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Chef de cuisine vs executive chef?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
What is the difference between an executive chef and a chef de cuisine? I'm thinking an executive chef is the one in charge of everyone, but I may be wrong. Thanks.
post #2 of 30
Chef de cuisine is a "cooking chef". In large hotels the Exec. is (as Anthony Bourdain puts it) a "traffic controller". Mostly logistics, staffing, ordering, and new projects. The Chef de cusine is the flashy cook who wows everyone with his great stuff in the high-end dining room.
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #3 of 30
Chef de Cuisine usually runs the kitchen of a restaurant when the Exec is over several restaurants or is high profile and doesn't spend much time in the kitchen. Exec Sous would basically be in the same position.
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post #4 of 30

Thanks guys...

Sometimes my ego needs a reminder as to why I need to shut up.

Calledito mas bonito (I'm much better looking when I'm silent).

My Exec is high profile, and that helps the business, so I'm keeping my Chef de Cuisine title, and shutting the **** up about it.
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post #5 of 30
Titles titles. :) In general, Exec. implies more than one outlet.

Actually it bugs me when people call themselves the exec. chef and they don't know how to roll baguettes.
post #6 of 30
A Chef de Cuisine is simply a chef that has attained the highest ranking in cooking. An Executive Chef is one, usually at a very large kitchen who is in charge of all personnel, food selection, cooking methods, budget, etcetera and no longer a working chef.

I should note that nowadays too many cooks are calling themselves Executive Chef where the establishment is actually just a restaurant with a minimal staff. Unfortunately there is no standard to say who can call themselves chef, executive chef, chef de cuisine, on and on.

For example, when I worked as a sous chef under Executive Chef Charles Gauthier, formerly of the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA we had at our medium sized hotel outside of Disneyland in the mid 1960's a staff of only about twelve cooks and when he came on board he was allowed to keep his former title at the renounced Mission Inn but otherwise our size of staff really called for a working chef. I would say that an Executive Chef is a person who is trained in cooking and commands a very large staff and works at an establishment that has several restaurants and other food outlets, for instance the Hilton Hawaiian Village with at least seven restaurants, banquet facilities for thousands, plus pool service, room service. Get the idea?
post #7 of 30

@MannyC  You might revive it, but this thread had not had any remarks in the past 9 years.

post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlong View Post
 

@MannyC  You might revive it, but this thread had not had any remarks in the past 9 years.


Maybe so, but the information contained in it is still viable not to mention that in the last hour and a half the thread has seen an increase in remarks of 60% and who knows how many views without remarks in the last 9 years, although it has had 15,288 views since it's inception. :chef:

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post #9 of 30


Yes, actually found reading it very useful!

post #10 of 30

A Sous Chef is the one that does all the dirty work for the Chef. He/she tell everyone what to do and blames it on the Chef.

 

A Chef, Tell everyone what to do. When you ask why he/she throws them out the back door mumbling, I don't have time for this shit.

 

 The Exec Chef is the Chef who tells management he/she's not making enough money at his/her chef position for the money he/she is making. The management has a long meeting (Nap) and comes back with the Exec Chef position that doesn't get he/she anymore money but has to work more hours a week. This leaves the Chef  that is now Exec Chef, walking out the door scratching their head wondering what the hell happened. 

 

The Chef Chef de Cuisine, is the Chef that went through all the other chef positions that I post above. He/she is now happier than a pig in shit because they are able to do what they really love, cook.


Edited by ChefBillyB - 1/7/16 at 11:59am
post #11 of 30
I'm sticking to my definition, the one I wrote back in '05......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 30

Chef de Cuisine is really the bomb job man.

post #13 of 30

A little side note about my experience with titles in one of my former kitchens:

 

I, the sous chef was responsible for nearly 100% of day to day responsibilities with lazy, minimally skilled but classically trained staff. Extremely under paid, way overworked and thrown to the wolves any chance possible. Not an exaggerated or bitter evaluation, that's truly how it was unfortunately.

 

The executive chef made the schedule, ordered 50% of food (I did the other half) was responsible for food and labor costs, literally that's it. Not involved in the day to day aspect at all. Was paid well for minimal hours (she would average 40 hours per week, many weeks she would stay home 3 days a week!) and had good benefits, minimal stress and a feather light workload.

