They’re responsible for what ends up on your plate, but who are “they” exactly? You likely imagine one person taking care of your order – from start to finish. However, you’ve also seen vacancies full of fancy French words such as “sous chef” and have wondered what on Earth it is they do. So for those of you who don’t have a degree in French, here are some different types of chefs that may form part of a kitchen.
1. Chef de Cuisine (Executive Chef)
The king of the jungle, the mastermind behind the menu. The Executive chef is typically not involved in food preparation, rather, they’re responsible for overseeing operations, keeping the kitchen running smoothly, devising new dishes, and putting all of their effort into giving guests the best meal experience possible.
2. Sous Chef
Being second in command, the Sous chef requires good communication skills and a keen eye to oversee the details of each dish.
3. Chef de Partie (Station Chef)
Most chef de Parties specialise in – or are in charge of – one specific culinary area, which include:
Poissonnier – fish chef
Potager – soup chef
Grillardin – grill chef
Rotisseur – roast chef. Any roasted menu items are in this chef’s wheelhouse, extending to the broiler and to the spices/gravies used.
Sauté chef – sauce chef
Entremetier – vegetable chef
4. Patissier (Pastry Chef)
A pastry chef is hyper-focused on pastries, with the bulk of their work centering around pastries, breads, pies, and desserts.
5. Commis Chef (Junior Chef)
This is typically an entry level position – the first step into the culinary world, and one which requires the cook to help with food preparation and basic cooking under the supervision of a Chef de Partie. Rotating through the kitchen’s different areas every few weeks/months in order to gain experience in all culinary sections before considering specialising, being a commis chef offers versatility.
Of course, the number of different types of chefs working at a catering establishment all depends on the size and type of restaurant; a five-star hotel is likely to employ all of these while a small, family-run business isn’t. What’s important is that chefs at all levels of the hierarchy must work together to make sure the kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, come over to Charles Grech Bistro, where you can see the chefs cooking up a storm with your own eyes! Our varied menu has something for every palate, and all dishes are prepared using quality, fresh ingredients. Be sure to keep up with us and view our specials by following us on Facebook!