An Executive Sous Chef is the chef who oversees all of the cooking operations in a restaurant kitchen. They are responsible for ensuring food quality, safety, and consistency throughout their kitchens. They must also be capable of managing many different tasks at once, such as inventory management, hiring, and training staff, scheduling among staff members as needed, handling issues with suppliers or vendors, and more.
Executive Sous Chefs typically have a culinary arts degree from a university program or extensive restaurant experience before they can be considered for such a high position in a professional kitchen. So, if you want to learn more about what an Executive Sous Chef does on a day-to-day basis and how to become one yourself then keep reading!
What is an Executive Sous Chef?
Have you ever what Executive Sous Chef is? This type of Sous Chefs are chefs who lead their team of cooks, help with preparing food, and assist the Executive Chef. They may also be responsible for managing a specific area of the kitchen, such as purchasing or inventory management.
Executive Sous Chefs have many responsibilities in addition to cooking. These include ensuring that the kitchen runs smoothly, meeting with vendors, and being a liaison between the Executive Chef and any staff members they manage. It’s the equivalent of an assistant manager in an office-based role.
In order to become an Executive Sous Chef, there are certain skills required.
The first skill is versatility – having knowledge about all aspects of running a restaurant including accounting practices and customer service skills in addition to the experience of the culinary arts is incredibly important to this role.
Executive Sous Chefs also need to be able to think quickly and make decisions on the fly. They must have a deep understanding of both the culinary arts as well as accounting practices, managing staff members, budgeting for inventory, and other tasks that are related to running a kitchen alongside the Executive Chef.
But, What is an Executive Chef?
An Executive Chef is also known as a Head Chef. They oversee the running of a professional kitchen, organize the staff, and are responsible for pretty much all other chefs’ duties, including menu planning. Executive Chefs also work directly with vendors to purchase food or supplies, as well as oversee purchasing practices in their restaurant.
The Executive Sous Chef will report directly to the Executive Chef and they will be in charge of running the kitchen when the Head isn’t there.
Most management policies and procedures are followed by Executive Sous Chefs and Executive Chefs. Executive chefs are also responsible for managing relationships with health inspectors, ensuring the kitchen complies with hygiene standards or anything else that they need to ensure their kitchen runs smoothly.
Executive Sous Chef Duties and Responsibilities
Executive Sous Chefs are in charge of overseeing the kitchen staff, ensuring that food is cooked and served correctly, dishes are appropriately stocked, all equipment is functioning properly. Executive chefs may also be responsible for managing a specific area of the kitchen such as purchasing or inventory management.
There are certain skills required to become Executive Sous Chef. Here are a few of the most important duties and responsibilities that an Executive Sous Chef will have to carry out:
Collaborate With the Executive Chef
Executive Sous Chefs must work closely with Executive chefs to make sure that the food and recipes are served correctly, dishes are appropriately stocked, inventory is managed, kitchen equipment is functioning properly. Effective collaboration is incredibly important to the job role: Executive Sous Chefs need to understand Executive chefs’ vision and goals for their kitchen in order to run the kitchen smoothly.
For Executive Sous Chefs, menu planning is a key responsibility. Executive chefs may be responsible for helping to develop new menus or tweak existing menus that are appropriate and relevant to the restaurant’s theme or idea.
Executive Sous Chefs also need to know what food ingredients will work best in order to meet budget constraints while creating an appetizing dish- this can require creativity and imagination. They will also need to know what the Executive Chef’s budget is in order to plan their menu accordingly.
Managing Kitchen Staff
Executive Sous Chefs are responsible for managing other staff members, such as dishwashers, Line or Commis Chefs, Chef de Parties, or specialist chefs like Pastry Chefs or Sushi Chefs. They may be required to hire, train and supervise these chefs when the Executive Chef isn’t able to do so.
Executive Sous Chefs must be able to make sensible decisions regarding staff. They need to ensure that everyone is on the stations that they are strongest on, particularly when the restaurant is busy. They may also have to make decisions about everything from staffing changes to future route changes at a moment’s notice.
In order to carry this out, they need excellent leadership skills, strong communication skills, the ability to work well under pressure and with others in order for them to succeed.
