A Sous Chef in the kitchen is the second in command, below the Executive Chef. The job of Sous Chef involves significant responsibility, as the Sous Chef must be able to lead other kitchen workers, remain organized and professional, and report vital information to the Executive Chef. If there are times when the Executive Chef is unable to work, the Sous Chef assumes all responsibilities normally assigned to the Executive Chef. Working as a Sous Chef is often a step toward becoming an Executive Chef, and serves as on-the-job training for those wishing to continue their careers.
Job Duties of a Sous Chef
A Sous Chef must be familiar with all of the daily operations of the kitchen, and must be able to perform any task in the kitchen if needed. A Sous Chef often acts as the intermediary between the kitchen and wait staff, so strong leadership and communication abilities are a must. The following is a list of the duties typically performed by a Sous Chef:
- Planning and directing food preparation. As the second in command, the Sous Chef is most often responsible for managing kitchen staff to ensure food is prepared properly. The Sous Chef must be a problem solver, ready to come up with on the spot solutions for problems that may occur in the kitchen.
- Managing kitchen staff. The Sous Chef will often have the task of ensuring that all kitchen workers are performing at the level required by a professional kitchen. He or she may be asked to discipline workers who are not performing their job correctly or professionally, and may come up with incentives to ensure that workers are putting their best effort forth.
- Training and scheduling. The Sous Chef is often in charge of training new employees and creating the schedule to ensure adequate manning for the kitchen.
- Expediting. The Sous Chef will serve as the expeditor for the kitchen. He or she will be responsible for arranging tickets and ordering food preparation so that customers receive food in the order it should be sent out. For example. The Sous Chef will tell the other chefs when to cook different menu items for a table of customers so that they will all be hot and ready to be served at the same time.
- Quality Control. The Sous Chef is responsible for ensuring that food that leaves the kitchen is of the highest quality and will make diners happy. The Sous Chef will often be asked to ensure that portions are correct and the food is plated in an attractive manner.
Sous Chef Salary: How much money does a Sous Chef make?
Earning a position as a Sous Chef is often the result of many years of working ones way up through the kitchen. Most restaurants prefer a Sous Chef who has completed a culinary arts degree or who has extensive experience in the kitchen. If you are able to obtain a job as a Sous Chef, your pay will depend on where you work, your experience, education, and the type of restaurant you work at. Most Sous Chefs can expect to make between $25,000 and $50,000 annually, however, Sous Chefs at top restaurants in large areas can earn as much as double that amount.