what is a sous chef

A professional chef who works in a kitchen under the executive chef is called a sous chef. French-speaking people use the term “sous chef,” which means “under chef.” A sous chef’s job is to assist the head chef with all aspects of running the kitchen, including food preparation, cooking, and menu planning.

Typically, sous chefs are in charge of supervising the kitchen staff and making sure that the food is prepared and served to the highest standards. They may be in charge of developing and testing new dishes and frequently play a hands-on role in food preparation and cooking. Additionally, sous chefs may be in charge of maintaining kitchen equipment, ordering supplies, and managing inventory.

Sous chefs are frequently the next in line to become head chefs and may assume more responsibility in the kitchen when the head chef is not present. The sous chef is a crucial member of the kitchen staff and is in charge of making sure that everything runs smoothly, producing high-quality food, and keeping the workplace safe and clean.

Sous Chef Job Description

Sous chefs need to be knowledgeable about different cooking methods, be able to function well under pressure, and have excellent leadership and communication abilities. They must also be able to work a variety of shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Sous chefs frequently have years of experience working in commercial kitchens and may have graduated from culinary school or a comparable program.

Depending on the type and size of the restaurant or kitchen where they work, a sous chef’s job description may vary, but generally speaking, a sous chef’s responsibilities include

  • helping the head chef develop recipes and plan the menu.
  • managing all aspects of the kitchen’s daily operations, including food preparation, cooking, and plating.
  • Organizing the kitchen staff, including scheduling, performance reviews, and training.
  • ensuring that all food is presented and prepared to the highest standards possible.
  • helping to manage the food inventory, order supplies, and maintain kitchen equipment.
  • Keeping an organized and secure workplace requires monitoring food safety and sanitation procedures.
  • controlling the cost of food and labor while looking for ways to increase productivity and profitability.
  • coordinating with the front-of-house staff to make sure that guests have a seamless dining experience.
  • assuming the role of the head chef in their absence, which may include running the kitchen and making decisions about menu adjustments or personnel management

Sous Chef Job Description Template

Job Title: Sous Chef

Location: [Insert location]

Job Type: Full-time

Reports to: Head Chef

Job Description:

We are looking for a highly qualified and experienced sous chef to help our head chef run our kitchen operations. The ideal candidate will be passionate about food and dedicated to providing our guests with outstanding culinary experiences.


  • Participate in menu planning and recipe development with the head chef.
  • Participate in the cooking, plating, and preparation of food.
  • To ensure that all food is prepared to the highest standards of quality and presentation, supervise and train the kitchen staff.
  • oversee the ordering of supplies and upkeep of kitchen equipment as well as inventory management.
  • Maintain a clean and safe workplace while making sure that food safety and sanitation regulations are followed.
  • To increase profitability, control the cost of food and labor.
  • assist with staff management tasks such as scheduling, performance reviews, and others.
  • Work together with the front-of-house staff to give customers a seamless dining experience.
  • In their absence, carry out the duties of the head chef, including managing the staff and changing the menu.

The Salary of a Sous Chef

The level of experience, educational background, and restaurant or kitchen type and size are just a few of the variables that can affect a sous chef’s pay. The median annual wage for chefs and head cooks, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $51,530 as of May 2020, with the lowest 10% making less than $29,060 and the highest 10% making more than $86,990.

It’s important to remember, though, that depending on the aforementioned factors, sous-chef salaries can be either higher or lower than this. For instance, sous chefs in big cities might make more money than those in smaller cities or towns. Furthermore, those with more expertise or advanced training in the culinary arts

A sous chef typically earns a competitive salary and has the chance to advance and grow in the food industry. As a part of the compensation package, some employers may also provide benefit packages like health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off.


In conclusion, a sous chef is a trained chef who assists the head chef in the kitchen or restaurant. The main duties of the sous chef include aiding in menu planning, overseeing the kitchen staff, supervising food preparation and cooking, ensuring food quality and presentation, managing inventory and costs, and keeping the workplace tidy and safe.

Strong culinary training, superior leadership and communication abilities and the capacity to function well under pressure are requirements for sous chefs. Depending on location, experience, and education, sous-chef salaries can vary, but they are typically competitive in the food industry. Any successful kitchen needs a strong sous chef, and many go on to become head chefs or open their own eateries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a sous chef do?

A professional chef who works in a restaurant or kitchen under the executive chef is known as a “sous chef.” Their primary duty is to aid the head chef in running and managing the kitchen. A sous chef’s specific responsibilities include the following:

  • assisting the head chef with menu development and recipe creation directing day-to-day kitchen operations, including food preparation, cooking, and plating
  • Taking charge of the kitchen staff, which includes hiring, scheduling, and performance reviews
  • ensuring that every meal is prepared and presented to the highest standards possible
  • aiding in the management of the food inventory, placing orders for supplies, and maintaining kitchen equipment
  • Maintaining a clean and safe work environment by monitoring food safety and sanitation procedures and Managing food and labor costs.

Is a sous chef more important than a chef?

A sous chef is referred to as a second-in-command in the kitchen and works directly under the head chef. The term “sous chef” actually translates to “under chef” in French. The sous chef is crucial in supporting the head chef in all facets of kitchen management, including menu planning, staff training, and food preparation, even though the head chef is ultimately in charge of running the kitchen and supervising menu planning and execution.

Although the sous chef may have more training or technical proficiency than the head chef in some kitchens, they still work under the head chef’s direction and must follow their instructions. In this regard, the sous chef is an important member of the kitchen staff rather than necessarily being “higher” than the head chef.

Who works under a sous chef?

Line cooks: Line cooks are in charge of preparing particular dishes or parts of dishes in accordance with the guidelines and recipes of the restaurant.

Cooks who perform basic food preparation tasks like chopping, slicing, and peeling are known as prep cooks. They are in charge of preparing and portioning ingredients for use in the kitchen.

Dishwashers: Dishwashers are in charge of keeping the kitchen tidy and clean as well as cleaning dishes, utensils, and other kitchen equipment.

Kitchen helpers: In the kitchen, kitchen helpers are in charge of a variety of duties, such as cleaning, stocking ingredients, and assisting the chef or sous chef as necessary.

Does a sous chef run a kitchen?

While a sous chef may be in charge of managing a group of kitchen employees and supervising specific aspects of kitchen operations, they typically do not “run” a kitchen in the sense that they are the final authority on all decisions. The sous chef collaborates closely with the head chef to help with these tasks. Typically, the head chef is the one who has the final say in decisions regarding menu planning, staffing, and general kitchen management.

Is a sous chef a boss?

A sous chef, who is an important member of the kitchen team, might have some control over other members of the kitchen staff, including line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers, and kitchen assistants. They are in charge of managing and supervising these employees to make sure they are well-trained and do their jobs to a high standard.

The sous chef is not always the top decision-maker in the kitchen, though. The head chef typically makes the final decisions regarding menu design, staffing, and general kitchen administration, and the sous chef collaborates closely with the head chef to support these responsibilities.

In conclusion, even though a sous chef may have some degree of management or supervision authority over other kitchen employees, they are typically not regarded as the kitchen’s “boss” in the truest sense. The person in charge of the kitchen with the most power and responsibility is typically the head chef.




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