What is a Head Chef?

28 Jan 2020

28 Jan 2020

Head Chef Job Description.

As a head chef or executive chef, you’re as close to a superhero as it gets in the kitchen. Everyone in the brigade, from the kitchen porter to the sous chef, looks to you for inspiration and leadership. Your menus will set the tone for your place of work, whether it be in restaurants, pubs or hotels.

The quality and pricing of the food you produce also becomes one of your key responsibilities which speaking bluntly, could make or break the business.

Key Responsibilities of a Head Chef..

  • Overall responsibility for daily operations in the kitchen
  • Liaising with purchasing companies and organising food orders
  • Organising, negotiating & maintaining the profit margins on food
  • Producing menus and new dishes
  • Managing, training and recruiting your brigade of chefs
  • A head chef will also be responsible for making sure the restaurant, pub or hotel meets all regulations, including sanitary and safety guidelines.
  • They ensure the condition of all equipment is sufficient and that appliances meet the required standards. A head chef will order replacements or organise repairs when needed.

The Skills Required of a Head Chef are...

Organisation. The head chef must closely monitor produce coming in and coming out to ensure stock levels do not become too low.

Communication. The head chef must clearly explain what they require of each staff member and keep up with communication to ensure they are on track to meet the company deadlines. They should give corrections or guidance in a constructive and concise manner. They must also be able to communicate ideas from front of house management to their kitchen brigade.

Leadership. The head chef must be able to assign tasks to appropriate staff members and ensure they are working effectively as a team so the restaurant, pub or hotel can perform to its highest standards.

Determination. A head chef often works long hours in high pressure environment. A head chef must show strength, determination & leadership skills to not only reach this position but maintain their professional status whilst also leading, developing and maintaining the rest of the kitchen.

Being A Head Chef. The Facts.

Weekly Hours: 40+

Salary: A head chef salary varies greatly depending on the establishment but on average is £29,000/year in the UK but can vary anywhere between £29,000 and £40,000+.

Qualifications Required: The most important qualification for a head chef is experience, which can be obtained by working up the ranks in the kitchen hierarchy or by completing an apprenticeship. As well as experience, useful qualifications include:

  • City & Guilds diplomas in professional cookery
  • BTEC HND in professional cookery
  • A foundation degree in culinary arts
  • Health and safety and food hygiene certificates