executive chef Career Center
A Career as an Executive Chef
Posted by: Ira Sider, July 07, 2012
There are many people with a passion for creating appetizing meals using their culinary craft in the kitchen. But many of them falter when it comes to not only creating these foods, but also doing so under high demands, hot temperatures and for long periods of time. If you are one of the chefs who have stood this test, you may be ready to begin managing your own kitchen.
Executive chef careers are ones that cooks aspire to. Owning your own kitchen allows you to create your own menu plans, manage your own staff and truly design a process around what you know to be effective and successful. Here is what you can expect in a career as an executive chef.
Top Decision Maker – As the head of the kitchen, you are relied upon to make menu decisions, review purchase orders, make recommendations for specials and set the price points of each dish. The restaurant manager relies on your judgment and culinary expertise to make the restaurant profitable while keeping the customers happy and coming back for more.
Management Skills are a Must – The responsibility of hiring, training and developing the kitchen staff lies solely on you. Therefore, you must have strong communication and managerial skills that will earn you the respect you need to develop a kitchen that will run smoothly, both when you are there and when you are not.
People Skills are Important – Customer service skills are also important for chefs. When special events occur, or a customer wants to speak to the person in charge in the kitchen, you will be the person called upon to represent the area typically unseen by customers. Therefore, you will be expected to consistently provide excellent service, even when customers are unhappy, and be polite and courteous whenever you are in the public eye.
Strong Knowledge of Cleanliness Standards is Vital – The safety of the food that comes out of your kitchen is your responsibility. Therefore, maintaining a clean kitchen all around and ensuring staff is properly trained in food safety and cleanliness requirements is your job. Should a customer fall ill due to food poisoning from your kitchen, you could easily ruin the reputation for the restaurant.
Administrative Work is Required – Throughout the day, and at the end of each day, items such as sales volumes, upcoming schedules and more must be logged and tracked so that administrative duties can be kept current. This is a job that falls under the responsibility of the head cook because of his or her obligations to manage and maintain a high-quality staff.
Running your own kitchen can be incredibly rewarding, but it is a lot of work and requires long hours. If you are a well-rounded cook, this position will give you the opportunity to allow your skills to shine.