 

The chef de cuisine spent his entire day in a corner and played with modernist cuisine methods (which never were applied to any menu items), occasionally made a staff meal, would make a small dent in function prep. Never ordered, never worked the line, had more or less zero responsibilities because everything he did was focus on playing around with things he would NEVER finish or apply to the menu. He would contribute a couple of mediocre dishes every menu change and never factor in things like execution or food costs on these menu items, needless to say every dish he made was too costly or was ill thought out (literally 20 components on a pasta entree that was a complex mess). He was paid almost as much as the head chef but didn't have as many benefits. Come to find out the executive chef and chef de cuisine were once dating so hence the extremely cushy job he was given. This guy was the saddest excuse of any kitchen position I have ever seen in all my years of cooking, he was completely incapable of contributing anything.

 

Needless to say my experience with "titles" meant nothing in this kitchen because the entire workload was put onto one person. Be VERY careful when accepting a salaried position and make sure your the extent of your responsibilities are in black in white other wise your "title" could mean anything. In my case it meant I was doing more or less everything.

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by linecook854 View Post
 

A little side note about my experience with titles in one of my former kitchens:

 

I, the sous chef was responsible for nearly 100% of day to day responsibilities with lazy, minimally skilled but classically trained staff. Extremely under paid, way overworked and thrown to the wolves any chance possible. Not an exaggerated or bitter evaluation, that's truly how it was unfortunately.

 

The executive chef made the schedule, ordered 50% of food (I did the other half) was responsible for food and labor costs, literally that's it. Not involved in the day to day aspect at all. Was paid well for minimal hours (she would average 40 hours per week, many weeks she would stay home 3 days a week!) and had good benefits, minimal stress and a feather light workload.

 

The chef de cuisine spent his entire day in a corner and played with modernist cuisine methods (which never were applied to any menu items), occasionally made a staff meal, would make a small dent in function prep. Never ordered, never worked the line, had more or less zero responsibilities because everything he did was focus on playing around with things he would NEVER finish or apply to the menu. He would contribute a couple of mediocre dishes every menu change and never factor in things like execution or food costs on these menu items, needless to say every dish he made was too costly or was ill thought out (literally 20 components on a pasta entree that was a complex mess). He was paid almost as much as the head chef but didn't have as many benefits. Come to find out the executive chef and chef de cuisine were once dating so hence the extremely cushy job he was given. This guy was the saddest excuse of any kitchen position I have ever seen in all my years of cooking, he was completely incapable of contributing anything.

 

Needless to say my experience with "titles" meant nothing in this kitchen because the entire workload was put onto one person. Be VERY careful when accepting a salaried position and make sure your the extent of your responsibilities are in black in white other wise your "title" could mean anything. In my case it meant I was doing more or less everything.

 

 

Nothing new under the sun here.

Happens all the time.

Overpaid, under-experienced, lazy, mean, egotistical, the list goes on.

Been there.

Done that.

post #15 of 30

I suppose CDC is a better way to describe my job than Exec but I think it makes the owner feel better to call me an Exec Chef.:lol:  I've been called 'Chef' more at four months at this job than in the rest of my chef career combined!  Funny, I'm totally fine with just being called by my name. Although I get a serious chuckle out of being called 'jefe', too.:lol:

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #16 of 30

Chef de cuisine vs executive chef?  According to the American Culinary Federation textbook, Culinary Fundamentals, they are the same person.  Chef de cuisine is french and executive chef is english for the same position.  In a hotel the executive chef normally reports to the Food and Beverage Manager.

post #17 of 30

from the ACF website http://www.acfchefs.org/ACF/Certify/Levels/ACF/Certify/Levels/#cp

 

Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC®): A chef who is the supervisor in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. This could be a single unit of a multi-unit operation or a free-standing operation. He or she is in essence the chef of the operation with the final decision-making power as it relates to culinary operations.

 

Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®): A chef who is the department head usually responsible for all culinary units in a restaurant, hotel, club, hospital or foodservice establishment. In addition to culinary responsibilities, other duties include budget preparation, payroll, maintenance, controlling food costs and maintaining financial and inventory records.

