Our team has got a lot of dedicated chefs. They have started cooking at home and perfecting each dish by including their take. And when they wanted to step up their game, they started looking for higher-titled jobs in different top-tier restaurants. However, they did not know what the titles actually meant.
That said, when you talk about higher-ranked chefs, the topic of chef de cuisine vs executive chef will always emerge. And these are the job positions that you will see available in most top-tier restaurants. So, are they the same thing? Are the responsibilities the same for both titles? We will walk you through it!
What Is Chef De Cuisine?
A Chef de cuisine is the hands-on leader of the restaurant. It is a high-energy career that requires a lot of culinary skills and a tremendous amount of management skills.
Starting from hiring to training the staff to moderating the food preparation process to the final plating section, the role of the chef de cuisine is pretty essential in all of them.
For most cases, these highly skilled chefs will revise and create a recipe by seeking out newer ingredients. They will perfect each dish using the experience they obtained throughout their entire career. These chefs will also delegate each of the kitchen tasks and stay up-to-date in terms of the current food trends.
Furthermore, the chefs will ensure that the kitchen adheres to all relevant health departmental codes. These professionals will also have to adapt to long hours of standing in the kitchen. They will be pro at walking around from one section to another and moderating each of them.
In the competitive job scenario, chefs with years of practical experience in this sector will usually get a higher preference in the available positions. However, that does not mean that you will not be capable of getting the title if you are new to the field. If you hold enough potentials, high-end restaurants will not even think twice.
Responsibilities of Chef De Cuisine
As we mentioned, the chef de cuisine will have loads to check. But the primary responsibilities that the job will ask for are as follows:
- Cultivate and maintain relationships with the farmers, wholesale suppliers, and vendors to make sure that the ingredients of the dishes are always top-notch
- Monitoring the physical inventory, including the equipment of the kitchen, food items, and other related supplies
- Generate purchase orders when the stock in the kitchen is low
- Assigning daily responsibilities and scheduling the staff accordingly to get the maximum efficiency in the kitchen
- Inspecting each of the dishes that leave the counter
- Make sure that the dishes have the right amount of portion, looks good, and taste according to the standards
As chef de cuisine, life is not easy for executive chefs. They would need to carry out a lot of things in the kitchen. That said, the executive chef would be the head of the kitchen. They would administrate the entire kitchen and will usually oversee each of the large to small facilities inside the kitchen.
The institutions that will usually offer this position will include resorts, hotels, hospitals, banquet halls, and convention centers. However, you will often see a high-end restaurant offering the job as well. And in most cases, the executive chefs will bear years of culinary experience. They will be a great communicator too.
Furthermore, as an executive chef, you will find yourself working closely with vendors and staff. You would be in charge when it comes to controlling how much the dishes cost and maintaining the consistency of the entire kitchen. That includes training the staff when needed as well.
Other than that, the responsibility of inspiring and constructing other cooks, kitchen support staff, and servers will be on your shoulder as well. Basically, you will be directly playing a role in serving the customers high-end and high-quality foods. And your position will determine the experience of the customers.
Responsibilities of the Executive Chef
The executive chef does have to check and take part in loads of things. However, these are the things that most of the institutions except for offering this title to the potential chefs:
- Create and moderate the menu
- Check whether the menu meets the overall requirements of the kitchen
- Develop and do the regular maintenance of the kitchen
- Ensure each piece of equipment are working as it should and make sure that the security of the kitchen is not being compromised
- Make sure that the staff are handling the procedure accordingly inside the kitchen
- Develop an effective quality control procedure to improve the overall efficiency inside the kitchen
- Maintain a higher standard on the food being served while ensuring the lowest amount of food waste
- Work closely with the beverage and food managers
- Form a close relationship with the suppliers and manage the cost according to the budget of the institution
Executive Chef vs. Chef De Cuisine: Head to Head Comparison
Both the executive chef and chef de cuisine work in professional kitchens. However, the roles are very distinct. But which responsibilities set these two titles apart? Here is a brief description of each and every factor:
The first thing that sets both the titles apart is the professional's primary role to perform. For the executive chefs, the central role includes managing and monitoring the enormous kitchens and ensuring the group of staff is working at the right pace.
On the other hand, the chef de cuisine would have to ensure that the single facility is working accordingly. So, while an executive chef would work mostly with the staff of the kitchen, the chef de cuisine would have to ensure each and every factor of the facility.
Aside from the central role, there is a clear distinction in terms of the passive role too. The executive chef would play mostly a supervisory role. They would not interfere with the actual food preparation process.
That will be on the shoulder of the kitchen staff. However, the kitchen staff would get supervised by the executive chef.
In comparison, the chef de cuisine would need to work actively with the preparation and cooking process. For most cases, they would need to step in with the hands-on preparation process and ensure that the foods that are leaving the counter meet and exceed the institution's quality.
Job Growth (2018 to 2020)
Median Salary (2020)
Chef De Cuisine
High School Diploma or equivalent
High School Diploma or equivalent
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be the educational qualification for the chef de cuisine?
To apply for the chef de cuisine, one would need to have at least a high school diploma. In most cases, the institutions offering the role will consider something that is similar to the high school diploma.
How do executive chefs have to serve the food the kitchen makes?
Not at all! The executive chefs would not need to serve the food that the kitchen staff prepares. However, they do need to work closely with the beverage and food managers of the kitchen.
Do I need to work closely with the food preparation process if I am a chef de cuisine?
Yes, you would need to ensure that the food that leaves the counter has the right appearance, portion size, and quality. In fact, in some of the cases, you will find tasting and modifying the recipe if required.
So, when you talk about the topic of executive chef vs chef de cuisine, the basic difference is their roles. And if you consider the primary role, the executive chef needs to play more of a monitoring role. Mostly, they would not need to worry about the things that are outside of the kitchen.
In comparison, the chef de cuisine needs to maintain each factor of the kitchen. They would even need to participate in the preparation process of the foods.