Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Elaine Steiro from McDonald's to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine Steiro



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Elaine Steiro

If you are considering starting in the food/ catering or hospitality sectors, you should consider whether you like working shift work and you should like working in a pressured environment .

It is a very fulfilling and rewarding sector to work in though and every day is different with new skills being added to your skillset all of the time . If you are considering moving into the management side of things, then you should be able to co ordinate tasks and people to achieve results and you should like an ever changing work environment.


Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Commis Chef
In Summary header image

Commis Chef

This new Commis Chef apprenticeship programme has been approved as of August 2017.

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, the participant is awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Culinary Arts.

The lead industry partner for this apprenticeship is the Irish Hotels Federation.  The apprenticeship is coordinated by Kerry Education and Training Board and is delivered in a range of locations in Cavan & Monaghan ETB, City of Dublin ETB, Cork ETB, Galway & Roscommon ETB, Kerry ETB, and Limerick & Clare ETB.

Training to be a Commis Chef involves acquiring the knowledge, skills and competence to carry out the core cooking tasks/responsibilities within the kitchen section (e.g. starters, vegetables, sweets, meats, sauces, etc.) in order to work autonomously at this level.

At the end of the apprenticeship, the commis chef will be able to demonstrate the required competence, knowledge and skills in:
  • Culinary
  • Food safety
  • People
  • Business

Training header image

The Commis Chef apprenticeship programme is a 24-month training programme leading to a qualification at Level 6.

The 2-year programme involves 3 or 4 days per week on-the-job training, and 1 or 2 days per week off-the-job, depending on the time of year. 

On successful completion, the Commis Chef will have:

Culinary: Be able to identify/recognise/understand

  • The factors which influence the types of dishes and menus offered by the business
  • How technology supports the development and production of dishes and menu items in own kitchen
  • The importance of checking food stocks and managing stock rotation
  • The setup, preparation and cleaning tasks to the agreed standard whilst working in a challenging environment( in compliance with food safety legislation)
  • The correct ingredients and portion sizes for each dish in line with recipe specifications
  • The principles of basic food preparation and cooking; taste; allergens; diet and nutrition
  • Commonly used knives and kitchen equipment and their specific function
  • Sources and quality points of common food groups and commodities
  • Traditional cuts of and basic preparation methods for, meat, poultry, fish and vegetables
  • The impact of seasonality on the availability, quality and price of ingredients
Food Safety:
  • Identify the personal hygiene standards, food safety practices and procedures required in compliance with food safety legislation
  • Understand how to store, prepare and cook ingredients to maintain quality, in line with food safety legislation
  • Understand how personal and team performance impact on the successful production of dishes and menu items
  • Know how to communicate with colleagues and team members from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures
  • Understand the importance of training and development to maximise own performance
  • Know how to support team members when the need arises
  • Have an understanding of professional behaviours and organisational culture
  • Recognise how all teams are dependent on each other and understand the importance of teamwork both back and front of house
  • Understand the basic costing and yield of dishes and the meaning of gross profit
  • Understand the principles of supply chain and waste management
  • Recognise potential risks in the working environment, how to address them and the potential consequences of those risks
  • Demonstrate a specialist knowledge of hospitality business principles and practices including application within an entrepreneurial context

  • Contribute to reviewing and refreshing menus in line with business and customer requirements
  • Use available technology in line with business procedures and guidelines to achieve the best result
  • Check food stocks, report on shortages, prioritise food that is close to expiry and keep the storage areas in good order
  • Work methodically to prioritise tasks, ensuring they are completed at the right moment and to the required standard
  • Measure dish ingredients and portion sizes accurately
  • Demonstrate a range of craft preparation and basic cooking skills and techniques to prepare, produce and present dishes and menu items in line with business requirements
  • Use correct knives and knife skills when preparing food and use the correct equipment when preparing, cooking and presenting food
  • Correctly store and use food commodities when preparing dishes
  • Apply correct preparation and selection methods when using meat, poultry, fish and vegetables in dishes
  • Complete preparation and cooking tasks to a high standard delivered on time and presented as described within the recipe specification
Food Safety:
  • Maintain a clean and hygienic kitchen environment at all times, complete kitchen documentation as required in compliance with food Hygiene requirements
  • Store, prepare and cook ingredients correctly to deliver a quality product that is safe for the consumer in compliance with Food Safety regulation
  • Ensure that teamwork and communication are utilised in the production of dishes of high quality, delivered on time and to the standard required
  • Use suitable methods of communication and operate in a fair and equal manner that demonstrates effective team working
  • Develop own skills and knowledge through training and experiences
  • Support team members to produce dishes and menu items on time to quality standards
  • Perform role to the best of own ability in line with the business values and culture
  • Develop good working relationships across the team and with colleagues in other parts of the organisation, and deal with challenges and problems constructively to drive a positive outcome
  • Follow instruction to meet targets and effectively control resources  
  • Follow procedures regarding usage and waste of resources
  • Undertake all tasks with due care and attention, reporting risks in the appropriate manner

