Sous Chef Job Description

WHAT DO SOUS CHEFS DO?

Cooking food and making money…what could be better? Sous chefs are second-in-command in kitchens, reporting to the head chef, overseeing the preparation and cooking of food at restaurants, diners, and other operations where somebody can get a bite to eat. Sous chefs make sure that the kitchen is a well-oiled machine, preparing food, managing the kitchen staff to make sure food prepared quickly and as delicious as possible, and enforcing food safety standards.

When the head chef is away, the sous chef is in charge.

HOW MUCH DO SOUS CHEFS MAKE?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in 2010, the median income for chefs was $19.53 per hour, or $40,630 a year.

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?

Experience is key. Most sous chefs start in other positions in the kitchen, from dishwasher, cook, etc., and learn the skills they need on the job to move up. However, some will gain experience through training at a community college or trade school, with 2- and 4-year degrees are available. Sous chefs looking for more advanced training can get involved in apprenticeships through culinary schools and other organizations. These typically last two years.

JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Creativity: Knowledge of ingredients and how to use them in a creative way will serve you well.
  • Leadership Skills: Sous chefs are in charge often manage the entire kitchen, from the dishwasher to the cooks. Being a good leader, who can assign tasks, hire the right people, motivate workers in a high stress environment will help you immensely.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination: All chefs work with knives and must have excellent technique when cutting and preparing food. Hand-eye coordination is needed.
  • Sense of Taste and Smell: Delicious food brings in customers. Sous chefs are the last line of defense to make sure each piece of food is safe, prepared correctly and tasty.
  • Time Management Skills: Kitchens get busy quickly, food can get ruined easily if you cannot manage your time. Great time management will help you avoid burned or spoiled food and angry customers.

CAREER PATHS FOR SOUS CHEFS

Head Chef
Executive Chef

THE FUTURE OF SOUS CHEFS

According to the BLS, jobs for chefs will not grow much between 2010 and 2020.


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