Head Chef Job Description
A Head Chef often referred to as an Executive Chef, is primarily responsible for creating innovative cuisine and providing a satisfying culinary experience for guests.
Executive Chefs take responsibility for every dish that leaves their kitchen. Within the FMCG sector, food jobs are vital to the economy because they provide millions of people with jobs, cultivate a shared communal space for city dwellers, demand a sustainable model for food production, and directly benefit members of the community.
Although it takes time and experience to become an executive head chef, it is ultimately worth it because:
- Executive chefs are given full creative license in the kitchen.
- The executive chef must approve all kitchen hires.
- Executive chefs have the opportunity to make a name for themselves within the industry.
- The executive chef ultimately crafts the work environment.
Requirements To Becoming A Head Chef
Depending on the calibre of the restaurant, hotel, or food service business, most executive chefs must have extensive experience in the food industry, a culinary degree, and leadership skills.
Employers typically value dedication and creative vision when looking for an executive chef.
Key Skills of a Head Chef
To begin the transition to an executive chef, consider sharpening these six skills:
- Creativity: To be successful and competitive an executive chef’s product must be creative and innovative.
- Decision Making: Kitchens are fast paced environments, and an executive chef needs to be able to make tough decisions regarding food and service very quickly.
- Motivation: An executive chef motivates the kitchen staff at all times to ensure a satisfactory experience for all guests.
- Organisation: It is necessary that kitchens are both clean and organised.
- Business Acumen: To be economically successful, an executive chef must consider the business aspects when creating new dishes.
- Precision: An executive chef should be precise when dealing with culinary instructions, recipes, and directions to the staff.
Responsibilities of a Head Chef
There are many responsibilities of an executive head chef, which include:
- Overseeing Operations: Executive chefs oversee the daily operations of the staff and kitchen.
- Innovation: To be financially viable, an executive chef must create new menu items that reflect innovation.
- Direction: All kitchen staff are under the direction of the executive chef.
- Cultivating Business: Since responsible for culinary arts, executive chefs consider the needs and desires of the customers.
- Purchasing: Executive chefs are responsible for ordering ingredients and maintaining necessary inventory.
- Training and Education: Executive chefs hire, train, and educate new staff.
- Safety Regulations: All safety regulations must be enforced by the executive chef to ensure employee safety and restaurant cleanliness.
- Customer Satisfaction: Executive chefs ensure customer satisfaction and seek feedback on menu items.
- Maintaining Quality: To be successful, an executive chef must continually check the quality of the culinary product.
- Administrative Duties: Although an executive chef often focuses on the culinary aspects of the industry, the chef must also perform administrative duties.
Chefs Work Environment
While the job of an executive chef is rewarding, the work environment is often stressful and includes long working hours.
Executive chefs should expect to stand for entire shifts and work in close quarters. Since executive chefs are primarily responsible for the daily operations of the kitchen, the work week for chefs is often six days, including day and night work.
Job Perks of a Chef
After climbing the career ladder, executive chefs have the potential to create a name for themselves and become well known within the culinary industry, which can be a big self-personal perk.
Executive chefs also have the satisfaction of running a kitchen exactly to their preferences and catering from top level events, which brings the bonus of headlining exclusive events.
Salary of a Head Chef
Salaries drastically differ for executive chefs depending on the location, restaurant, and notoriety of the chef.
Executive Chef salaries can band from £34,000 per annum to often £87,000 per annum. The best places for executive chefs in the UK are typically in large cities that are culinary hubs, such as London, Brighton, and Manchester.
Career Path in Food
Executive chefs typically begin as line cooks, and begin the progression to sous chef, executive sous chef, and eventually an executive chef.
The progress to executive chef often depends on the size of the city and the competition within the kitchen itself. Many chefs work at a variety of restaurants throughout their career to maximise their culinary education. After becoming an executive chef, many go on to open their own restaurant brand.
Employers in the market look for the following qualities when hiring an executive chef:
- Experience: Experience in a variety of kitchens at various types of restaurants is highly valued on the job market.
- Aspiration: Restaurant owners typically hire executive chefs that demonstrate creative vision and culinary aspiration.
- Interpersonal Skills: When hiring an executive chef, owners consider the interpersonal skills of a chef to determine how the chef works with and manages large groups of people.
The job of an executive chef is often physically and emotionally demanding, but the benefits of running a kitchen and creating unique dishes make the position of head chef highly coveted.
The job role is vital to the food industry, and job security remains stable as long as chefs continue to foster satisfactory customer relations and exercise culinary expertise.