Personal Qualities header image



  • Show enthusiasm for keeping up to date with business and current industry trends
  • Use information communication technology and equipment in line with hospitality training
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of stock rotation and stock control
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify when tasks are not going to plan and have the confidence to request support when needed through the mentoring system
  • Work consistently to achieve standards within the hospitality environment
  • Show commitment to developing skills and knowledge; trying out new ingredients and dishes; practising and reflecting on different preparation and cooking techniques
  • Demonstrate care and attention when using knives and equipment in conjunction with health and safety regulation
  • Consistently use the correct volume and quality of commodities in each dish, maintaining attention to detail
  • Utilise the correct cuts and preparation methods in the production of high quality, safe and wholesome dishes/food for consumption
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of food ingredients
Food Safety:
  • Demonstrate excellence personal hygiene standards in conjunction with food safety legislation
  • Demonstrate safe working practices when storing, preparing and cooking ingredients in order to maintain quality and ensure food safety
  • Apply a professional approach to all tasks within the role
  • Listen and understand other peoples’ point of view and respond courteously
  • Acknowledge and recognise teams achievement through positive feedback recognising peoples work and commitment
  • Work positively as a team member
  • Apply and understand the business culture and values
  • Communicate and behave effectively to help team members achieve the best result for the customers and the business
  • Be financially aware of the cost implications through the business in approach to all aspects of work
  • Apply good waste management practices within the business
  • Be aware of potential risks within the kitchen environment and takes action to prevent them

Work Activities header image

A Commis Chef carries out the core cooking tasks/responsibilities within the kitchen section of a restaurant, hotel, catering facility (e.g. starters, vegetables, sweets, meats, sauces, etc.).
The Commis Chef works autonomously at this level.

Pay & Fees header image

For this new Commis Chef apprenticeship, the employer pays the apprentice for the duration of the apprenticeship.

The rate of pay is agreed between the employer and the apprentice.

Entry Requirements header image

Information to follow

Getting an Apprenticeship header image

The industry served by this apprenticeship is the Tourism and Hospitality Industry, through its industry bodies i.e. IHF, RAI, IHI, VFI. and CMAI.

The Irish Hotels' Federation (IHF) and the Restaurants' Association of Ireland are among those in the consortium offering a two-year commis chef apprenticeship.

115 apprentices are to be recruited nationally on the first intake (October 2017) in seven centres. 

Within 6-12 months there will be a further intake of 385 apprentices. The aim is to reach a total of 4,500 apprentices in total 9comprising both 1st year and 2nd year apprentices)within the next 4-5 years.

Recruitment will be through local employers advertising their positions.

The apprenticeship is coordinated by Kerry Education and Training Board and is delivered in a range of locations in Cavan & Monaghan ETB, City of Dublin ETB, Cork ETB, Galway & Roscommon ETB, Kerry ETB, and Limerick & Clare ETB.

Career Opportunities header image

At the end of the apprenticeship, the commis chef will be able to demonstrate competence, knowledge and skills in the following areas: 

  • Culinary
  • Food safety
  • People and
  • Business skills.
With the initial Commis Chef stage of the apprenticeship now in place (August 2017), further apprenticeship stages are currently being developed to enable progression to to Chef de Partie, Sous Chef and Executive Chef.

Occupation Profile header image

Progression Routes header image

Occupation Data


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