Specifications that use this resource:

Notes and guidance: Skill levels in food preparation

This list will help you to differentiate between the level of skill required for different dishes.

Remember to take into account the presentation of the dish and to look out for the use of ready-made ingredients, particularly when looking for complex dishes.

Examples of savoury dishes

Basic (use of some standard or ready-made components)

  • Bolognaise
  • Cheese scones
  • Cheese and potato pie
  • Chicken chow mein
  • Fajitas (standard component wraps)
  • French dressing
  • Macaroni cheese
  • Omelette
  • Pasta bake (tomato sauce)
  • Sausage rolls (ready rolled pastry)
  • Savoury rice
  • Scone base pizza
  • Stir fry
  • Tomato soup
  • Pesto sauce

Medium

  • Beef burgers
  • Beef stroganoff
  • Cauliflower cheese
  • Cheese and onion slice
  • Jerk chicken and savoury rice
  • Meat balls/falafels
  • Pizza (bread base Thai green curry)
  • Quiche
  • Pasta carbonara risotto
  • Roasted vegetable soup
  • Samosa (dough)
  • Scotch eggs
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Stew and dumplings
  • Stuffed pancakes with sauce
  • Sushi

Complex (no standard or ready-made components are used)

  • Caesar salad (portioning chicken)
  • Cheese soufflé
  • Chicken and mushroom pie
  • Cottage/Shepherd’s pie
  • Fish cakes
  • Fish pie (filleted fish)
  • Gnocchi tomato sauce
  • Lasagne (fresh pasta)
  • Moussaka
  • Ravioli
  • Sausage rolls (flaky pastry)
  • Savoury choux bun
  • Savoury plait (rough puff pastry)
  • Savoury roulade
  • Traditional Cornish pasties

Examples of sweet dishes

Basic (use of some standard or ready-made components)

  • All-in-one cakes
  • Apple crumble
  • Cupcakes
  • Flapjack
  • Fruit scones
  • Fruit salad melting moments
  • Muffins
  • Rock cakes

Medium

  • Apple pie
  • Apple turnover
  • Bread and butter pudding
  • Brownies
  • Carrot cake and frosting
  • Crème caramel
  • Decorated chilled cheesecake
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Lemon pancakes
  • Marble cake
  • Panna cotta
  • Piped decorated cup cakes
  • Swiss roll with filling
  • Viennese biscuits
  • Victoria sandwich cake with a finish

Complex (no standard or ready-made components are used)

  • Apple frangipane tart
  • Bakewell tart
  • Brandy snap baskets and filling
  • Brioche rolls
  • Chelsea buns
  • Chocolate roulade
  • Decorated cake eg ganache/filling
  • Decorated gelatine cheesecake
  • Éclairs
  • Fruit tarts with crème patisserie
  • Jalousie
  • Lemon meringue pie
  • Lemon tart
  • Pavlova with a fruit coulis
  • Profiteroles with filling and topping
  • Millionaire caramel shortbread
  • Swiss roll with lemon curd/jam

Examples of skills required

Batter

Basic

Yorkshire pudding: making a simple batter.

Medium

Profiteroles: making choux pastry.

Complex

Éclairs with filling and topping: making choux pastry and melting chocolate.

Bread/dough

Basic

  • Bread rolls: using a packet mix/shaping.
  • Cheese and onion rolls: packet pastry.
  • Pizza: using a packet mix bread to make a dough.

Medium

  • Bread rolls: handmade dough/shaping/finish.
  • Cheese and onion rolls: rough puff pastry.
  • Bread rolls: creating a yeast dough using the chosen yeast appropriately to make evenly-sized bread rolls.

Complex

  • Bread plait: flavoured, using a handmade dough/shaping.
  • Cheese and onion plait: rough puff/flaky pastry with accurate finish.
  • Chelsea bun: making a sweet yeast dough filling, shaping and glazing.

Burgers

Basic

Bean burgers/falafel: shaping, vegetable preparation.

Medium

Bean burger with homemade bread bun: bread making, forming and shaping.

Complex

Bean burger with homemade bread bun: bread making, forming and shaping and own made mayonnaise.

Cakes

Basic

  • Lemon drizzle cake: all in one sponge.
  • Swiss roll: whisked sponge with satisfactory results.
  • Basic lemon cheesecake: biscuit base, chilled lemon filling.
  • All-in-one buns: basic sponge and pre-prepared frosting to create a decorative cake.

Medium

  • Swiss roll: whisked sponge.
  • Swiss roll: rolled well, limited cracking.
  • Chilled lemon flan: biscuit base, filling and decoration.
  • Cupcakes: making a basic sponge and a ganache or flavoured buttercream to ice cupcakes.

