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Chef de Cuisine

What Is A Chef de Cuisine?

The chef de cuisine (French for "chief of the kitchen") is at the top of the culinary career ladder. This person is in charge of all food production for a restaurant and often gains fame for a particular style of cooking or expertise in certain foods. People aspiring to become chef de cuisine usually attend some form of culinary education in addition to spending several years as lower-level kitchen staff, working their way up as their knowledge and ability increases.

What Does A Chef de Cuisine Do?

A chef de cuisine is responsible for overseeing the entire kitchen operation, including that of cooks, bakers, and butchers. Although they have expert knowledge of every area under their supervision, they must devote a large amount of time to management and administration, such as menu planning, budget, hiring, and sourcing materials. They may also be involved in managing the dining room and marketing aspects. The chef de cuisine is also responsible for updating the menu according to seasonal tastes and general trends.

Famous chef de cuisines are known for creating original dishes that leverage special materials and tastes. Many successful chef de cuisines have started their own restaurants based upon their reputation.

Characteristics of A Chef de Cuisine?

A chef de cuisine is an extremely challenging job that requires physical exertion, such as standing for long hours every day and hurried movement during meal times. The chef de cuisine should not only be able to cook, but also be able to manage a medium- to large-size staff. They need to understand personnel issues and exhibit leadership in getting people to work with them. The chef de cuisine should also have high standards in food preparation and presentation, and be able to constantly identify weak areas in his or her operation.

The Nitty Gritty: Salary

Salary for a chef de cuisine depends largely on the sales volume of the restaurant, with an average range between $38,000 and $57,000. Large hotels that employ a chef de cuisine can pay on average $74,000. Of course, many chef de cuisine earn significantly more than this, often into the six-figures.

Schools to consider:
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