs career is a worthwhile occupation by publicly branding themselves.
  4. Professionals who have the industrial background to know what a professional chef really is in competencies and attitude; chefs who have the experience to understand that the occupation involves more than just cooking.
  5. Leaders who are aware of the need to separate professional chefs from the general community’s perception of a chef, to join a philosophy that advances Australian Commercial Cookery to the next level.

A professional chef is more than wearing a crisp white coat, and possessing a cookery certificate Professionalism has to do with how one conducts oneself in the day to day operations,  being polite, having good judgement, understanding cultural norms, following moral, ethical and professional standards, and able to independently practice.

A chef is able to transcend beyond just cookery;  a person who knows that a chef is not limited to cookery skill, but is a people manager, involved with menu compilation, budgetary constraints, a manager of human and physical resources,  legal compliance, counselling,  mentoring, team building and succession planning, among many other day to day responsibilities .

If you need to ask what in this for chef?  I suggest you should already be aware that any legitimate professional occupation is built upon a foundation that identifies the minimum characteristics and qualities in its professionals.  An institution that requires admission standards, documented training and development, continuous self develop and fitness.

Just as professionals in other disciplines would also acknowledge that an essential component of any practicing specialist is their mindset, that includes the need to be a part of an association that is not just a social club, but an association that encompass all the basic components and standards to collectively represent members in a genuine profession.

AITC is:

  1. Not affiliated, nor in competition with any existing chefs association, AITC already has many senior members from existing chefs associations registered across Australia.
  2. Purely a registration board that aims to protect the status of being a professional chef. An association that identifies verifies and licenses professional chefs to use a logo to demonstrate their genuine professional status with a trademark that will in time become, more and more obvious and respected in the community.
  3. Internet driven; consequently, registration fees are exceptionally low. At only an annual fee of $25 dollars a year brings to the table, publicity, public recognition, authenticity, respectability and creditability.

The new ideology attempts to better commercial cookery and professionalism at the highest level with industry registration of qualified chefs, a process that has to start somewhere. Probably most will never see the fruit that grow from a seed that is now planted. However, chefs must look towards the future and join an organisation that brings to the table: respectability, authenticity and creditability.

AITC Council  Release 21/06/2016

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Speaker Notes and A.I.T.C Profile Handout

 Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs. Inc

(AITC)

Chefs, Ladies and Gentleman

There is a new and refreshing vision of a career of a chef.

A chef was once considered in the community to be a highly specialised expert in food preparation. A person who had a responsible occupation, an artist, an artisan, a professional, and a person who could prepare, deliver and manage quantity food production.

Unfortunately this view has somewhat diluted over the past few years.

However, due to an initiative by a group of chefs, keen to protect the reputation of a professional chef, a national association of professional chefs has been created that aims to return the reputation and perception of a chef to its rightful place.

AITC or the Australian Institute of Technical Chefs is an association for opinion leaders and skilled specialists that particularly targets chefs who understand their responsibilities as a professional.

This association adds:

Authenticity, Respectability and Creditability to a genuine professional image and bio

What is the Australian Institute of Technical Chefs?

Understand the current real situation:

Every day we experience articles, radio and TV programs, and more, that demonstrate the title CHEF is now generally misunderstood in the media and community.

Over the past few years the title Chef has been hijacked. Unfortunately a chef is now believed or implied to be anyone who is associated with food in any way without considering the entire attributes that make up a genuine professional.

EG:

  • Wanted Pizza Chef, (Popular advertisement)
  • Wanted Hamburger Chef ( recent newspaper adverts)
  • Masterchef best apprenticeship on the planet (Current TV promo)
  • Everyone is an Executive Chef (Many business cards and websites)
  • Black belt chef applied for a teaching position (One of our council members had this on an applicants CV)
  • We only have Executive Chef Lecturers(Provider Website)
  • Newspaper Journalists writing as food reviewers, imply they are a chef
  • News reports naming chefs shown in t-shirts and baseball caps (TV – News and print media)
  • We teach chefs (Cert I and 2 – VET web advert)
  • Institutes who advertise on websites they teach chefs (not cooks and chefs)

These are just a few examples of the daily misuse of the title chef which now demonstrates means professionally and industrially much less compared to yesteryear and what the occupation really is.

Additionally, by the standard of professional dress and behavior in public by some who call themselves a chef, demonstrates an alarming infiltration of unsuitable individuals into the vocation.

