Sous Chef

By TACP Staff on July 13, 2021

Being a career sous chef requires a variety of skills and talents. Because they are second in command in the kitchen, working directly beneath the chef, exceptional cooking skills are a primary aspect of the job. The sous chef is responsible for all individuals in the kitchen as well as the processes which they perform. Expert knowledge of food preparation, line organization, kitchen tools, and food styling are just a few of the areas in which the sous chef must be proficient. Managerial skills and leadership qualities as well as the ability to perform well under stress, are also essential components of the job description.

What Is a Sous Chef?

The word “sous” in French translates to “under”, therefore a sous chef is a kitchen professional that works under the direct supervision of a head chef.

In many ways, a sous chef acts as an assistant to the head chef. Unlike some other kitchen workers, however, the duties of a sous chef do not end with food preparation. Some sous chefs, for instance, may be responsible for supervising the kitchen staff while the head chef attends to more pressing matters. A sous chef might also take care of some of the important day to day duties in a kitchen as well, such as ordering food and supplies.

Some individuals find that their sous chef careers are rewarding and lucrative enough, and they may be content to finish out their days doing just what they love. Other sous chefs, on the other hand, may strive for something more in their professional lives. With hard work, talent, and dedication, these ambitious individuals will often move up the career ladder eventually and become a chef. Most sous chefs that are promoted to this esteemed position are usually promoted within a restaurant, taking the places of head chefs before them.

What Does an Sous Chef Do?

Sous chefs can technically work anywhere there is a kitchen. This is not just limited to restaurants, however. Sous chefs are often needed in places like casinos, hotels, and cruise ships.

Most individuals start their sous chef careers by starting in entry-level positions. For example, they may start as food prep workers or line cooks. After they gain more experience working in the kitchen, they might then be promoted until they eventually become sous chefs.

Some experienced and particularly talented sous chefs might also choose to open their own restaurants as well. Individuals interested in this sous chef career move, however, should consider earning business degrees.

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Sous Chef Education & Training Requirements

While some sous chefs might be able to work their way up through the ranks with hard work, a formal education is often the best way to start a sous chef career. The majority of individuals interested in this type of career will usually earn culinary arts degrees.

Culinary arts degree programs are available at culinary schools, along with vocational schools and traditional colleges and universities. While earning their degrees, individuals interested in sous chef careers will often take courses on kitchen sanitation, food preparation, and cooking.

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