Restaurant Executive Chef Job Description
An executive chef is the No. 1 man in the kitchen, so the buck stops with him.
The executive chef is in charge of a restaurant's kitchen, tasked with overseeing other kitchen workers. Although he is typically the most experienced chef in the restaurant, his duties often focus on administrative tasks rather than hands-on cooking. The best executive chefs may earn fame and even go on to own their own restaurant, but the trade off is long hours of hard work.
The executive chef is responsible for creating recipes for the restaurant's signature dishes. These may be traditional standards, or may cater to the executive chef's particular area of training, such as French cuisine or seafood. In addition, he needs to ensure that his subordinates in the kitchen are trained to prepare the dishes in a timely fashion and with a consistent level of excellence.
Even before the executive chef has determined the particulars of a restaurant's dishes, he needs to plan out how they will fit into the overall menu. This may mean ensuring a balance of beef and chicken entrees, or the number of appetizers at lunch versus at dinner. The executive chef's duties extend to the administrative side, which may mean working with designers to create an eye-catching menu or deciding on the right price points to maintain an acceptable profit margin.
Oversight of the Kitchen
Although the executive chef regularly prepares food in only small restaurants, he ultimately is responsible for every plate that comes out of the kitchen. Achieving consistent excellence may include training new cooks and hiring the best sous chef to handle hands-on supervision -- or even jumping in to lend a hand during busy times.
Administrative responsibilities separate the executive chef from other kitchen supervisors. Working with the restaurant manager, the executive chef is in charge of ordering supplies and raw food materials, making sure there is enough product for day-to-day operations. Executive chefs also handle paperwork, reporting to the owner on sales and orders, as well as hiring -- and firing -- kitchen personnel.
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