executive chef Career Center
Executive Chef Job Description
Posted by: Ira Sider, July 07, 2012
One of the top characteristics of anyone who works in the hectic atmosphere of a bustling restaurant kitchen is a passion for what they do. But beyond that passion and drive, there are many other factors that go into any successful position in a restaurant. This is particularly true of the people who manage the entire operation of the restaurant kitchen, from regular meals to specialty events. The executive chef job description is one that includes multiple aspects of kitchen management and maintenance and that goes far beyond simply preparing food.
In addition to a strong passion for food, here is an overview of what duties can be expected in this position.
Create Meal Plans and New Dishes – Passion for food and the knowledge of how to create new dishes are applied to this vital duty in the kitchen. Head chefs are in charge of coming up with their own unique nightly specials, as well as designing specialized menus for events held at the restaurant outside of daily kitchen operations. A strong knowledge of how foods and spices interact with each other is therefore vital to this position.
Administrative Tasks – Once the meals have been planned, it is also the duty of the head cook to order the food and ensure that all materials are on site to prepare the dishes up to standard. This includes daily bookkeeping of supplies on hand and management of the books behind the scenes to keep everyone informed of what costs are and where orders stand.
Direct Meal Preparation – Once the restaurant doors are opened and the cooks are at their stations, it is the duty of the person in this position to manage the overall meal preparation. This includes monitoring how the food is being prepared, as well as ensuring each dish that is sent to a table is aesthetically pleasing and the right temperature.
Manage Staff – Outside of managing the actual kitchen interactions, strong hiring and communication skills are important to the success of the person in this role. The chefs who manage their own kitchens are also in charge of schedules and making sure there is a strong sense of teamwork in the kitchen, so that everything runs smoothly at all times.
Uphold Food Safety Compliance – Perhaps the most important part of this position is upholding cleanliness and food safety measures at all times. If a person falls ill after eating food from the restaurant, the effects can be devastating. Therefore, keeping clean workspaces at all times and maintaining proper food temperatures is vital.
This role in the kitchen is largely centered on monitoring and managing the bigger picture instead of actual food preparation. From creating a positive atmosphere to bringing team members together, the job of the executive chef is one that requires many hats.