Overview of Executive Chef Job Description

Overview of Executive Chef Job Description

Nov 5, 2014 | 12:00 pm

You’ve heard the title many times. Maybe it was on the door of a favorite restaurant, or maybe you’ve seen executive chefs compete on reality TV shows like Top Chef or Iron Chef America. You’ve also likely wondered exactly what an executive chef does and maybe even how to become one. We’ve put together an executive chef job description to help answer your questions and get you started on your way to becoming an executive chef (if that sounds like a good career path for you).

Culinary Duties of Executive Chefs

The primary culinary duties of executive chefs are to create new menu items, order food and supplies for the kitchen, ensure the staff is fully trained in the preparation and presentation of the full menu, and oversee the quality of the food leaving the kitchen.

Create New Menu Items

No one likes a totally stagnate menu without any daily specials. The executive chef will be the person who designs new items for the menu.

Order Food and Supplies

Without quality ingredients, it’s impossible to make quality dishes. The executive chef will spend a good portion of his time in the kitchen ensuring an ample supply of the highest quality food and supplies.

Kitchen Staff Training

The food coming out of the kitchen will only be as good as the staff cooking and plating the food. The executive chef must make certain that every member of the kitchen staff who touches the food knows exactly how it should be prepared and presented.

Food Quality

The executive chef is the first and last line of defense when it comes to food quality. They have ensure that only the finest ingredients were brought into the kitchen and they ensure that only the best quality dishes leave the kitchen.

Managerial Duties of Executive Chefs

In addition to culinary responsibilities, executive chefs are also the managers of the kitchen. They will be responsible for hiring, supervising, and firing (when the need arises) the kitchen staff. An executive chef job description will always point out the need for executive chefs to be good managers as well as good chefs.

Training and Educational Requirements

Almost without exception, executive chefs have attended culinary arts school and have received a degree or diploma in culinary arts. Likely, they will have also earned either a two or four year degree in hotel and restaurant management as well to help them with the business and managerial aspects of their jobs. While this is not strictly required, it can and will give you an advantage over other applicants for the job of executive chef, and no executive chef job description would be complete without mentioning it.

Salary Overview

While it’s a difficult and demanding jog being an executive chef has its benefits and one of the biggest is the salary that comes along with the responsibility. Executive chefs have a comfortable median annual income of $66,852 and the top 10% of executive chefs earn more than $97,637 per year. Even on the low end, executive chefs earn around $46,000 per year.

If you’re thinking of a career as an executive chef then the next step would be connecting your local culinary school, community college, or four year school and get more information about culinary arts and hotel & restaurant management programs.