Budgeting and Money Management
As the assistant head of a kitchen, Executive Sous Chefs need to be able to understand and manage budgets. This includes understanding what budget is available every month, keeping track of inventory levels by comparing them with previous months, and making decisions about staffing levels.
They may also need to make the right purchases for their kitchen – this usually involves working with the Executive Chefs in order to decide what supplies are needed.
Executive Sous Chefs should also have reasonable math skills so that they can do these tasks effectively and efficiently. They should be able to think creatively to find ways of making the food taste better while remaining within budget constraints.
Hire and Train Kitchen Staff
Executive Sous Chefs may be required to assist with the hiring of new staff members. This means they’ll need to understand people’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, in order to incorporate this into the business.
Once they know this, the Sous would typically work with the staff and train them on the Executive chef’s vision for the kitchen. This requires creativity, people skills, and sometimes patience, in order to find an appropriate training method that works well with each new member.
Executive Sous Chefs might also need to be able to train dishwashers and even waitresses and food runners on their responsibilities in order for them to work effectively at the restaurant.
Supervise Chefs and Food Preparation Workers
Executive Sous Chefs should be able to supervise other kitchen workers and help them if they have any trouble in order to keep the kitchen running smoothly and to help them to do their jobs effectively.
They need excellent leadership skills and strong communication skills to carry out these tasks – especially since they’ll have a lot of responsibilities, and kitchens can be quite high-pressure environments and tensions often run high.
Good supervision also requires the Executive Sous Chef’s ability to think quickly on their feet – they might need to be able to make quick decisions about staffing changes or menu changes at a moment’s notice – and they should also be able to work well under pressure as time constraints are often tight.
Enforce All Food Safety Policies and Procedures
The Executive Chef is responsible for enforcing all food safety policies and procedures in the kitchen. As such, they should have a comprehensive knowledge of food safety, and which hygiene standards they need to comply with, as well as how to enforce them and how to ensure that other staff members do too.
Food safety is incredibly important in a kitchen, and it’s vital that the Executive Sous Chef can uphold the highest food safety standards.
Check Freshness of Food and Maintain Supplies
Building on food safety procedures, the Executive Sous Chef may also need to check the freshness of food and maintain supplies like fruit and vegetables, fresh meat, spices, oils, stocks, etc.
Maintaining inventory levels may often need chefs to use common sense and budget-balancing skills too – for example, if they can offer a menu item that uses less expensive ingredients, then they might be able to save money.
Ordering Supplies When Necessary
Although the Executive Chef is usually the one who orders supplies, the Executive Sous Chef may need to order supplies when necessary, such as when supplies are getting low, or when the Executive Chef isn’t available.
Executive chefs need strong math skills, organization skills, and the ability to liaise with suppliers in order to do this task efficiently. They may also be able to offer food that uses less expensive ingredients or substitutes items so that the Executive Chef doesn’t have an issue with going over budget.
Executive Sous Chef Skills
So, now you have a better idea of the responsibilities of the role, what are the skills you’ll need to be an Executive Sous?
Collaborating And Teamwork
You’ll need to be able to collaborate with the Executive Chef to create menu options and daily specials based on expertise with specific cuisines. You’ll need to have strong communication skills and creativity, as Executive Sous Chefs often brainstorm with the Executive Chef.
But you’ll also need to have good teamwork skills as you’ll need to collaborate with other members of the team too.
Creating menus and designing new dishes doesn’t always come easy. An Executive Sous Chef will also need to think creatively when it comes time for them to come up with ideas for new appetizers or desserts, or even specials for a specials board.
Working Under Pressure
Kitchens are high-pressure environments. In fact, they’re one of the most stressful jobs you can get into. The catering care ensures that you’re always on the go, are often very hot, and have both customers and front of house staff constantly demanding things from you.
Hence, the Executive Sous Chef, as the second in command of the kitchen, needs to be able to compose themselves and work efficiently under that level of pressure.
Financial Management Skills
The Executive Sous Chef needs strong financial management skills in order to work with the Executive Chef. For example, when they’re managing budget or ordering or stock levels, this skill will come in handy.
