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Production Chef

The road to becoming a production chef is anything but easy, but the rewards are many. And although culinary certification is not yet a requirement, certification can make the road to success as a production chef less bumpy.

In America, production chefs may earn as little as $15 an hour to as much as $95,000 a year, most with benefits, depending on job locality, employer, experience and education. Still, if the passion is deeply rooted in the chef’s soul, money, or the lack thereof, will not deter the desire to feed and nurture that passion.

There are a number of culinary schools available, including the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, which offers the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu program, a program that encompasses traditional American culinary methods as well as classical French culinary techniques.

Production chefs are responsible for the preparation, cooking, and serving of food, and may work in restaurants, hotels, clubs, hospitals, on cruise ships, or at other food service establishments. The schedule of a production chef varies, and can be either night or day shift, depending on the needs of the establishment. The production chef must be innovative, creative, flexible, enthusiastic, organized, able to plan a menu, and above all, have the ability to delight customers on a daily basis.

A necessary characteristic for a successful production chef is the ability to take charge of the food production process. The chef must be sure that all foods meet and/or surpass the required standard of freshness prior to any food preparation, and must have experience in producing fresh quality food for possibly thousands of diners at any given time.

The production chef must also be familiar with all aspects of food production, presentation, and coordination of service, and must be able to work well in a high volume food service operation. Having a career as a production chef is the kind of career that only food lovers with a passion for serving and pleasing the palates of others on a daily basis can enjoy and thrive in.

Schools to consider: