Sous Chef Sous Chef

A role that is always fast-paced and busy. You’ll be second in command to the Head Chef with many vital duties to perform to ensure the smooth running of the kitchen.

Job Summary

  • Ensures that all meals are served to standard required: portion size, presentation and wastage must be kept to the minimum
  • Menu planning
  • Negotiates the best price and quality from suppliers – checks all incoming orders and does stock takes when required
  • Preparing certain types of dishes with the help of your team
  • High standards of hygiene
  • Keeping preparation surfaces clean and using different sets of knives, boards and other equipment for raw and cooked foods to prevent cross contamination
  • Ability to quickly and authoritatively delegate job tasks to a large staff
  • Planning and directing food preparation in a kitchen
  • Supervising other kitchen staff – trains personnel and schedules staff rotas

Skills required

  • Team management and leadership
  • Attention to detail i.e. measuring ingredients, portion size
  • Well organised
  • Comfortable working in a high-pressure environment
  • Experience in a kitchen
  • Advanced skills and knowledge in kitchen techniques

Qualifications and Training

Many Sous Chefs have got where they are today by training on the job. However, formal qualifications will undoubtedly get you to the top fast. You can work your way up the ranks by taking the apprenticeship route as well as studying for NVQs or SVQs. Alternatively, you can study full time at college. Useful qualifications include:

  • City & Guilds diplomas in cookery
  • BTEC HND in cookery
  • A foundation degree in culinary arts
  • Health and safety and food hygiene certificates

Salary Expectations

A Sous Chef can expect to earn between £20,000 and £26,000 a year with the average salary around £23,000. In some establishments a Sous Chef may earn as much as £30,000 or more.

Salary rates vary depending upon your experience, as well as the company. These figures are only intended as a guide.*

The bonus bits…

You’re in charge of the kitchen in the chef’s absence

* From December 2015