During your quest for employment, you’ll come across various job titles and descriptions. One of the most sought-after jobs in the world is an executive chef. What is an executive chef? How does it differ from an ordinary chef? However, if you are a culinary student, you most likely belong to that biggest rank in the kitchen.
Executive chefs, sous chefs, and ordinary chefs can be quite confusing how each of them works in a kitchen environment. But, lucky for you, we’ve got you covered. In this article, you will get a better understanding of what is an executive chef, how they function in a kitchen, executive chef qualifications, and what makes them versatile chefs compared to the rest.
What is an Executive Chef?
Primarily, an executive chef works as the leader or the head of a kitchen environment in a restaurant. They are the ones in charge of putting cooks and other kitchen employees to their various tasks throughout the day and running administrative tasks about running the restaurant.
Regardless of how big or small a restaurant is, an executive chef can do what an ordinary chef does. They can also participate in cooking, do the dishes, organize the menus, create new pastries and dishes, and most importantly, command kitchen staff and other employees to create a great working environment.
In other circumstances, some executive chefs own a restaurant, and some are hired by hotel and restaurant owners to oversee their restaurant business. An executive chef can also specialize in various cuisines, from the Mediterranean, Asian, American, or even Ethnic depending on the restaurant. Being a versatile individual is one of the key ingredients in being a great executive chef.
Daily Duties and Responsibilities of an Executive Chef
Do you have a dream of becoming an executive chef? Are you familiar with what is an executive chef? On a day-to-day basis, you can easily found executive chefs roaming around the restaurant. You can see them organizing tables, checking the freshness of the food such as fruits and vegetables, commanding various kitchen staff of their task, inspecting cleanliness and orderliness of the workplace, tending to guests, and checking the menu.
Executive chefs around the world do this kind of thing daily. Although they are tasked to oversee the entire kitchen environment, their duties are not only associated with the kitchen and the entire restaurant. In other instances, some executive chefs create new dishes, hire kitchen staff, allocate food budget, check food inventory, or even do purchase orders.
Some executive chefs also do administrative tasks, such as answering calls, doing orders, filing various information, and managing the entire restaurant if need be.
How to Become an Executive Chef?
Executive chefs, just like with other high-ranking jobs, work their way up into the rankings and become what they are today. In most jobs, you take on the smallest-ranking jobs in the restaurant and work your way up from there. It’s probably the start of attaining executive chef qualifications.
From being a waiter, server, they were then improving and becoming a chef. Although most chefs and cooks acquire their skills over the years, it can be a good idea to enroll yourself in a culinary arts program to hone your capabilities and skills further.
Enrolling in a culinary program not only means you get to improve your cooking skills. But it is also associated with learning various niches in the kitchen industry, such as creating new dishes, making a menu, food sanitation regulations, and other administrative tasks that executive chefs normally do in their day-to-day life in the kitchen.
So, what is an executive chef? They are highly trained professionals that specialize in various niches in the kitchen industry. While it can take you about 15 to 20 years to become an executive chef, your hard work, preparation, passion, and dedication will set you up for meeting these high-level responsibilities once you become one.
Overall, executive chefs are one of the highest-earning jobs globally, and for a good reason. They have improved themselves and worked their way through the upper echelons of the industry to what they have become now.
What it takes to be an Executive Chef
Being an executive chef means that you are the right person to oversee all the operations in the restaurant industry. While it may not always be a smooth path to take if you want to become an executive chef, other chefs can offer some basic skills and experiences.
You can set yourself up with success with these if you learn some of these accomplishments and traits as you develop further into your culinary journey. To further understand what is an executive chef, read more here:
Being an executive chef means you are educated. Although not all executive chefs went to a culinary school, their hard work and dedication to their craft are united in pursuing culinary knowledge and food.
As mentioned, enrolling yourself in various culinary programs not only helps you individually but can also help you climb the ranks once you set yourself up to be a great executive chef.
While culinary graduates don’t have the “chef” title in their names after they graduate, this only means that the road is still early, and there are many things to learn and improve on.
Experience is the Key
Always remember that there are no shortcuts. While education is one of the major keys to becoming a great executive chef, experience also plays a big part. First-time cooks, even those who were lucky enough to be hired in a fine restaurant, have to learn the ins and outs of the kitchen environment.
Nearly all executive chefs have climbed their way up to the kitchen ranks for almost 7 to 12 years. This journey of 7 to 12 years is improving one’s self and improving the people around you.
A great executive chef is a good communicator, and that is because they had done this part way back when they were just juveniles in the industry. Seasoned executive chefs know the time and effort it needs to make the basic tasks of the day and why each one matters when they are done correctly.
Communication and Managing Skills
If you want to know what an executive chef is and how they function, you must know that each of them is adept at what they do, especially being able to deal with people and communicate with your staff. Most executive chefs spend more time with their staff rather than making dishes are creating an impressive menu.
A good executive chef creates a kitchen environment that works efficiently, effortlessly, and with plenty of optimism. Some proper kitchen tasks include receiving orders, rotating the product, following sanitary protocols, clearing the table, and managing your workforce.
It is also up with the executive chefs to train and improve the people around them. Having a great executive chef means people will get a good idea of running a restaurant by themselves.
Executive chefs have dedicated their entire lives to become one of the restaurant industry’s most sought-after individuals. However, always remember that there are no shortcuts to success, and one must go through something for them to arrive on the journey they have long been yearning for.
Learning what is an executive chef and knowing what they do not only prepare you for the hardships, bumps, and bruises along the way. It will also set you up to become one of the best in the world. Find out more about the duties and responsibilities of chefs here!