Restaurant Chef Job Description: What to Expect
Do you enjoy cooking meals for your friends and family? If you feel at home in the kitchen, a career as a restaurant chef might be for you. Let’s take a look at what a restaurant chef does and what skills you need to have to run the kitchen at a restaurant.
What Does a Restaurant Chef Do?
The two types of restaurant Chef are the executive chef and the sous chef. The executive chef is the head chef in charge. Their main responsibility is setting the menu. They have to curate a menu that fits the cuisine of the restaurant they work at. This involves understanding the tastes of their customers, as well as the restaurant’s budget.
The executive chef is also responsible for managing the kitchen. They delegate tasks to food prep staff and make sure their line cooks are cooking and plating food according to the standards they set.
The sous chef is the second in command. They basically have all the same responsibilities as the executive chef and do whatever they are told to do. When the executive chef isn’t there, the sous chef is in charge.
Both chefs are responsible for making sure every single dish is prepared to the same standard. This means making sure portion sizes stay consistent and that each meal is plated the same way every time. Consistency is crucial in making sure the customers have the same experience every time they come.
Another thing both types of restaurant chefs do is make sure all ingredients are fresh and properly stored. This means making sure all kitchen staff follows safety and cleanliness protocols, as well as checking freshness of all perishable foods.
What Skills Do I Need to Become a Restaurant Chef?
Obviously, the most important skill for a restaurant chef is the ability to cook a variety of dishes. Some chefs specialize in a certain cuisine, while others are able to cook meals in a variety of cuisines. If you really want to accelerate your career as a restaurant chef, your best bet is to get formal training.
A culinary school like Culinary Lab School will not only teach you how to make various dishes, but it will also teach you basic and advanced cooking techniques that will help you take your cooking to the next level.
Another skill restaurant chefs must possess is the ability to delegate tasks, as they are the manager of the kitchen. This requires good communication skills and the ability to manage conflict.
Finally, a restaurant chef has to have a high attention to detail. In the restaurant business, the details are what separates average from excellent, whether it be plating the food or keeping the kitchen perfectly organized.
What Kind of Work Environment Can I Expect as a Restaurant Chef?
The kitchen of a restaurant is a fast-paced work environment with little downtime. The ability to work quickly and switch tasks without sacrificing quality is required to succeed.
There is also a lot of pressure on the kitchen staff. Restaurant chefs have to make sure every dish is cooked exactly how it was ordered, and they have to get the food out as quickly as possible. The customer’s experience depends on it.
The equipment quality is really where the chefs work environment can differ. A Michelin-level restaurant kitchen most likely has all top-line industrial tools. A chef in a restaurant of a small town most likely has aging equipment and has to make due with what they have. Stadium kitchens are designed for cooking meals at a large scale, so there is much more space to work than a standard restaurant kitchen.
Now that you know more about the restaurant chef’s job description, you are able to decide if this a career worth pursuing.The best way to learn more about the career is to find an executive chef to speak to one-on-one.