We all have to start somewhere after culinary arts training. Most aspiring chefs will take on the role of sous chef in a kitchen after graduating, the most common position in a kitchen. Sous chefs ensure all the hot plates are getting to customers, food is being properly prepared, and generally keep the kitchen running smoothly as they work with the executive chef managing it.
What should you expect in your day to day as a sous chef, though?
It will be a lot of work
As a sous chef, you’re going to have a lot on your plate when you’re working—no pun intended. You’ll be delegating, prepping food, managing, and juggling many other responsibilities in a given shift. You need to be able to handle all these tasks while moving things along in a fast-paced environment. Also, you’ll be doing all of this while standing on your feet for most of your shift.
Hours are going to be hectic
You’re going to be working many hectic hours as a sous chef, usually during the weekends and weeknights. It is best to get used to your social life plummeting while working at first until you’re better equipped to juggle these multiple things at once.
Critiquing is part of the job
Your art is going to be the food you’re creating, much like any other professional chef, and that means critiquing is going to be part of the job no matter what. Food writers, customers, restaurant managers, and even the executive chef will be critiquing you. You need to have a thick skin to go along with it.
Know your food costs
As a sous chef, you’re going to be on the ball with the food costs and operations of the restaurant. Buy too high and the business could start to lose money; buy too low and the food might not be the best quality. You have to find a good balance with food costs in the kitchen.
Patience is key
You’re going to have to learn a lot of patience when working with the kitchen and executive chef. The kitchen is a hectic, busy place full of hot temperatures!