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Sous Chef

What Is A Sous Chef?

Sous Chef is essentially second-in-command next to the executive chef. Sous chefs especially are in charge of the production and minute-by-minute affairs in the kitchen, as the executive chef often has to handle administrative affairs. Sous chefs are trained at an expert level and act more in a supervisory role than working directly with food production.

What Does A Sous Chef Do?

A sous chef will do everything an executive chef will—including maintaining quality standards, employee training, portion control, and menu planning—but occupies a lower position of authority than the executive chef. Daily tasks include menu planning, assessment of kitchen equipment and needed repairs, monitoring costs to maintain profitability. Sous chefs also need to manage the kitchen employees, helping in the hiring of new staff, training, and payroll. Sous chefs also need to understand and help enforce safety standards and practices.

Characteristics Of A Sous Chef

Sous chefs need to have administrative skills in order to manage the kitchen in the absence of the executive chef, but also need to have the culinary knowledge to supervise food production, maintain standards, and help employees grow in their abilities. They will be directly in charge of all stations of the kitchen. Sous chefs also need to be willing to take on a variety of miscellaneous tasks—everything from cleaning to scheduling. In order to become a sous chef, one will have to have at least three years of related hands-on experience, and preferably at least a High School or GED diploma.

The Nitty Gritty: Salary

Depending on the sales volume of the restaurant or size of the hotel, sous chefs can expect to make anywhere between $30,000 and $70,000 per year, though the median salary for sous chefs in the United States is $50,878.

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