The position of Executive Chef is the kitchen equivalent of a CEO. The Executive Chef is responsible for all of the daily operations of the kitchen. He or she must maintain control of the kitchen and the people who work there so that the food that leaves the kitchen meets the requirements. The Executive Chef serves as a role model and mentor to the chefs, and must maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times.
Job Duties of an Executive Chef
Because Executive Chefs are responsible for all operations within the kitchen, they have numerous duties. As a result, most Executive Chefs report that they work shifts that are as long as ten to fourteen hours a day. The duties performed by an Executive Chef include the following:
- Ordering Supplies. The Executive Chef must ensure that all supplies are ordered, stocked, and properly stored. This includes all food items, dishes and utensils, cleaning products, cooking supplies, and any other item necessary for kitchen functioning.
- Recipe and Meal Creation. Probably the most exciting responsibility of an Executive Chef is the creation of recipes and meals that will keep customers coming back for more. Whether it is new dishes that have never been tried before, or just a take on a classic dish, the Executive Chef is responsible for all food that reaches a customer’s plate. The best Executive Chefs remain up to date on new techniques and trends in dining so that they can continue to modify the menu to suit their customers.
- Accounting. Executive Chefs are often responsible for keeping track of kitchen expenses, reporting to the owner what is spent and what is needed for the kitchen. Information about the expenses incurred by the kitchen must be accurately tracked and reported.
- Staffing. The Executive Chef is responsible for hiring and firing kitchen and sometimes wait staff. He or she is responsible for making sure the kitchen is adequately staffed in all areas, and that employees receive the necessary training to ensure quality culinary dishes are produced. The Executive Chef assigns duties to his or her staff, such as food preparation tasks, or assigned line positions.
- Cooking. Surprisingly, cooking is often the part of the job where the Executive Chef spends the least amount of his time. Depending on the number of additional staff in the kitchen, an Executive Chef may cook only on special occasions.
Executive Chef Salary: How much money does an Executive Chef make?
Becoming an Executive Chef is generally the result of years of hard work and effort. Most Executive Chefs move up through a variety of positions by demonstrating their skill and abilities. The starting salary for an Executive Chef is generally between $30,000 and $60,000 per year. The salary is largely dependent on the Executive Chefs experience, and where he or she works. Executive Chefs who work in a five-star restaurant in a large city are often paid more than $120,000 a year. Often, Executive Chefs in cities with large numbers of tourists such as Las Vegas or Hawaii are paid more.