2017 Chefs and Head Cooks
Median Pay: US$41,500
Entry Level: High school diploma or equivalent
Summary
Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.
Duties

Chefs and head cooks typically do the following:

  • Check the freshness of food and ingredients
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Develop recipes and determine how to present dishes
  • Plan menus and ensure the quality of meals
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
  • Hire, train, and supervise cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Order and maintain an inventory of food and supplies
  • Monitor sanitation practices and follow kitchen safety standards

Chefs and head cooks use a variety of kitchen and cooking equipment, including step-in coolers, high-quality knives, meat slicers, and grinders. They also have access to large quantities of meats, spices, and produce. Some chefs use scheduling and purchasing software to help them in their administrative tasks.

Chefs who run their own restaurant or catering business are often busy with kitchen and office work. Some chefs use social media to promote their business by advertising new menu items or addressing customer reviews.

The following are examples of types of chefs and head cooks:

Executive chefs, head cooks, and chefs de cuisine are responsible primarily for overseeing the operation of a kitchen. They coordinate the work of sous chefs and other cooks, who prepare most of the meals. Executive chefs also have many duties beyond the kitchen. They design the menu, review food and beverage purchases, and often train cooks and other food preparation workers. Some executive chefs primarily handle administrative tasks and may spend less time in the kitchen.

Sous chefs are a kitchen's second-in-command. They supervise the restaurant's cooks, prepare meals, and report results to the head chefs. In the absence of the head chef, sous chefs run the kitchen.

Private household chefs typically work full time for one client, such as a corporate executive, university president, or diplomat, who regularly entertains as part of his or her official duties.

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Dallas, TX

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Type: Internship
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Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
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Dietetic Intern

Type: Internship
JOIN THE PACK!NC State Dining offers meaningful opportunities for employment across our retail and hospitality units. We offer competitive pay, flexible schedules, and opportunity for learning, growth, and promotion. Dedicated and experienced professional staff are available to provide on-the-job...
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Type: Internship
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Philadelphia, PA

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Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
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Indianapolis, IN

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