Kitchen assistants are of two types, kitchen-hands and stewards. Kitchen-hands assist with basic food preparation tasks under the chef's direction. They carry out relatively unskilled tasks such as peeling potatoes and washing salad. Stewards are involved in the scullery, washing up and general cleaning duties. In a smaller kitchen, these duties may be incorporated.
A communard is in charge of preparing the meal for the staff during a shift. This meal is often referred to as the staff or family meal.
The escuelerie (from 15th century French and a cognate of the English "scullery"), or the more modern plongeur or dishwasher, is the keeper of dishes, having charge of dishes and keeping the kitchen clean. A common humorous title for this role in some modern kitchens is "chef de plonge" or "head dishwasher".
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“For my own part, I had rather suffer any inconvenience from having to work occasionally in chambers and kitchen ... than witness the subservience in which the menial class is held in Europe.”
—Harriet Martineau (18021876)