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Chef Job Descriptions - Chef Duties and Responsibilities

Chef Job Purpose

Oversees a restaurant's kitchen by managing other members of the food preparation team, deciding what dishes to serve and adjusting orders to meet guests' requests. May assist in prep work, such as chopping vegetables, but more often will be involved in cooking specialty dishes. Chooses ingredients and designs a menu based on the seasonal availability of food items. Creates unique dishes that inspire guests to come back again and again to see what is new in the restaurant.

What does a Chef do?

A Chef is in charge of preparing the food a restaurant serves. Chefs have different responsibilities depending on their skill level. For example, an Executive Chef will create the menu and oversee kitchen staff. Sous chefs are second-in-command and, among other responsibilities, make sure that all kitchen equipment is functional. A good Chef will prepare unique dishes that make your business stand out from others. Chef duties and responsibilities

Chefs work with other kitchen staff to ensure that your kitchen runs effectively, and they have to be experts at ensuring food quality and maintaining kitchen equipment. Other duties and responsibilities that every good Chef has include:

  • Ensure that all dishes are cooked well and presented in an aesthetically pleasing way
  • Oversee food preparation, checking that all kitchen staff are performing their duties
  • Monitor equipment quality and order new equipment as needed
  • Help the restaurant determine how much food and supplies need to be ordered
  • Train new kitchen staff
  • Setting up the kitchen with cooking utensils and equipment, like knives, pans and food scales
  • Studying each recipe and gathering all necessary ingredients
  • Cooking food in a timely manner
  • Set up the kitchen with cooking utensils and equipment, like knives, pans and kitchen scales
  • Study each recipe and gather all necessary ingredients
  • Cook food in a timely manner
  • Delegate tasks to kitchen staff
  • Inform wait staff about daily specials
  • Ensure appealing plate presentation
  • Supervise Cooks and assist as needed
  • Slightly modify recipes to meet customers’ needs and requests (e.g. reduce salt, remove dairy)
  • Monitor food stock and place orders
  • Check freshness of food and discard out-of-date items
  • Experiment with recipes and suggest new ingredients
  • Ensure compliance with all health and safety regulations within the kitchen area
  • Cooks guests' orders according to their preferences
  • Employs food safety best practices and makes sure that all kitchen staff members do the same
  • Acts with appropriate caution in a dangerous environment where there are knives and high-temperature surfaces
  • Selects choice ingredients that will give dishes the best flavour
  • Experiments to come up with new specialties that will draw diners into the restaurant
  • Coaches the sous chef and other members of the kitchen staff, so they perform at their best
  • Determines how much food to order and maintains an appropriate supply at the restaurant
  • Keeps up with trends in cooking and the restaurant business to ensure that guests have a positive experience
  • Works quickly and accurately during busy periods, such as weekends and evenings
  • Occasionally takes on extra duties, such as cleaning, when the kitchen is short-staffed or the restaurant is particularly busy
  • Takes direction and works with the restaurant's administrative team
  • Collaborate with kitchen management on menu items
  • Attend all staff meetings
  • Prep kitchen before meal times
  • Prepare menu items as ordered
  • Ensure proper preparation of all food to be served
  • Assist head chef with large projects when requested
  • Maintain a clean kitchen at all times
  • Work in a safe and efficient manner
  • Chef skills and qualifications

    The most important skill for a Chef is the ability to cook well and arrange beautiful dishes, but they need lots of other qualifications as well, including:

  • Customer service
  • The ability to manage a team of cooks
  • Organization skills
  • Time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to work under extreme pressure
  • The ability to communicate in a fast-moving environment
  • The ability to make good food consistently, even in a busy kitchen
  • Chef education and training requirements

    Many Chefs complete formal education before entering the workforce, such as culinary degrees and management programs. Chefs typically don’t receive on-the-job training, since it’s expected that they will have completed experience as a cook before moving into a role taking on broader responsibilities. You also want to consider the type of experience, such as the types of restaurants where a Chef candidate worked.

    Chef experience requirements

    Chefs typically have five or more years of experience, though exceptions may be made depending on the type of experience or the Chef’s educational background. Chefs typically gain real-world experience through cook positions or other junior-level roles.

    Chef Experience Requirements

  • Proven work experience as a Chef or Cook
  • Hands-on experience with various kitchen equipment (e.g. grillers and pasta makers)
  • Advanced knowledge of culinary, baking and pastry techniques
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to remain calm and undertake various tasks
  • Excellent time management abilities
  • Up-to-date knowledge of cooking techniques and recipes
  • Familiarity with sanitation regulations
  • Culinary school diploma preferred
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