What Is a Sous Chef?

To be a professional cook employment is something that is essential for any chef to feel fulfilled in their chosen profession. All chefs dream of working in the kitchen of their dreams and producing excellent meals that are a huge success. It is in the kitchen that the chef is the boss but before any chef becomes the boss they have to work under one and this is when they are known as a Sous-Chef.

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Within the kitchen of a typical restaurant there are a number of staff and there is a distinct hierarchy that exists. This hierarchy is essential to the smooth operation of the kitchen. The one in charge of everything relating to the kitchen and the way it operates is the Head or Main Chef. He or she is responsible for creating the menus, managing the staff and is also in charge of the payroll. They are also the ones that determine what supplies are needed and is generally a busy individual.

A Head Chef needs someone under them who is both trustworthy and reliable and this is the role of the Sous-Chef. The word ‘sous’ is French and literally means ‘under’. When it comes to the typical responsibilities of the Sous-Chef these can be summarized as filling in for the Head Chef whenever they are not available, such as when they are not on duty. 4Chefs

As the second-in-command the Sous-Chef assists the other chefs with their duties in the kitchen as well as assuming most of the responsibilities that would belong to the Head Chef. In effect he or she is the Head Chef’s understudy and is a Head Chef in training.

If you are a cook employment as a Head Chef in a restaurant is more than likely your goal, unless you intend to one day own your own establishment. In order to realize either goal you are required to spend time working as a Sous-Chef. Because the Head Chef is usually the one that gets all the glory the Sous-Chef is often overlooked and unnoticed. But this does not mean that they are unimportant because the Main Chef needs someone that they can count on and rely upon. The Sous-Chef is the one that must be in charge when they are on duty and therefore needs to have good management skills as the other staff will only be able to approach the Sous-Chef when the Head Chef is unavailable.

As the under chef they are also responsible for training the staff in the way the kitchen is operated and if we were to speak plainly they are very much the same as middle management. When on duty he or she is the first one to arrive at the kitchen and the last one to leave. True commitment is essential to the effective running of the staff and the kitchen.