The Head Chef plays one of the most important roles in the restaurant industry. Head Chefs must have extensive knowledge of the food their restaurant prepares, as well as the ability to implement quality new menu items. They must also possess the managerial skills required to run a kitchen and the employees working in it.
Heads Chefs must be masters of the culinary craft. They will need to excel at preparing the food that their restaurant serves while also being able to teach their assistant and sous chefs how to prepare the same meals. The job varies based on the different kinds of food served, the speed of service, and how busy the restaurant generally gets. The Head Chef works primarily in the kitchen, but many of them also have offices, as they might also have the duty of making schedules for kitchen staff and for the menu. Some restaurants' menus change from week to week. Working hours depend on when the restaurant is open. Some restaurants serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while others only serve dinners that may run late into the evening. A Head Chef may work from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., or they might work from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. Weekends are often included. The hours are completely dependent on the restaurant's hours. Often, menu decisions come from what is trending or what customers respond to, so the Head Chef must also recognize and make use of these variables.
Requirements for becoming a Head Chef tend to be relatively extensive. A degree in culinary arts is often required, but it is possible to obtain employment without a degree but with extensive experience as a chef. They must also have leadership abilities and preferably management experience. The job also requires different certifications depending on which state they work in or the different aspects of their business. A certificate in hygiene is usually required. Some may also be required to hold a certificate in catering.
The Head Chef is generally someone who loves his or her work, as it is an art form. The ultimate goal is to please customers. Much of the satisfaction is derived from knowing that they do this. Their job is also an outlet to express their creativity.
Head Chef Tasks
- Train employees in cooking methods, plate presentations, portions, and cost control.
- Manage kitchen operation including food purchases and preparation, record keeping, quality standards, and sanitation.