What is a Commis Chef?

27 Jan 2020

27 Jan 2020

So, what is a commis chef? The commis chef is a basic chef in pro kitchens who works under a chef de partie.

A commis chef will learn a specific station’s/ranges or sections responsibilities and operation. They may have recently completed formal culinary training or still undergoing training.

There are two main levels of Commis chef:

  • Commis chef  – Will be learning a specific section of the kitchen working under a chef de partie. Also, they will be doing basic jobs whilst learning how the section operates.
  • First commis chef  – Will be the most experienced commis within the kitchen brigade. Furthermore, they will have an understanding of the sections and will oversee the rest of the commis chefs within the brigade.

What Are The Key Qualities Of A Commis Chef?

Key qualities that a commis chef will need to possess include the ability to learn on your feet. In addition, they should have a passion for cooking as the pressure in a kitchen can be hard work. They will also need to be versatile in the kitchen as there is a lot to learn in each different section of the kitchen. And it is important to have experience in all areas including – larder, fish, pastry, butchery, sauce. Before the commis goes onto specialising on a specific section. You will need to have a lot of stamina as you will be standing all day and there will be a lot of banter with the other chefs.

What Qualifications Are Needed?

It is possible to achieve this position with no qualifications. A commis chef could for example train on the job with an apprenticeship. Maybe even join an establishment with training programmes and start your career as a kitchen porter.

A  Job Description, The Responsibilities And Duties.

The most common of establishments where this position is employed will be a restaurant and hotels followed by cruise ships. The culinary position of commis chef comes with a lot of responsibilities and duties. These will be the basic jobs within the kitchen and they will report to the chef de partie of the section.

Commis chefs who are successful in this position will quickly learn an in-depth familiarity with sections operations. They can then fill in for the chef de partie when needed. And also assist them in resolving any problems that may occur in the section.

Commis chefs will be responsible for the basic prep work for the section. They need to keep the section organised and tidy and follow the health and hygiene regulations.

They will also be responsible for any other duties laid out within the commis chef job description following the company’s policies.

Most of all the commis chef will have the responsibility for the food preparation that they have been directed to do. They will be directed by the chef de partie in charge of the section. They will also need to be aware of any problems that may occur in the section. The issues will need reporting to the chef de partie in charge. Commis chefs will also have a responsibility to follow any other orders from senior members of the kitchen brigade.

What Is The Average UK Salary?

A commis chef is the lowest level chef job within an establishment and the salary reflects this. Even after finishing culinary training the commis chef will be starting on the basic salary. What is a commis chef salary? Kitchen position salaries depend greatly on the establishment, the location and the previous experience of the commis chef.

The salary for a commis chef within the UK can range between £18,000 – £23,000 (this is based on the average London wage but of course this can vary depending on the establishment / company).

Where Can A Commis chef Go From Here?

Every chef will have started at the commis chef level. As a result, there is no reason not to have a vision for your career going all the way to the top. The natural progression from this position is to a demi-chef de Partie, chef de partie ( the chef in charge of a section). And from there onto the sous chef role and head chef position. And in some kitchens, progression will be faster than in other kitchens. It is reasonable to stay in this position for 3-5 years to do all the groundwork needed for a successful career.