The title “chef “is now grossly overstated, inappropriately used in marketing, and grossly misunderstood by media.

AITC was set up in late 2015 by a group of chefs who were concerned with the growing public misconception of what a professional commercial chef actually means, what a genuine chef does, and the community awareness of the minimum values a professional chef must naturally have.

In many recent professional competitions, there are increasingly atrocious technical standards. The evidence of the decline in technical skills, knowledge dress standards and behaviour has been gathering momentum over the past few years across the commercial cookery industry in Australia.

Following alarming comments from some participants and senior chefs, and after further private investigations, it became blatantly apparent there was an urgent need for a registration service to separate genuine professional chefs from the growing number of cowboys.

In October 2015, a group convened and formed a council to create the AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNICAL CHEFS, during November and December, wrote a Constitution, By-laws, Incorporated as a not- for – profit organisation, created a logo and legally protected the name: TechnicalChef.

Details at http://technicalchef.com

The concept is simple, and is being supported by a growing number of elite professional chefs who have joined the institute.

A chef will never be government licensed (face the reality) therefore genuine professional chefs must license their own.

As small as the organisation is currently, in truth, TechnicalChef is the first licensing of chefs in Australia. The strength and affect of the organisation will ultimately depend upon who joins rather than numbers.

Provided the Institute insists on strong, measurable and objective standards of entry, ensuring members are aware of their ethical obligations as identified in professional codes of conduct and attentive to the Institutes expectations of continued self development, this association could ultimately transforms the trade of cookery into a professional career of the highest integrity and competence.

This can be achieved, simply by industry licensing and promoting legitimate professional and/or those in associated occupations that emanated from a career as a professional chef.

(This has started to happen) http://www.technicalchef.com/registry-2/

Simple concept – One proves they have five attributes and will follow the Institutes principles; they are licensed to use a logo to show they are a professional commercial chef. Or a TechnicalChef

To prevent rouge claims, members are also verified on the internet by their registration number and picture.

AITC started to receive applications in January 2016 from trade professionals who continue to apply their skills and knowledge and uphold trade values and ethics.

This ideology is in stark contrast to the vast numbers of people now calling themselves a chef, with no regard for or knowledge what the title chef actually stands for, nor bound by any agreed industry standards or rules of professional conduct.

The process to PROVE one is a professional chef is lengthy, and objective.

One cannot just fill a form, and by a show of hands in a committee obtain lifelong approval as a professional.

Three factors need to be realised.

  1. AITC will grow slowly, and many will never see the fruits that will grow from a seed that is planted today. However every professional can make a contribution.
  2. Re-registration is required every two years and then five, conditional upon continuous self-development.
  3. In the future, when ready, AITC may even require entry examinations. Online theoretical exams are ready, and possibly sometime in the future, the Institute may contract a provider to deliver practical examinations that following AITC guidelines.

AITC is not in conflict with any existing chefs organisation.

AITC is a REGISTRATION AND VERIFICATION ASSOCIATION, based on set principles. The association does not claim to be an organisation that delivers social networking or competitions, and A.I.T.C fully supports other chefs organisations.

AITC is a registration service for every legitimate chef, member of any association or not.

The basic philosophy of AITC is:

  1. If you ask what AITC does for you without considering what you do to contribute to the industry, please do not waste our time and apply, as you not ready or mature. Membership is not a right, it is a privilege.
  2. If you wish to continue to be known as a chef and decide not apply to be registered, do so, it is your prerogative, but realise you will become increasingly associated with a meaningless group of under skilled or deskilled workers, who generally do not have base professional standards.
  3. If you are willing to provide evidence of your development as a professional commercial chef, provide commitments to follow codes of practice, and continuous development. You will be welcomed to join an association that shows by a logo that you are real professional commercial chef by grounding and fitness, and a registered TechnicalChef.

It is in the interest of every legitimate professional chef to join AITC to protect their own future.

AITC is managed by a group of nine councillors

There are five officers and four general managers who form the council:

President – Vice President – Secretary – Treasurer – Registrar

Four general managers:

Branding  Marketing – Education – Industry Liaison

Additionally, the institute is in the process of appointing brand ambassadors across Australia who will be key representatives for a state, or geographical region.

The association conducts regular meetings (including on the internet)

Applications

Applications are purely internet driven, and the mere cost of registration is $25 per year, for the two years.

