There is not only one type of chef. Just like teachers teach different subjects, chefs have expertise in particular areas. What are the most common types of chefs found in a restaurant and what do their training and salary look like? Let’s find out!
There is usually only one executive chef per restaurant or chain. The executive chef has most likely spent many years as a sous chef in preparation to become the head. He or she is rarely involved in the food preparation, but rather oversees the menu and ensures the kitchen is running smoothly. To become an executive chef, it takes years of formal training at a culinary school as well as years of experience. Executive chefs typically make between $60,000 and $80,000 a year.
A sous chef is the head chef’s right-hand person. He or she is responsible for overseeing the small details of kitchen operations and food preparation, and steps in for the head chef when necessary. If the size of the kitchen calls for it, a head chef may hire more than one sous chef to be sure everything runs smoothly. A sous chef earns less than the executive chef, typically coming in around $50,000 per year.
Line chefs, also known as line cooks are known as the workhorses of the kitchen. They are responsible for most of the food preparation as well as the cooking. They take charge of the cleanliness of the kitchen at the end of the night as well. In larger restaurants, each line chef is responsible for specific parts of the meal, such as salads, garnishes or meat. The average salary for this position is $20,000 per year.
Very experienced and well-trained chefs sometimes take on a job as a personal chef to a person or family. In this role, they do the planning, shopping, and preparation of meals. They typically prepare those meals right on site and may even travel with their employer when necessary. This is a lucrative position and full-time personal chefs typically make the most of all chefs. The salary can range from $55,000 per year to much, much more, especially if working for a celebrity.
Anyone who becomes a chef has a passion for quality food and quality preparation. Whether they become a line chef or the executive chef of a large restaurant, working as a chef is a worthy and noble career.