Chef de Partie to Head Chef, What is Your Career Path?

17 Jan 2020

17 Jan 2020

The culinary arts present exciting opportunities to pursue creative work while also building a prestigious career. Top chefs gain notoriety for their signature style in some of the most exclusive restaurants around the world. As a Chef de Partie you will be in charge of one area of production of the kitchen, for example pastry, fish, sauces or vegetables. In large kitchens, a Chef de Partie is a prestigious job title in the kitchen but what is you career path from here?

So a Chef de Partie, this is where you are – lets take a look at your responsibilities

Chef de Partie

This position — otherwise known as a line cook — oversees one section of the kitchen and preparation of one particular type of food. For example, these cooks may be responsible for cooking the fish, or they could oversee preparation of the pastries. The chef de partie becomes a specialist in this section, then moves on to another. Eventually, training is received in all parts of the kitchen.

Job Description and possible Responsibilities: (though not limited to only those listed here)

Reports to Head Chef;

  • Responsible for the preparation and cooking of good quality food
  • Trains develops new trainee chefs
  • Maintains overall order and cleanliness in the kitchen
  • Able to converse with the clients / guests

Sous Chef

The next step from a Chef de partie is a sous chef. You are the assistant to the head chef and is the second in charge in the kitchen. The sous chef helps to run the kitchen, creating schedules, managing customer relations, plans menus, and oversees ordering for the kitchen. Skilled in all aspects of food preparation, the sous chef can alternately plan special menus, fill in for the executive chef, or take over for a chef de partie.

Job Description and possible Responsibilities: (though not limited to only those listed here)

  • Running the kitchen when the head chef is away or covering for the chef de partie
  • Ensuring the kitchen brigade is performing to the company standards
  • Managing food purchasing and storage
  • Maintaining a safe and hygienic kitchen environment
  • Helping create new recipes and write menus
  • Administrative work including scheduling and training other chefs, inventory check etc.

Executive Chef / Head Chef

The last step in your ascension up the ladder from being a chef de partie and climbing the ladder further. The executive chef is in charge of the whole kitchen, planning and executing menus, hiring and supervising staff, sets the budget, and more. The head chef sets the tone for the restaurant, stamping his or her signature style on the menu. This is the person whose vision leads the success of the restaurant.

The path to becoming a head chef is all about gaining experience and honing skills. These are the traditional steps, but there are many alternate routes that can be taken. Many head chefs started work in a kitchen as a dishwasher and moved their way up from a commis, then Chef de partie and so on... Some worked as caterers, and some started in their own business as a personal chef. Restaurants, country clubs, cruise ships, and even small diners provided the setting for their on-the-job training. Every journey is as individual as the chef, and every step influences his or her personal style and ultimate success.

Job Description and possible Responsibilities: (though not limited to only those listed here)

Reports to a food service director;

  • Supervise, train and manage kitchen personnel
  • Oversees quality and effectiveness of the menu
  • Planning expenses, operating costs and other best practices guidelines for food storage and preparation
  • Good managerial and marketing skills and can communicate effectively with clients / customers

So there you have it; everything you need to set out on the road to a new Chef de Partie career all the way to a head chef position!