This is a senior position in the kitchen. The senior chef de partie (also called sous chef) will usually be in overall charge when the head chef is away. (View sous chef job description)
What does this job involve?
In a traditional, French-based kitchen organisation, this involves running a section of the kitchen with the assistance of one, two or more commis and trainee chefs. The job title may reflect this:
- Chef saucier meat, game and poultry dishes
- Chef rotisseur - roasted, fried and grilled meat
- Chef gardemanger - raw meat, cold dishes and starters
- Chef entremettier - vegetables, pasta and eggs
- Chef poissonnier - fish
- Chef potager - soups and stocks
- Chef pattissier - breads, pastries and desserts
Nowadays, many kitchens have two or three sections only, or operate as just one team. In these situations you will have a hands-on role, with responsibility for preparing, cooking and presenting a range of dishes, assisted by commis and/or trainee chefs.
- Developing new dishes and menus.
- Adhering to hygiene and health and safety regulations
- Monitoring portion and wastage control
What skills and attributes do I need?
- Knowledge about food and taste
- You need to be reliable, committed and organised because what you do will affect your team
- Communication skills - the ability to give orders clearly is essential
How can I get this job?
Catering colleges are the best place to prepare for a job in the kitchen. There are many courses to choose from around the country.
If you are not able to take up a formal course, there are still plenty of opportunities to work your way up. You could start as a kitchen attendant and apply for any training your employer can offer.
Further information on becoming a chef de partie