Complex

  • Black forest gateau: whisked sponge cake filled with homemade jam.
  • Swiss roll: rolled well, limited cracking. Made own jam or lemon curd.
  • Tarte au citron: using a pastry case, baking blind and lemon filling.
  • Decorated flavoured sponge: eg carrot, fruit, coffee, with homemade ganache, frosting or buttercream, chocolate curls.

Chicken

Basic

Chicken stir fry: using prepared chicken/vegetable preparation.

Medium

Chicken and pasta bake: using all-in-one sauce, chopping chicken/vegetable preparation.

Complex

Chicken and pasta bake: jointing a chicken, roux sauce, shortcrust pastry/pasta.

Curries

Basic

  • Chicken curry: ready chopped chicken pieces in a curry sauce.
  • Fish curry: pre-filleted fish.

Medium

  • Chicken curry: skinning chicken portions and chopping into even pieces, homemade sauce.
  • Fish curry: pre-filleted fish and rice and own flat bread.

Complex

  • Chicken curry: jointing a chicken and preparing the pieces appropriately into even sizes, sauce making and vegetable preparation.
  • Fish curry: filleting own fish, flavoured rice and stuffed naan.

Eggs

Basic

  • Spanish omelette: using protein to set mixtures.
  • Basic meringues: using eggs as a raising agent, spooned onto baking trays.

Medium

  • Quiche Lorraine: using protein to set mixtures/shortcrust pastry.
  • Shaped meringues: using eggs as a raising agent/piped.

Complex

  • Mini quiche with a variety of fillings: using protein to set mixtures/shortcrust pastry.
  • Pavlova: using eggs as a raising agent – piped and shaped meringue of a pre-determined shape and size.

Fish

Basic

  • Breaded fish: using pre-filleted fish.
  • Fish cakes: using canned fish to make fishcakes.

Medium

  • Breaded fish goujons: removing skin from fish.
  • Fish cakes: making with fish that needs the skin removing and homemade breadcrumbs.

Complex

  • Fish pie: filleting own fish, sauce making, mashed potato topping.
  • Fish cakes: using a whole fish that has been filleted and using homemade breadcrumbs, accurately shaped.

Mousse

Basic

Simple pots au chocolate: no whisking of eggs, melting chocolate, adding cream.

Medium

Lemon mousse: separating eggs, whisking, folding.

Complex

Charlotte Royale: making Swiss roll, making mousse, using gelatine line mould and turn out.

Pasta

Basic

  • Pasta in tomato sauce: using ready-made pasta.
  • Spaghetti bolognaise: using ready-made pasta, jar of tomato sauce, chopping vegetables.
  • Pasta salad: using dried pasta, cooked chicken, appropriate vegetables and mayonnaise.

Medium

  • Tagliatelle: making pasta/cream sauce.
  • Tagliatelle: making pasta with a prepared pasta sauce.
  • Pasta salad: using dried pasta, chicken cooked from raw, homemade dressing.

Complex

  • Ravioli: making pasta, shaping and filling and tomato sauce.
  • Lasagne: making own pasta, meat sauce and roux sauce.
  • Pasta salad: using homemade pasta, chicken cooked from raw, precision cut vegetables and a homemade emulsion eg mayonnaise.

Pies

Basic

  • Cottage pie: mashed potato, using prepared filling.
  • Chicken pie: using ready cooked chicken, packet sauce and shortcrust pastry.
  • Plum and blackberry pie: using ready-made shortcrust pastry.
  • Apple pie: using ready-made pastry.

Medium

  • Cottage pie: using fresh potato, prepare all fillings.
  • Chicken pie: using all-in-one sauce and shortcrust pastry.
  • Plum and blackberry pie: making shortcrust pastry and stewed plums.
  • Apple pie: using a shortcrust pastry with a lattice topping.

Complex

  • Cottage pie: preparing fresh potato, filling, piping, gratin topping.
  • Chicken pie: using roux sauce and homemade rough puff pastry.
  • Plum and blackberry jalousie: making own flaky pastry, stewed plums and homemade custard.
  • French apple tart: making a sweet pastry.

Sauces

Basic

  • Parsley sauce: using a packet mix.
  • Vinaigrette dressing: emulsion dressing.

Medium

  • Cheese sauce: using the roux method.
  • Mayonnaise made in a blender: emulsion dressing.

Complex

  • Infused velouté sauce: using the roux method.
  • Hollandaise sauce: made in a blender or by hand.

Vegetables

Basic

Vegetable soup: roughly chopping vegetables.

Medium

Vegetable stir fry: batons and sliced vegetables with a simple sauce.

Complex

Vegetable stir fry: julienne and batons prepared with precision and homemade sauce.

Wraps

Basic

Burrito: using ready-made wraps, simple chilli filling.

Medium

Enchilada: using ready-made wrap, chilli filling and cheese sauce topping.

Complex

Enchilada: making own wraps, chilli and sauce topping.