What are the Different Executive Chef Jobs?

Sara Schmidt

Professional chefs have a wide variety of executive chef jobs available to them, such as head chef in a casino, hotel, or cruise line. Depending on the chef's area of expertise, level of experience, and preferences, he or she could work in nearly any kitchen setting. Executive pastry chef jobs are available for those who prefer working strictly in desserts as well.

Chefs working in a restaurant kitchen.
Chefs working in a restaurant kitchen.

Executive chef jobs vary by specialty and location. In established restaurants, clubs, and other venues, the jobs available will vary depending on positions each establishment has open. Opportunities in these locations can therefore be limited. Chefs who are opening up their own restaurants or other venues may select which position they prefer, providing many more options.

An executive chef.
An executive chef.

Many executive chef jobs involve serving as a kitchen manager. Kitchen managers typically plan out all of the menus that a restaurant serves. They also calculate the costs of the food needed, often purchasing all of the food and arranging its delivery. They may also organize staff schedules.

Chefs who specialize in desserts may work as executive pastry chefs. These cooks prepare elegant desserts and command a dessert section of a kitchen or a pastry specialty shop. These executive chef jobs require a strong background in desserts, such as cakes, pies, cookies, and other sweets.

Country club executive chef jobs are similar to kitchen manager jobs. In addition to the role of kitchen manager, a country club executive chef must be ready to feed large groups of people and cater special events. He or she may be requested to plan, prepare, and cook for large banquets, ceremonies, and other important events at the country club.

Like kitchen manager positions, executive sous chef jobs require many responsibilities. Rather than being the full leader of a team, however, the sous chef is considered the second in command. He or she typically fills in for the executive chef and manages certain duties delegated to him or her.

Most executive chef jobs demand a great deal of creativity and good communication skills. Executive chefs should be willing to interact with the public, as well as their staff, in a courteous and professional manner. Proper sanitation knowledge and handling of food is also required. Culinary skills, such as the ability to rapidly cook in a rushed environment, and a deep knowledge of food and food preparation, are also vital in this career.

Other roles that an executive chef may need to play include those of staff supervisor and inventory control manager. A strong knowledge of state and federal regulations is typically needed, along with good business sense. Safety courses and certain educational requirements may also be expected in this position as well.

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