Executive Chef Job Description
An executive chef spends his or her time being in charge of a restaurant kitchen. The kitchens can be located in country clubs, regular restaurants, hotels and many other places. For the most part, this type of chef will be responsible for managing 10 or more other people working in the kitchen. From creating menu items to ordering supplies and delegating tasks, the duties of an executive chef are large in number. To properly tend to all the duties, most executive chefs find themselves working 10 hour shifts four or more days a week. The average salary range of an executive chef is usually somewhere between $50,000 to $100,000 a year. Chefs who hold a culinary degree usually find themselves making more money than those who do not; however, this is not always the case.
A career as an executive chef can be somewhat difficult to pursue for those who have no prior experience working in the culinary industry. On the upside, though, everyone who succeeds in this line of work has to start somewhere. Keeping this in mind, it is helpful to know where the best places to start are. From going to college to earn a culinary degree to networking with culinary professionals, there are many tips that can be followed to help make the process of becoming an executive chef a bit simpler.
Tip 1. Learn Effective Management
To work successfully as an executive chef, a person must be able to effectively manage both his or her duties as well as delegate and manage the duties of other people working in a kitchen. Self-discipline is a must in this line of work, meaning a person must be able to take responsibility for the success of the kitchen he or she is working in. One of the best ways to learn about managing a kitchen is to work directly underneath a professional head chef. From learning how to listen to others to learning effective communication techniques, learning from other head chefs is a sure way to acquire necessary management skills.
Tip 2. Earn a Culinary Degree
To broaden one's employment opportunities as an executive chef, a person will need to obtain a culinary degree from an accredited institution. Going to school to earn this type of degree can be accomplished in as little as 12 to 24 months; however, higher-level degrees will of course take longer to earn. Much of the curriculum included in a culinary program entails a student taking part in culinary internships; these internships will prove to be very valuable in the fact that they provide a student will lots of opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in a kitchen.
Tip 3. Use Common Sense
Restaurants don't want to employ executive chefs who are constantly trying to come up with extravagant dishes. This is not to imply that chefs will not be responsible for creating new dishes; however restaurants will want chefs who create dishes that can be served in a timely manner as well as ones that consistently keep guests satisfied. The best way for chefs to create satisfying dishes is by using common sense. Such sense will include serving dishes that use foods that are grown in the local region.