In remote locations where FIFO camps are situated, there is a need to provide meals for the entire workforce, ranging from dozens to hundreds of individuals.


The term typically used to call it is high-volume cooking, and high-volume cooking in FIFO camps refers to preparing and cooking large quantities of food to feed many people daily. 

FIFO chefs are typically expected to perform high-volume cooking due to the nature of their work. In FIFO camps, they are responsible for providing meals to many workers. As a result, chefs in FIFO camps need to be able to handle the challenges of cooking for a large workforce. 


Some of the expectations and responsibilities related to high-volume cooking for FIFO chefs include the following:


Menu Planning


FIFO chefs are involved in planning menus catering to the workforce’s nutritional needs and dietary preferences. They design menus that offer variety and balance while considering high-volume production challenges.


Quantity Estimation


Chefs must accurately estimate the ingredients required to prepare meals for the camp. This involves calculations based on the number of diners, portion sizes, and potential meal variations.

Chefs use various methods and techniques to estimate quantities for high-volume cooking. Some common approaches they employ are:

  • Recipe Scaling: Chefs often start with a base recipe and scale it up to meet the desired quantity. They carefully calculate ingredient measurements, adjusting proportions accordingly. For example, if a recipe is designed to serve four people and needs to be scaled up to serve 100, the quantities of each ingredient would be multiplied by 25.

  • Experience and Knowledge: Experienced chefs draw on their knowledge and expertise to estimate quantities based on their understanding of ingredient yields and portion sizes. They understand how much food is typically consumed per person and can make informed estimations.

  • Standardised Portion Sizes: Chefs often work with standardised portion sizes to facilitate quantity estimation. They determine the typical serving size for each dish and multiply it by the number of diners to calculate the required quantity. This method ensures consistency in portioning and facilitates accurate estimations.

  • Production Sheets: Chefs may use production sheets or standardised templates that provide guidelines for ingredient quantities based on the number of servings required. These sheets contain measurements and conversions specific to the prepared recipes, making calculating quantities for high-volume production easier.

  • Historical Data: Chefs and kitchen managers maintain records of previous meal quantities and consumption patterns. By analysing this data, they can estimate future meals based on historical trends and adjust quantities accordingly.

  • Collaboration with Suppliers: Chefs often work closely with food suppliers and communicate their requirements to ensure an adequate supply of ingredients. Suppliers can guide quantities based on the number of diners, helping chefs estimate the amounts needed for high-volume cooking.


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Preparation and Cooking


FIFO chefs are responsible for preparing and cooking large quantities of food. They must efficiently handle tasks such as peeling, chopping, marinating, cooking, and plating. This requires managing time, using appropriate cooking equipment, and coordinating with kitchen staff.


Food Safety 


FIFO chefs must adhere to food safety and hygiene standards while working with high volumes of food. They must ensure that proper storage, handling, and cooking practices are followed to prevent foodborne illnesses and maintain the workforce’s well-being.


Quality Control


Despite the challenges of high-volume cooking, FIFO chefs are expected to maintain quality and consistency in the meals they prepare. They must pay attention to flavours, textures, and presentation, ensuring that the food meets the expected standards and satisfies the workforce.


Resource Management 


FIFO chefs should be resourceful in utilising ingredients and minimising wastage. They must use available resources efficiently, including incorporating canned or frozen foods, repurposing leftovers, and adapting recipes to suit the available ingredients.


In Summary:


While the specific expectations may vary depending on the company and project, high-volume cooking is a common aspect of the job for FIFO chefs. They are crucial in providing nutritious and satisfying meals to the workforce in remote locations, often under challenging conditions.

We at Anytime Staff understand that a good FIFO chef should be able to handle the above requirements when handling high-volume cooking. We have a roster of professional FIFO chefs serving various mining camps and resorts in Australia. 

High-volume cooking in FIFO camps demands excellent organisational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work under pressure. It requires chefs and kitchen staff to balance quantity with quality, ensuring that meals are nutritious, tasty, and capable of sustaining the workforce in physically demanding environments.


That’s it for this week.

As always, professional chefs are on call at Anytime Staff!

Ciao for now,


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