Having a career as an executive chef means you have reached the top level of the kitchen hierarchy and you are running things. As great as it is being the boss, there are a lot of responsibilities and duties that must be taken care of when you are an executive chef. Not only do you have a lot on your plate, but you have to work well with others also. |
Being the top chef also means you are a manager and a leader. It is up to you to take the reigns in the kitchen and lead your team with the right instructions and authority. Anyone who is a weak link will affect the rest of the group and you as the face of the kitchen. Without strong leadership skills, a top chef will only be able to go so far and may need to look at positions where they work alone.
You have to plan menus according to what you are capable of preparing and for the patrons who will eat at your establishment. A good working knowledge of meal portions and a diverse list of recipes will do a lot of good for your career. If you keep your kitchen clean, know what tastes good, and items that go well together, then you have some of the essential qualities of a top chef.
It is a must that you are able to work under pressure and keep things together when members of your staff are having issues. The quick-pace and constant challenges are not easy for everyone but if you want to be the executive in the kitchen, then you have to be up to the task. Getting behind with orders and getting things wrong will make you look incompetent and your status may take a hit. You should be able to train those around you so that they meet a certain level of proficiency and can do their part.
Like most professions, you should care about what you do and enjoy it. It is really difficult to reach the top of the culinary profession without wanting to do your job. You should also make sure that you are surrounded by individuals who feel the same way about their work as well. You should also be able to communicate well with your co-workers, business associates, and patrons.
You should continue to get education and grow as a chef so that your skills keep getting better and have new dishes to serve. Working long hours and giving a good effort is all apart of being a top chef and it is not easy. The best chefs are cooking for someone for most of their waking hours and they love it.
Some top chefs have a lot going on outside of the kitchen and many have famous names. This fact means there are business tasks that must be taken care of and probably some press obligations. Being a good time manager is a skill that has to be developed and matters should be handled as quickly as possible.
The executive chef salary range is significantly higher than entry-level cooks and they have good opportunities for bonuses. Most aspiring cooks probably want an executive chef career one day and if they have what it takes to reach that goal, if should be very rewarding for them.
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