What exactly does a chief cook do? How can you become one, and what does it take to succeed in this position?
These are just some of the questions most people ask when deciding on a career path.
If you want to know more about this role and how you can pursue it, continue reading for everything you need to know about being a chief cook, their job description, salary, education and experience, and more.
You’ll be able to make an informed decision before pursuing this career path once you’ve finished reading.
We’ve created this comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about the chief cook job, including what it pays and how you can land the position.
For starters, read on to discover what duties come with the position and how much you could earn in this line of work.
Let’s get started.
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Chief Cook Job Duties
The following are the duties of a chief cook
- Chief Cook oversees all food preparation for meals in the restaurant
- They supervise a kitchen staff which may include cooks, sous chefs, and assistants
- They provide instructions to other kitchen staff on what needs to be done
- Also, they supervise food purchasing by ordering supplies such as produce or dairy products
- They have an understanding of all kitchen equipment so they can troubleshoot any problems that arise
- They may work with local restaurants to create menus
- Also, they know different cultures so they can prepare appropriate dishes
- They need good communication skills so they can work with all members of the team
- Sometimes, it is their responsibility to plan and coordinate catering events
- They are responsible for organizing storage areas
- Chief Cook help maintain standards for cleanliness
- They manage budgets
- They order non-food items like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and laundry detergent.
- In some cases, they hire and train new employees.
- There’s also the chance that this person might be called upon to perform public relations duties.
What Does a Chief Cook Do?
A chief cook, also known as a head chef or executive chef, is responsible for the overall operation of a kitchen.
They plan menus, oversee food preparation, and ensure food is cooked to proper safety standards.
A chief cook typically has several years of experience working in a professional kitchen.
They may also have formal culinary training from a trade school or culinary institute.
In some kitchens, the chief cook may also be responsible for managing other kitchen staff and ordering supplies.
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As the head of the kitchen, this cook is responsible for overseeing all aspects of food preparation.
This includes menu planning, ingredient procurement, cooking, and presentation.
The chief cook also often works closely with the head waiter to ensure that each dish is served promptly and correctly.
In addition to these duties, the chief cook may also be responsible for training new kitchen staff and managing the budget.
Most chief cooks have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some positions may require post-secondary education, such as a culinary arts degree from a community college or trade school.
Many chief cooks learn their skills through on-the-job training.
Some employers may prefer candidates with experience in the food service industry.
In terms of experience, this cook must have excellent leadership skills and be able to delegate tasks to subordinates.
They must also have a strong understanding of food safety and sanitation practices.
The chief cook typically has several years of experience working in a professional kitchen.
They may also have a culinary degree from an accredited institution.
Chief Cook Salary & Outlook
The median annual salary for professionals in this field is $53,500 ($25.72/hour), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The top 10 percent of earners made more than $70,430 annually, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $22,560.
The job outlook for chief cooks is good. The BLS projects that employment will grow by 9 percent from 2026.
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This cook is vital in any kitchen, large or small.
They are responsible for the coordination and execution of all food preparation, as well as supervising other kitchen staff.
They must have a strong knowledge of food safety and manage time and resources effectively.
While the position of chief cook can be demanding, it is also gratifying.
Successful in this role often have a passion for food and cooking and a solid commitment to customer satisfaction.