How to Write a Chef Job Description (Duties, Responsibilities)
The French Brigade system has long been the foundation of professional kitchens, creating a hierarchy of positions to ensure things run smoothly. The Chef is the leader. Often known as “Chef de Cuisine”, this is the person in charge of the whole kitchen. The Head Chef creates the menus, runs the stoves, manages the cooks, and tracks the inventory. They are in the trenches, frying, flipping, seasoning, and sautéing.
They also supervise the kitchen staff and are responsible for ensuring that their team follows safety and health procedures. In large establishments, the Chef reports to the executive chef, who typically holds a managerial role and is not involved in the day-to-day. With so much on their plates, Chefs often delegate tasks to their second-in-command, the sous chef, and there is quite a bit of overlap between the two positions.
It goes without saying that Chefs need serious cooking chops and a mastery of myriad techniques and kitchen equipment. These are non-negotiables in any Chef job description. Other qualities to look for are stellar problem-solving skills, managerial experience, and creative vision. Because the job is highly complex, extensive hands-on experience in professional kitchens is essential. Beyond that, a degree from a culinary school is often preferred in larger establishments, but it’s certainly not required to rock an incredible menu.
List of Duties for the Job
Oversee all aspects of cooking
To paraphrase Einstein, geniuses are made, not born. What does it take to be a Head Chef or a culinary genius? The answer is a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. When your “office” is full of knives and fire, you can’t afford many mistakes. The Chef must know every ingredient, every tool, and every machine inside and out — and this only comes with years of practice. They should be able to jump in and take over for any station in their kitchen.
A great Chef will also be a perpetual student. They’ll experiment with recipes to incorporate new flavors into their dishes and respond to customer requests. A candidate with an appetite for knowledge and the latest culinary techniques will ensure the best dining experience for customers.
Lead the kitchen Staff
Of course, the Chef cannot be everywhere all at once. Leading a team of cooks and kitchen staff is always part of the job. Even the tiniest storefront eateries have at least one cook under the chef’s command. The best Chefs will know how to delegate tasks to their sous chef and cooks by communicating clearly and efficiently.
The Chef sets the pace and tempo of their kitchens and knows precisely what needs to be prepped in advance and how long it takes to make each dish. Candidates who are highly organized and good with time management will achieve great things in the kitchen.
Most restaurants nowadays are all about freshness, flavor, and seasonality. Chefs often have established connections with farms or specialty suppliers — or are willing to build relationships with them. It’s not the most thrilling part of the job, but placing orders in a timely manner and continuously assessing inventory is very important.
Chefs should memorize every recipe on the menu, making it easier to swap out ingredients as the seasons change. It’s all about accuracy in the kitchen, and even one missing ingredient can change the flavor profile of a dish.
Even though it’s not the Chef’s main focus, restaurant profitability should always be on their mind. Candidates for this position should have a keen business sense that includes knowledge of accounting, budgeting, and inventory control. While that lobster and Wagyu tasting menu may be extravagantly alluring, a Chef knows to step away from the fancy ingredients when it doesn’t make financial sense.
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Chef Job Description Sample
To make it easier to create a Chef job description, here’s a sample you can use.
Job Title: Chef
Salary: $70,000 to $100,000 per year
Tip Income: No
Schedule: Full-Time (40 hours per week). Tuesday – Saturday.
Role: We’re seeking a chef with a creative vision to spearhead new culinary concepts as we grow our restaurant. Candidates for this position will have strong leadership abilities, a hospitality mindset, and a hands-on approach to the art of running a professional kitchen. A culinary degree is preferred but not required.
- Create menus and daily specials
- Manage kitchen team
- Cook food in a timely manner
- Ability to jump in and take over for any station
- Advanced knowledge of cooking, baking, and pastry techniques
- Up-to-date knowledge of techniques and recipes
- Make sure plates are executed correctly and presently properly
- Check the freshness of food stocks and throw out items
- Knowledge of accounting and budgeting
- Oversee inventory control and place orders
- Familiarity with sanitation regulations
- Culinary degree preferred or at least three to five years working in a professional kitchen
Additional requirements: Able to walk or stand for long periods.
Tips for Writing Effective Job Descriptions
- Zero in on four to five critical capabilities required for the Chef to succeed at your restaurant instead of a laundry list of traits any Chef should have.
- Take time to fully understand your restaurant’s needs and what a new Chef can bring to the table, and then cut to the chase in your job description to focus on the truly essential skills.
- Brand your restaurant as a compelling place to work by highlighting the best aspects of the job, whether it’s complete creative autonomy in a large kitchen or a tight-knit vibe at a small family restaurant.
The role of Chef isn’t all about cooking delicious food. It requires a person with leadership skills, patience, and dedication to fill this important position. Like CEOs in the corporate world, finding the right candidate will require various techniques. Job ads, recruiters, and referrals from trusted employees will all come into play.
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