Every member has to provide documented evidence of industry grounding and prove fitness for induction into the Institute.

This has occurred from President down, and there are NO exceptions to this policy.

To renew membership, members are required to show continuous development activities and accumulate 50 credit points in activities every two years prior to re-registration.

The Institute has identified a sizeable and growing list of professional activities that accrue credit points that include:

Enriching experiences: like entering competitions.

–  Networking experiences: such as Membership of A.C.F or LTB.

–  Advisory experiences: such as Culinary Judge.

–  Education experiences: such as attending short courses and master classes.

–  The growing approved list may be seen on the website.

Induction requirements:

There are 5 conditions for approval to be inducted into the Institute.

Skills and Knowledge“ Assessed by AITC approved technical qualifications, (Minimum 1000 technical education credit points).

  • (Relativity: Post 2008 TAFE training for a chef is Certificate III in Commercial Cookery is equated as 500 points).
  • Points are awarded for other short and long term culinary qualifications
  • Pre 2008 certificate III is approved as 1,000 points as is Certificate IV in commercial cookery.
  • Credit points for overseas qualifications are accepted, consistent with VETASSESS (Or other relevant assessing authority) determinations.
  •  As a broad principle, a credit point is equated to one hour of formal culinary study.

Fitness– Assessed by the independent opinion of three industry referees, augmented by evidence of participation in culinary self-development activities post formative training.

Experience– Assessed by the time spent in practice in a commercial kitchen – a minimum of six years or 12,000 hours.

Commitments – Self-development – Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to continuous self-improvement and provide evidence of 50 credit points every two years for subsequent re-registration.

Obligations – Agree to adhere to the Australian Culinary Codes of Practice.

The descriptions above are only a brief summary, please read the full details of entry requirements.

To complete an application requires a considerable amount of time and thought, including preparing CV, coping certificates, arranging referees and self-evaluation to ensure one fulfils the entry requirements.

Details of this initiative are seen on the AITC extensive website

http://technicalchef.com

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Why has TechnicalChef evolved?

The new chefs association started in late 2015 registers legitimate chefs and licenses members to use a logo to prove to the public that they are a professional commercial chef. The first group of licensed chefs is now on the online registry . http://www.technicalchef.com/registry-2/ . The list is updated monthly.

We have many farcical situations where currently there is no difference between a qualified, experience chef, and an apprentice, food stylist, author, restaurant reviewer, pizza maker and more.

Anyone who can put food on a plate is now dubbed a chef, particularly in print media, in advertisements or on television, without any regard to the holistic requirements to be a dependable commercial cook/chef.

Watered down curriculum, severe budgetary cuts have diluted skills, and inappropriate media promotions have deterred many young from seeking a career in commercial cookery.

In addition, even the community has been brainwashed by media to believe that a chef is the trade and vocation, forgetting its original meaning as a position of responsibility and specialist in a commercial kitchen.

The Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs an Australian association of professional chefs. The Institute identifies those who are the skilled senior professionals, (The Officers in the kitchen) who with the modern chefs (who are the runners) team together in a modern kitchen to deliver the foodservice.

TechnicalChef is a new ideology only suitable for proven specialists, an association that demand members conform to minimum standards and codes required by any responsible vocation or genuine profession. The organisation is more than just a social club is. It is holistically a professional association. Commercial chefs, who recognize the current false impressions that come with the modern title chef will understand exactly what this means in destroying their career and reputation as a legitimate cookery expert.

Professionals will also realise the need to belong to an organisation to safeguard their career and title. Join now if you have the appropriate credentials and fitness to be a licensed as a Technical Chef.

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Is the Australian Institute of Technical Chefs, officially recognised as an accrediting institute?

Not by Government or statuary regulation, this may, or may not eventuate; however is definitely a long-term goal of the Institute.

The Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs has just started and its strength as an accrediting body will grow with members. The Australian Institute of TechnicalChef is a group of experienced and technically qualified commercial chefs who all have (No exceptions) agreed to be individually assessed to ensure they meet the agreed standards to form an independent association that accredits member chefs.

The standards of association have been agreed and set at a professional level ,requiring evidence to show Skills, Fitness, Knowledge, Experience, Commitment and an obligation for Continuing development.  Members agree that there is a need to start to protect their occupational status and vocation by self-regulation.