Strong Attention to Detail
The Executive Sous Chef needs to have strong attention to detail in order to enforce all food safety policies and procedures. They will also have to notice if something isn’t right with a dish, or if someone else in the kitchen is cutting corners. All of this requires them to have strong attention or detail.
Making Sure Hygiene and Food Safety Standards are Met
Executive Sous Chefs will need to make sure hygiene and food safety standards are met. This also includes making sure everyone else in the kitchen is trained on proper techniques in order to keep the kitchen clean, safe, and running smoothly.
This also ties into the previous point because strong attention to detail will be essential for making sure hygiene standards are met and to make sure all food safety policies and procedures are enforced.
Following the Strict Regimen to Check the Freshness of Food
Executive Sous Chefs need to make sure the freshness of food is checked on a strict regime. This might involves the daily stock rotation, weekly deep cleaning of all the fridges, and ensuring a systematic date label method is applied to all fresh food.
Displaying Good Team Spirit
Executive Sous Chefs need to have a good team spirit in order to work well in a professional kitchen. They should be able to lift up others of the team, help them when they have problems or concerns, members and someone the rest of the team can rely on.
They should also be able to see which chefs work best together, encourage teamwork, delegate tasks, and set an example. Be someone the team can learn from and never ask a teammate to do something that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.
Also, take some time to get to know your team – it can’t always be work and no play, and getting to know your team will only help you become stronger.
Executive Sous Chefs need excellent organizational skills in order to keep the kitchen running smoothly. They’ll need to follow the strict regime of checking the freshness of food and enforcing all food safety policies and procedures, as well as organizing stock, organizing staff, and organizing restaurant tickets and customer orders.
In a kitchen environment, especially when you’re this high of a role, the organization is key.
Produce High-Quality Dishes
If you’re an Executive Sous Chef, then it shouldn’t all be paperwork, stock take, and training! You’ll also need to know how to cook and how to produce high-quality dishes.
You may be asked to design a menu taster for an event, produce a new special for a specials board, or just show the new starters how to create the perfect version of a menu item. As such, being able to produce food of top quality is vital for this job role.
Create Tasting Menus for Clients
Executive Sous Chefs may also need to create tasting menus that Executive Chefs present to clients. They should be able to think creatively when coming up with ideas for appetizers, mains, or desserts, and be able to create innovative dishes that suit what a client is looking for.
Executive Sous Chef Tools of the Trade
The Executive Sous will usually also have some knowledge and experience using the following pieces of equipment and tools:
Commercial Kitchen Equipment
- Kitchen Knives
- Pots and pans
- Cutting Boards
- Griddle or grills
- Blast Chillers
- Fridges and Freezer
- Folder Makers and Folder of all types
- Pot-scrubbers for cleaning pots and pans with a wire brush
They should also be familiar with a range of cooking methods, such as :
- Baking in ovens at relatively low temperatures
- Pan-frying with oil or butter
Finally, the Sous should also be familiar with safety procedures like fridge and freezer temperatures, the temperatures of cooked meat, how to cook a steak to a range of temperatures, how to work with chicken and fish, and what temperature is best for storage of different types of food.
Computers and Computer Software Programs
Aside from the kitchen equipment, there are also a few technical items that the Executive Sous should know how to use. A few software programs Executive Sous Chefs typical use work with are:
- MS Office Suite
- Restaurant management software,
And many more. Executive Sous Chefs also need to have a good knowledge of the software that is used in restaurants, which would include kitchen accounting software. Executive Sous Chefs will usually help Executive Chefs with any computer-related tasks.
Executive Sous Chef Education and Training
Most Sous Chefs have a comprehensive culinary education before they get into the role. This might include a University course in catering and hospitality, a college course in culinary arts, a vocational qualification, or an NVQ or Apprenticeship.
Executive Sous Chefs might also train by working for Executive Chefs who have a lot of experience and can teach them the ropes. This will usually be an Executive Chef that they work with closely on a day-to-day basis.
On completion of their training period, Executive Sous Chefs will sometimes take on a more junior role for the time being, such as a Commis or Line Chef. This helps them gain experience working on the catering front line, and also allows them to see exactly what the Executive Sous Chef role will entail.
