Being a Restaurant Chef in a Jewish Established

Being a restaurant chef sounds very prestigious and requires culinary skill above average. Being a restaurant chef in a Jewish establishment adds a tad of difficulty to the picture. Jewish people observe the laws of kashrut as given in the Torah, their holy book. Food prepared according to these laws is referred to as “kosher.” It is required from a Jewish restaurant chef to prepare and present food that is strictly kosher.

Should a restaurant chef working in a kosher establishment be found to have violated the kosher laws there most definitely will be repercussions. Most kosher kitchens are structured to operate smoothly which makes the transition from so-called “secular” kitchens obtainable to most restaurant chefs. Alas, there will be much to adapt to.

Kosher laws state that meat and dairy cannot be cooked or served together. Should a Jew consume meat, he or she has to wait at least 3 to 6 hours before consuming dairy. Should a Jew eat dairy first the mouth has to be rinsed and a neutral solid like bread eaten before meat is consumed. When a restaurant chef sets up the menu, this will play a big role. This also brings another challenge to the chef of the restaurant, namely…creating desserts that do not contain any dairy.

A non-Jewish restaurant chef will find the cooking methods a bit more complicated than elsewhere as different utensils (spoons, flatware, plates and pots) have to be used to prepare meat and dairy products. Washing up and dishwasher procedures also differ very much from what is normally taught to a restaurant chef at chef school.

A restaurant chef with specialized kosher training will find there horizons broadened to places like Israel and America, though South Africa is not far behind with the growing trend of kosher restaurants and hotels.