Individuals that already have a high school diploma or a GED and are interested in pursuing a career as an executive chef should enroll in a culinary arts program. Students that are enrolled in this type of program can turn their passion for food and business into a lucrative and rewarding career. If you find yourself asking what is a executive chef, here is a general overview of the position.
There are certificate, associate, and bachelor degree programs available for students that want to get their foot in the door or who want to explore a more specialized career as a chef manager. Although coursework will vary from school to school, full time students can expect to complete the certificate program within six months. Full-time study for the associate degree program is two years and four years for the bachelor degree program. Students will also gain a plenty of hands on experience and training to enhance their culinary knowledge and skills. Students that enroll in an executive chef-training program will develop a variety of skills, including multitasking, superior communication capabilities, managerial, and critically thinking while managing staff and productivity levels within the kitchen.
Role and Responsibilities
This professional is also known as the head chef, chef manager or chief cook in a kitchen. This person is responsible for every aspect of a kitchen’s daily operations, which include hiring, training, firing, delegating the roles of and responsibilities of other kitchen employees, maintaining good hygiene standards, and planning menus. While this professional is in charge of the kitchen, they generally do not cook. Cooking is often left up to sous chefs and other lower level employees in the kitchen.
The chief cook is also required to handle all administrative duties in the kitchen. These duties include scheduling kitchen staff, inventory, ordering supplies, and reporting to the owner of the establishment in which they work. In addition to overseeing the kitchen staff, this professional is responsible for the quality of dishes that come out of the kitchen. Through careful planning and innovation, this professional is required to make adjustments and modifications to the menu and the restaurants pantry as needed.
This professional is essentially the manager of the kitchen. The success and popularity of a restaurant or dining establishment is the direct result of the executive chef’s performance. Typical work attire for this professional is a monogrammed white chef’s coat, a chef’s hat, and black pants. Work attire may vary depending on the establishment of employment.
Students that complete a chef training program can seek out opportunities in a variety of public, private, and government sector jobs. While the average salary for this position varies widely, there are greater earning opportunities available for professionals that work in large establishments or who decide to pursue entrepreneurial path.
Even though a degree is not required, pursuing a certificate, associate’s or even a bachelor’s degree in the culinary arts field is the best way for one to improve their career opportunities and salary potential.