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In a busy restaurant, one key factor for success is hiring the right chef. There can actually be various types of chefs operating in one kitchen. That leads us to ask, "What are the different types of chefs?" Read on to learn the difference between the various chef titles and the tasks those chefs perform in a bustling restaurant kitchen.
In managerial chef positions, there is an established hierarchy because these chefs have the most responsibility in the kitchen to ensure the restaurant's overall success. The following roles are listed in descending order.
Chef-Owner (Group Chef)
- Primary Task: Business management
- There is only one per kitchen.
- They are responsible for running the establishment as a whole.
- They will often work on menu engineering.
Executive Chef (Chef de Cuisine, Head Chef)
- Primary Task: Kitchen management
- There is only one per kitchen, leading to high competition for the role.
- They oversee daily operations, kitchen costs, food preparation, and menu planning.
- They will often create most of the new recipes and dishes for the menu.
Sous Chef (Second Chef, Under Chef)
- Primary Task: Team management
- There can be more than one in a kitchen depending on the size of the establishment.
- They oversee the details of each dish and oversee the food lines.
- They are the second in command and will run the kitchen in the executive chef’s absence.
- They will usually train newly hired chefs and cooks.
Senior Chef (Chef de Partie, Station Chef)
- Primary Task: Station management
- There can more than one in a kitchen.
- They are in charge of specific stations in the kitchen.
- They are usually specialist on a certain portion of the menu and will ensure that high-quality food leaves their station.
Commis - Line Cook
- Primary Task: Cooking where needed and completing an assortment of kitchen tasks
- They will learn different cooking styles from the specialized chefs in the kitchen.
- They are usually still in culinary school and getting experience through the position.
- They may be required to do miscellaneous tasks like plating dishes, taking orders, or cutting vegetables.