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How to get your dream head chef job

Posted: April 21, 2016 at 11:28 am

With the popularity of cooking television shows at an all-time high, a job as a head chef in a restaurant seems like a pretty appealing prospect. We know it’s not quite like that in real life and any sous chef who wishes to make that stepping stone to head chef will tell you that competition for the best jobs is fierce. Even the most talented chefs get lost amongst the thousands of applications for some of the best restaurants in the country. On paper, getting your dream head chef job is easy, in practice it’s a little more tricky than just applying. Here are a few little tips on how to land that dream job.


While every sous chef will have experience of working alongside a head chef, the transition from sous to head is often a big jump, especially if the experience you have gained is in a smaller kitchen. When applying for jobs think about the experience you have gained and how that can apply to a head chef role. For example, how many staff were you responsible for in past employments? How did your role impact the running of the kitchen? Were you responsible for creating new dishes, budget management or stock control? All of these will put you in good stead for landing that dream job.


A willingness to learn:

Every head chef learnt their trade somewhere, they no doubt started out by washing dishes, mopping floors and clearing up someone else’s mess. Arrogance is never going to land you that dream job. A willingness to learn and to take on board criticism will get you a long way, not just in the catering industry but in life as well.



Your own expectations of a new role also ties in with experience. Be realistic about the role that you are applying for and be honest about your own abilities. While we have covered that everybody has to start somewhere, think about what skills you have acquired in the past and how these can relate to the role of head chef. Constantly applying for jobs that you do not have the experience for will become disheartening when an application does not end in an interview, all because you do not have the relevant experience for the role that you are applying for.


Reliability is an absolute must in this industry. The days are often long and hard work and you can forget about having a social life. It may look all glamour and delicately created dishes on the television but in reality it’s hot, humid and stifling working a busy Saturday night in a restaurant. Not turning up for work because your feet hurt or you have a headache will quickly turn into unemployment.

Lastly, put yourself across in the best way possible. Read through your CV or get someone else to read it. Check and double check that there are no spelling mistakes and that it is laid out correctly. Attention to detail is critical in this industry, little mistakes on an application form or CV may make an employer question your attention to detail. Be honest about your abilities. Look at what you can offer from an employer perspective and question, would you employ you as their new head chef? If you’re looking for a new role or need to hire a chef for your restaurant or hotel, then get in touch here.