This is especially useful if they’re coming from a classroom-based University or College background. Then, they will usually progress to the Executive Sous Chef role. Some Executive Sous Chef training will usually be provided on the job. Executive Chefs may help the Sous with any new skills they need to learn in order to do their job properly, and this can be a great way to learn.
An alternate way to get into the role is if an Executive Chefs have a hard time finding employees, a Commis Chef who already has these skills may get promoted into this position.
The Major Differences Between a Sous Chef and a Head Chef
An Executive Chef is also known as a Head Chef. This person will usually be the head of their kitchen, which means they have a lot more responsibility than a Sous. Head chefs are in charge of managing staff, running the kitchen in the background (this includes ordering stock, new equipment, and filling out paperwork), and ensuring that food is produced to meet specific standards.
In contrast, the Executive Sous Chefs handle day-to-day tasks like restocking items in the pantry and assuring health and safety standards are met. The Sous Chef will only have to step up and take complete control of the kitchen when the Head Chef isn’t around. But on a day-to-day basis, the Sous Chef’s role is to watch the Head in the running of the kitchen.
The Sous Chef will usually have a close relationship with the Head Chef and is often more hands-on (organizing shifts, or assigning tasks), while Executive Chefs oversee their work instead. Head Chefs also need to deal with other team members, hiring, and outside suppliers. Sous Chefs are usually in charge of inside the kitchen only.
Executive Sous Chef Salary
On average, you can expect to make around $52k as Executive Sous Chef. However, this can vary.
Employees who work for very prestigious employers or very generous employers (the top 10% of earners) make over $74k, while those in the bottom 10% – usually those working for chains where they go by minimum wage, or much smaller establishments – earn less than $39k.
Executive Chefs make more than Executive Sous Chefs, and the salary will also vary depending on your level of experience in this field.
Question: What does an Executive Sous Chef do?
Answer: Executive Sous Chefs watch the Head Chef and run their restaurant kitchen when the Head Chef isn’t around. Their duties might include planning and executing a restaurant’s menu, which includes selecting the food to purchase from suppliers and preparing it, helping with menu planning, and ensuring the health and safety standards are met.
They may also be required to order supplies like groceries or equipment, and train other employees on kitchen techniques and skills. The Executive Sous Chef reports directly to the Executive Chef.
Question: What is the Difference Between an Executive Chef and an Executive Sous Chef?
Answer: An Executive Chef is the head of their kitchen, which means they have more responsibility than Executive Sous Chefs. Executive Chefs are in charge of managing staff and filing paperwork; Executive Sous Chefs deal with day-to-day tasks like restocking items in the pantry and monitoring health standards.
Question: How Much Can an Executive Chef Make?
Answer: On average, you can expect to make around $52,000 as Executive Sous Chef. However, this can vary depending on your level of experience.
Question: How do You Become an Executive Sous Chef?
Answer: Executive Sous Chefs usually reach their position by either an extensive course in culinary education or on the job training and hands-on experience. They may also start off in a lower role and work their way up.
Executive Chefs may also help Executive Sous Chefs with any new skills they need to learn in order to do their job properly. Plus, if the Head Chef has a hard time finding qualified workers, a Commis Chef who already has experience skills may get promoted into this position.
Question: What Comes After a Sous Chef?
Answer: Once Executive Sous Chefs achieve a certain level of experience, they may be eligible to become Executive Chefs. This is usually given on the job as well and Executive Chefs can train Executive Sous Chefs in how to do their position properly.
In conclusion, being an Executive Sous Chef is both a challenging, but an incredibly rewarding position in a commercial kitchen. This role will have many responsibilities, and you’ll have to both set an example and work to very high standards. As an Executive Sous Chef, you can expect to make around $52k per year, and it’s the perfect stepping stone to work your way up to becoming an Executive Chef or to own your own restaurant.
The Executive Sous Chef is a highly skilled role; it’s a person who oversees the kitchen staff and typically has an extensive background in the catering arts. As you can see, there are many different ways to be successful as an Executive Sous Chef (though it’s not for everyone). If this job sounds appealing or interesting to you, we encourage you to reach for it. In time, this role could make you an incredibly successful culinary professional.