The commercial cookery Industry is huge and diverse. Within the commercial cookery Industry there is a wide variety occupations that require diverse levels of training, education and experience.

There are levels of occupations that require highly qualified personnel who need high-level formal training, education, experience, and professionalism that is well above trade standards.

There are levels of occupations that require highly qualified personnel who need training and experience to deliver trade quality while being professional in attitudes and actions.

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Why the Hat?

A hat is not just a head covering, it is a symbol that shows the public one is skilled, experienced, has a professional attitude, and proud to be a member of a unique group of professionals. Recently a very good chef, said I do not wear a hat because I am bald, told me that he does not understand what a chefs hat really is, or realises the need to brand oneself. Wearing a professional uniform at least in public (particularly the media) is one VERY SMALL but important value of a chef, and is their contribution to the cookery industry.

Wearing a hat in a public arena demonstrates the chef believes in showing their professional status, and demonstrates they belong to a unique group who have professional standards in practice. We need to understand why people hang up certificates, pin badges to their lapel, or add qualifications to their business card. For the same reason, to show they associate with the standards behind the brand.

Of course wearing a hat does not definitely prove a person is a professional chef; however are other ways that is easily established.

A classic chefs hat in many cases in Australia has replaced the cap. Even though this is not a global fashion, this is acceptable under the Australian Culinary Codes of Practice as the minimum standard.

However, to collectively brand and protect the culinary industry, whenever a chef appears in a commercial kitchen for the media arena, a classical hat is the preferred image. This brands the both the individual and the whole industry. Individually and collectively, everyone wins.

I also personally believe students should wear caps till the day they graduate at school, and should be presented with a classic hat (even a paper one) as a symbol gesture that they now belong to, and are acknowledged by professionals in the industry.

George Hill 2015

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For Goodness SAKE!

To consider that a genuine professional chef is simply determined by skills and knowledge is to only identify technical ability and supports the argument that being a professional chef is only about putting food on a plate.

There is a great deal more involved to being a genuine professional chef.

To only measure technical ability to be acknowledged as a professional chef, is akin to believing that a successful meal is determined by the plate alone.

Professionals understand that a great meal is influenced by many other internal and external influences to the kitchen, including service, company, ambience, wine, music and a myriad of other influences.

Anyone can cook, we see this daily with actors who have coined the phrase celebrity chef, who for publicity reasons, swear and throw food and unfortunately joined by many others who cook for a living, but unable to understand or even care to recognize that they additionally have a moral duty, if they are to be a professional chef. So what are the elements that make a professional? I believe they are:

  • Skills
  • Attitude
  • Knowledge
  • Experience

Skills: The first and foremost element Confidence and consistency to technically procure, prepare, and present wholesome food within the cost and time constrains applicable to their work environment.

Provide evidence that you can do this and you score 25%

Attitude: The next essential element, because it shows a commitment to the industry and includes:

Valuing the need for continuous self development Respecting the part that history has played in cooking Acknowledging and correctly using the technical language Understanding the need to be involved in supporting networks / associations Following a recognized code of practices Being courteous to and openly sharing knowledge with colleagues Behaving and conducting oneself at all times as a professional Mentoring the futures industry Being proud to wear a full chefs uniform

Being passionate with and respecting food Being able to describe and defend what a professional chef stands for

Add another 25%

Knowledge: The third essential component includes: Following the laws of the land as applied to a working chef Knowing how to operate with integrity and honour Upholding the values of a professional cook Being aware of a wide variety of products and ingredients Understand the reaction of ingredients in preparation and cooking

Add 25% and you are still only three- quarters of a professional chef.

Experience – The final critical component Experience as a learner, apprentice or commis, experience as a cook, chef de parti, sous chef, chef de cuisine and/or as an executive chef. Experiencing how to be professionally treated in order to learn how to later treat staff. There are many different types of additional valid “experiences” which depending upon circumstances and may include: being an author of technical books, committed as a commercial cookery educator, gaining over a period of time an industry reputation for excellence, participation in Salon Culinaires particularly as a participant and showing leadership in a kitchen or a chefs association

 All four – Now you are a professional chef With any one of the four essentials elements missing the professionalism of the chef would be in question. Call yourself a chef, even genuinely believe you are a chef.

Even con the media and the public into believing that you are a chef, however realise you have not reached the legitimate stature of a professional as yet. George Hill 2015

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 codesplate

 

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