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What To Expect Of Your Head Chef

Posted: May 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Chef School, Oxford

If you’re employing a head chef, it’s important to know what you expect of them and the skills they need to bring to the team. Essentially they lead the kitchen and manage all the staff which means they need very particular experience and personality strengths. It’s much more than being great with food, this level of seniority requires excellent management skills and a wide breadth of business knowledge.

Knows how a business needs to operate

Happy business team applauding together
A head chef doesn’t spend all their time in the kitchen or the actual restaurant itself. They will be involved in all areas of running the business which could include marketing or going out into the local community to network. A good head chef will always be looking for the newest food trends and will be keeping an eye on competitors in the area.

A great communicator

The best head chefs are fantastic communicators. They need to be able to converse with a range of audiences and not just the staff in the kitchen. It’s important that a head chef has great people skills and excellent customer service knowledge as they will often be out and about talking to those eating. He or she will listen to feedback and then plan to action it, will discuss the menu options with customers if they have suggestions as well as take on board general comments regarding the ambience or decoration of the building.

When in the kitchen, a head chef needs to be able to lead a team through great two-way communication. Talking and listening is vital as is motivation and keeping morale high. A happy team of chefs being led by a head chef who can communicate in a positive way will always give that little bit extra and in turn produce fantastic dishes.

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Kitchens have to be organised and this is where the planning skills of a head chef come into their own. Staffing will need to be arranged so there’s always a full complement of chefs at work each day. The delegation and rotation of tasks is managed by the head chef as well as the availability of fresh ingredients on a daily basis being just some of the planning aspects covered by the role.

Able to train staff

A head chef is responsible for the training, Hestonregentsparknurturing and mentoring of all the staff in the kitchen. A head chef with a raft of qualifications is no use to a restaurant if they have underqualified staff and do nothing to help improve their levels of knowledge and skill. It’s a part of the job which shouldn’t mean that the staff feel that they are back at school, but they should feel they are learning new techniques in a fun and informative way. A head chef should look to allow staff to rotate different jobs in the kitchen so they can learn about what everyone else handles on a daily basis and also to let each team member discover untapped skills which can then be developed.

Can liaise with suppliers

A head chef should have a great relationship with all suppMarzipanfrüchteliers. Cooking the ingredients is one thing but the food needs to arrive at the kitchen to begin with and be at its best and top quality. A head chef should be friendly and polite and take the opportunity to get to know each supplier so they can really understand what they have to offer, particularly when changes to the menu are made and there’s a need for new ingredients.

The role of the head chef is incredibly varied and in turn needs someone who can do more than cook. It’s a job suited to someone passionate about people just as much as they are passionate about food and it’s a career move for someone who wants to share their love of gastronomy with everyone they manage and everyone they provide food for.