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post #18 of 30

cheflayne,

 

     That's interesting, they say one thing in their textbook used at many universities, and then post something different on their website.  Which one is correct?  

post #19 of 30
Yeah I always understood it to be opposite. In fact I've always had CDC's of my restaurants who would have weekly meetings with the executive chef who oversaw all the restaurant concept operations.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

from the ACF website http://www.acfchefs.org/ACF/Certify/Levels/ACF/Certify/Levels/#cp

 

Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC®): A chef who is the supervisor in charge of food production in a foodservice operation. This could be a single unit of a multi-unit operation or a free-standing operation. He or she is in essence the chef of the operation with the final decision-making power as it relates to culinary operations.

 

Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®): A chef who is the department head usually responsible for all culinary units in a restaurant, hotel, club, hospital or foodservice establishment. In addition to culinary responsibilities, other duties include budget preparation, payroll, maintenance, controlling food costs and maintaining financial and inventory records.

 

 

All true, however; outside of the ACF in the un-organized, un-certified, and un-professional world of restaurants and other food related places, please realize that these are simply names handed out to make the employee feel important.

Chef de Cuisine may be another name for the Sous Chef in some places, while the Executive Chef would probably be the one in charge of the whole picture as the boss.

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

All true, however; outside of the ACF in the un-organized, un-certified, and un-professional world of restaurants and other food related places, please realize that these are simply names handed out to make the employee feel important.

Chef de Cuisine may be another name for the Sous Chef in some places, while the Executive Chef would probably be the one in charge of the whole picture as the boss.

 

I was merely transmitting information, not my opinion nor a definition from the Dictionary of Layne. I also know that real world inhabitants consider Rachael Ray a chef, who by the way is worth $60 million.

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post #22 of 30

In a world where demiglace can be made without Espagnole I think you can just pick any title for yourself that sounds good to you.;)

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post
 

A Sous Chef is the one that does all the dirty work for the Chef. He/she tell everyone what to do and blames it on the Chef.

 

A Chef, Tell everyone what to do. When you ask why he/she throws them out the back door mumbling, I don't have time for this shit.

 

 The Exec Chef is the Chef who tells management he/she's not making enough money at his/her chef position for the money he/she is making. The management has a long meeting (Nap) and comes back with the Exec Chef position that doesn't get he/she anymore money but has to work more hours a week. This leaves the Chef  that is now Exec Chef, walking out the door scratching their head wondering what the hell happened. 

 

The Chef Chef de Cuisine, is the Chef that went through all the other chef positions that I post above. He/she is now happier than a pig in shit because they are able to do what they really love, cook.


I went out of my way to re-sign up to this site after reading this. Fogot my password..lol...Nevertheless...This is SPOT on!! I've been in this industry for almost 40 years and personally, IMHO, the only thing a title is good for is your business card and for show. Everyone in the kitchen knows who you are and you as the leader need to gain their respect. No one is going to respect you (unless of course you're a big name Chef) just because you have a title, but because you earned their respect day in and day out. They will do their jobs because of the passion they have from within and because you as the "Chef" lead by example. 

Unless you are in a HUGE venue that actually calls for a Clipboard Chef, Excuse me, an "Executive Chef," every chef should WANT to be a "Working Chef." The passion to work with the food, to be on the line and it also allows you to do you job efficiently by being able to be on top of everything in the kitchen without relying on someone to make you look bad, I mean to keep you abreast of the situation.  You know you have gained your subordinates respect when they actually take the time to make sure the walk-in is clean, they follow you directions and actually write on the ordering board, to remind you to order something!!  LOL...I think you all know what I'm talking about. So in answer to the resurrected question, the difference between the 2 chefs...I'd say "A clipboard!!"   :)

post #24 of 30

So from here on out I will be referring to myself as one of the following; 

 

Supreme Culinary Commander 

Global Chef De Party

Executive CBW (chief cook and bottle washer)

Certified Culinary Genius

Certified Executive Kitchen Guru

Head Culinary Commandant 

Monarch of Cuisine 

Chief Kitchen Taskmaster

Certified Chief of Comestibles

     Please remember to salute as I pass by.

post #25 of 30


I think from my years of watching Hogan's Heros, Commandant is spelled with a "K". I believe each one of you definitions can be associated with a particular venue.

