If you like a particular restaurant for some special dish, the only person you need to thank is the executive chef of that restaurant. Well, if you love to cook and want to take it up as a career, take a look at the job description of a chef described ahead.
Appetizers, soups, salads, main course, and desserts, is how a five-course meal usually goes. Every restaurant or hotel has its own unique way of serving these courses, and, of course, a special on the menu.
If you've always wondered who comes up with these ideas and manages the entire team of cooks and chefs, the credit goes to the executive chef of that restaurant.
He has the complete authority to make important decisions, and has to have the knowledge about each and every dish that is being served to the guests.
Executive chefs are even in charge of the interiors of the restaurants. The table cloth, centerpiece, color of candles on the table, etc., are supervised by the executive chef. An executive chef is responsible for every move carried about in his restaurant.
The post of a head chef is more than just cooking and plating a meal. It has many other aspects, like employee management, mathematics or numerous calculations, scheduling and purchasing, and developing new menus and recipes which adhere to health code requirements.
Cost and Menu
The first and the most important thing that an executive chef does is plans the menu for the guests. This menu will include a number of delicious recipes which can become a favorite for many guests.
He needs to make these recipes himself and confirm if the procedures are right and affordable. Then he needs to train the employees to become proficient as well as efficient in them.
If the menu has individual items, it is his job to keep them regional or complimenting the theme of the restaurant. He visits neighboring and competing restaurants and keep up with the latest trends, prices, and ambiance.
Once the menu is set, the executive chef will have to set budget restrains and charge guests accordingly. If the menu has good recipes with a whole seven-course meal, guests wouldn't mind paying for the fantastic service provided.
Stores and Purchases
The restaurant has to have a storeroom in order to keep all the materials in place and fresh. With the menu and budget fixed, the executive chef has to monitor all the food coming in and its quality and perishability.
He also needs to supervise every food item that has been purchased by the employees making sure that the best deal is made in the pricing.
Preventing the under and over-buying of food items so to save on money, and keeping it from being spoiled and overstayed is also his responsibility. He also has to make a timetable and routine for cleanliness in the kitchen and to clean the fridge and stores.
Management, Analysis and Safety
When new employees are hired, the executive chef has to train and polish them in kitchen activities. He has to give them different tasks and responsibilities to carry out each day and make sure everyone gets to do everything at least once. He also needs to schedule them daily work and give them assignments to practice on with recipes and courses.
Analyzing the staff after they are trained and judging them on their performances and products is also part of his job. He has to make adjustments with their qualities and train them in recipes which need more of their attention. He gives them an order of the leaves and vacations which are privileged to them and make sure they take their work seriously.
Safety is very important as the kitchens are quite closed and claustrophobic. He has to make sure it is well ventilated and the appliances are well maintained. The health of the guests is a matter of concern and is the duty of an executive chef. Keep first aid kits at hand, if needed, maintain proper certificates and papers for the license for formalities.
Qualification and Payments
To become an executive chef, you will need a formal education with basic food knowledge. High school education is the minimum qualification one can ask for, and with it experience would be accepted.
Basic experience in all the works involved in the kitchen like cleaning, washing, and, of course, cooking will help you get to your goal. If you have a professional degree in hotel management with training in all the kitchen skills and also work experience, that will be the best deal for the post of an executive chef.
Your salary range when you become an executive chef can be from USD 40,200 to USD 88,300 per year. More experience you gain, the more money you can earn in this field. Your salary can also majorly depend on the location and establishment of the restaurant you're working for.
With this important information about the executive chef job description, take some time and think about what can be your priorities to get to your goal of being an executive chef.