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Sous Chef

Help the executive chef plan menus, manage staff, and run the kitchen.

What does a Sous Chef do?

A sous chef is second in command in a professional kitchen. You assist the executive chef with everything that needs to be done, from planning the menu, to cooking the food, to managing other staff in the restaurant.

Sous chefs are most well known for slicing raw ingredients and performing other precise preparation tasks. This work begins before the dinner crowd shows up since there are elements of the meals that can be made beforehand. Once the dinner rush starts, the adrenaline kicks in: you’re on your feet all night as you handle complex orders, check on several dishes that are cooking simultaneously, and arrange food quickly and artfully on plates.

But that is only one part of your job. You also work closely with all of the staff, including servers, hosts, and other cooks, dealing with matters such as scheduling and workflows. When it’s not dinner time, you take inventory of ingredients and supplies, ensure the kitchen is up to safety standards, and help make menu decisions.

Working in a kitchen is not for everyone, but for those who like it, it’s awesome, fast-paced, exciting, and pushes you to perform. And if you perform well, you learn how to consistently churn out quality dishes, knowledge that will serve you well as you move up the kitchen food chain.

In fact, you may even get some practice running the show: When the executive chef is not around, you fill in and head up the kitchen. That’s why many people consider this a great position for those who eventually want to run their own restaurant.