Executive chefs are the ones accountable for all the food that goes out of the kitchen of hotels, restaurants, offices and other public or private establishments. Their main jobs include producing recipes and menus, launching the latest food products, maintaining culinary practices and quality standards in the kitchen, supervising food production, and encouraging and leading a kitchen staff.
Executive chefs supervise and coordinate all the processes related to cooking. They approximate how much food will be consumed, check the stocks and order supplies when necessary. They are also responsible for ensuring that raw and cooked products meet the standards. Executive chefs plan and set the price for the restaurant menu. Also, they work out new recipe ideas and decide on items needed for cooking. Occasionally, they involve themselves in planning events, conducting an on-the-job training and cooking exhibitions. Executive chefs are the leader in setting first-rate criterion in all kitchen operations and guarantee that the kitchen comply with the food handling, safety and sanitation standard requirements.
Education and Training Requirements
Formal education requirements for an executive chef differ by company and culinary experience. In general, applicants need to possess at least a bachelor’s degree or a counterpart culinary degree plus eight to 10 years of experience in the kitchen industry. Having an extensive knowledge of the different processes for labor cost control, cooking techniques development and pricing, food control and food handling, menu design, and leadership expertise is desired by most employers.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
Aside from possessing leadership and organization skills, executive chefs are also expected to have the ability to work swiftly and competently in stressful conditions. A trained taste bud, a good sense of smell and an excellent personal hygiene are crucial. Candidates must also have a wide-ranging culinary experience, skill in labor management and inventory control.
Industrial kitchens are often jam-packed, busy and full of possible hazards. Executive chefs may suffer minor injuries due to improper use of kitchen utensils, moving heavy loads, fire exposure, and mishandling of sharp tools. Many executive chefs commonly work 12 hours a day. Those employed in fine-dining restaurants tend to work longer because of the need to prepare ingredients ahead of time. They may also work even during early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays. Executive chefs working in offices, school cafeterias and factories may have a more regular schedule.
Executive chefs receive an average salary of $49,000. Average executive chef salaries can differ significantly depending on the industry, location, skills, and benefits.