 

Supreme Culinary Commander..........Fancy Shmansy Place

Global Chief De Party.........................Cruise Ships

Executive CBW...................................A Diner

Certified Culinary Genius....................Burger Joint like McDonalds or Burger King

Certified Kitchen Guru.........................Casual Dining Operations like; The 99, Ruby Tuesday, Cracker Barrel Etc

Head Culinary Kommandant...............Educational environment like colleges and schools....ie Sodexho, or any Compass Group Venue

Monarch of Cuisine.............................Independently operated venues that are NOT Corporate

Chief Kitchen Taskmaster....................Any Place where reheating prefab Product reigns, i.e. Dairy Queen, Dunkin Donuts

Certified Chief of Comestibles..............Dude who runs the Food prep operation at the Grocery store. Opens the bags of mashed potatoes.        opens the bags of pureed butternut squash. unboxes the box of kryo'ed meatloaf....puts the chickens on the rotisserie spit and watches them go round and round for 3 hours.

post #26 of 30
Chef de Cuisine is Escoffier's name (in his classical French kitchen brigade) for the executive chef. Executive chef was not a term Escoffier EVER used nor is it proper classic French terminology. Executive Chef is a modern term, just like short order cook.
Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine are the SAME person. Just depends what time period you would like to be properly following..
post #27 of 30

In an organization with multiple outlets, such as a hotel or casino, what would you call the chef that is in charge of the chefs that run the individual outlets? What would you call the chefs that run the individual outlets?

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post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rndmchef View Post

Chef de Cuisine is Escoffier's name (in his classical French kitchen brigade) for the executive chef. Executive chef was not a term Escoffier EVER used nor is it proper classic French terminology. Executive Chef is a modern term, just like short order cook.
Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine are the SAME person. Just depends what time period you would like to be properly following..

That may very well be. But back in Escoffier's time, a hotel didn't have multiple F&B outlets, one kitchen may have served two dining rooms, but they didn't have a restaurant on the 48th floor that needed a separate kitchen. Many hotels and clubs today DO have multiple F&B outlets, and you Do need a Chef to rule the other Chefs in charge of the individual kitchens, hence the term Executive Chef, or "one who is supervising other Chefs"

****Please note, when I say "Chef" I mean "one who is judged by HOW they run the kitchen (ie if it makes money or not) and a COOK is judged by WHAT they put on a plate.
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post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rndmchef View Post

Chef de Cuisine is Escoffier's name (in his classical French kitchen brigade) for the executive chef. Executive chef was not a term Escoffier EVER used nor is it proper classic French terminology. Executive Chef is a modern term, just like short order cook.
Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine are the SAME person. Just depends what time period you would like to be properly following..


The reality is that we no longer live in the era of the classical French Kitchen Brigade. A very low percentage of hospitality venues go by that. Yes, they use the terminology to set the chain of command straight, but it's nothing like it once was. You look in the job postings and you see things like...Sandwich Chef, line Chef, pizza chef....WTF is their problem? Do they not know the definition of a chef? Do they not know the difference between a Chef and a cook? It's comical at times. Just out of spite I sometimes respond to them and say things like.."Are you looking for a "Chef" which implies 20+ dollars and hour or a cook that runs between $10 and $15 an hour?" Sometimes they respond and let me know exactly what they seek and other times you just see that they have edited their job post...once again, comical. 

 

The last operation I was associated had multiple outlets. It was set up with the Executive Chef who oversaw the chain of command. He in turn had an Executive Sous who was his second set of eyes and hands who bounced around the 6 outlets of the venue. The Exec Sous had Sous Chefs for each outlet and they oversaw the day to day operation for their specific outlet. The Executive Chef did a very limit amount of hands on Cooking while the Exec Sous filled in where needed daily..a floating chef so to speak. He would also assist in ordering with the Sous of each outlet and did inventories with them as well.  He reported directly to the Exec Chef who reported the the F & B Manager dealing with the BOH numbers. It was actually pretty organized. They kept separate books for each outlet so the Exec had his thumb on everything administratively. The Exec would come out and go hands on for big events that were high profile because his ass was on the line..and I don't blame him. The good thing about him was that when it came time to accept accolades, he always brought his Executive Sous out and his other team members that were involved and gave them accolade in front of the guests saying always "I have a great team and if it wasn't for them, I could never pull this off"....Always a good thing to have a thankful and humble Executive Chef

post #30 of 30

I still do not know why the owner of a small Italian restaurant in Los Angeles was surprised when I asked  for  "Chef the Cuisine" and not " Executive Chef " on the business cards

he offered to print for me . I know I should have asked  him right then: but I missed the chance to find out. All chefs he had working for him before me wanted to be Executive chefs. 

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Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply
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