or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › General Culinary School Discussions › What are the expectation of a Sous Chef in his or her first job.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What are the expectation of a Sous Chef in his or her first job.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I was wondering what any of you chefs belive is the basic requierments to start out in a Sous Chef's Position. I have seen what alot of Sous Chef's know, but they have held the position for a good time allredy, so they are pretty much in the groove of things. I would like to know the basic expectations when someone has their first Sous Chef position.

Thank You In Advance

------------------
Another Day, Another Battle.
Don't Ride A Boat Without A Paddle.
If The Water Is Not Too Deep,
Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
Reply
Another Day, Another Battle.
Don't Ride A Boat Without A Paddle.
If The Water Is Not Too Deep,
Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
Reply
post #2 of 7
First and formost you must be able to cook your butt off. Must know all stations and all cooking preparations from frying to sauteing, to grilling etc. You should also know sauce work, butchering, prep work and even a little pastries. These are the important things to know for a first sous chef job, because more than likely you will be spending a lot of time on the line either working a station or helping to "put out fires". You must be able to cook as good or better than every one of your line cooks. Or you will lose their respect. It also helps if you have some knowledge of administrative jobs (though these are not as important and will be taught to you) such as food costing, labor costing, tracking, inventory, etc. You should be able to remain calm under stress as cooks will look to you for guidence when things get crazy. You should also have a working knowledge of expediting as that will be your role late at night after the chef and other sous have gone home.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying Pete. I will keep these aspects in mind for when the time comes for me to move up. I want to excel as a cook and hopefully in the near future apply for a Sous Chef's Position. Maybe in a couple of years down the road. I' ve been asked a couple of times to consider taking on the position, but i really don't want to go in it without knowing what to expect or what is expected of me as a Sous Chef. Thank you again for you help.

------------------
Another Day, Another Battle.
Don't Ride A Boat Without A Paddle.
If The Water Is Not Too Deep,
Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
Reply
Another Day, Another Battle.
Don't Ride A Boat Without A Paddle.
If The Water Is Not Too Deep,
Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
Reply
post #4 of 7
For once, I have to disagree with Tiss. I was originally hired as a line cook at my current job, now I'm the sous. The guy that was hired as sous (we're the opening crew; new restaurant) had the attitude you describe, Tiss, but 1% of your knowledge. The crew didn't like working for someone they had to teach to cook. Jumping in over your head is a great learning experience for the jumper; it's bad for the people that have to clean it up when you've jumped and landed head first on concrete (like the time this guy made hollandaise using the whole egg). Plus, I think Tony Bourdain made a good point in Kitchen Confidential when he said he could have learned more if he'd spent more time working for great chefs instead of being the chef.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Reply
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Reply
post #5 of 7
Tiss, I agree and disagree with you. When I took my first sous job I wasn't really sure I was ready for it, but I wanted to push myself and take on more responsibility. But, I was very confident in my cooking abilities and my skills as a cook. I was already the roundsman, worked banquets, and even filled in in pastries when they really needed it. But I wasn't sure I was ready to manage people yet. Well, I am glad I did take the job. It was hard, I stumbled a lot, but I got through it. I made a lot of mistakes and because of that, after 1 yr., I left there because I felt that I wasn't taken seriously by the cooks. Fortunately, I excelled in my next position and those following. I have, since then, turned down Exec. jobs, because I felt I wasn't ready. And I am glad did. I have worked hard and studied under a couple of great chefs, and with the knowledge I have gained in the past two years, feel I am now ready to become an Exec. Sure, I could have taken the offer 2 years ago, but I feel I would have only been a decent Exec. Now I feel I will be a GOOD Exec. What it comes down to is this: Take a real good, objective look at your abilities. Do you excell in the position you are in now? Are you bored because your position doesn't challenge you? How do your peers and employers view you and your work? Remember, be objective, distance yourself from your work. It's a very hard thing to do. But ultimately you are the only one who can answer the question: Am I ready to take the next step. If you truly think so then go for it. If not, then work harder, spend time absorbing all you can, and give yourself another 6 mos. or a year. As far as pay is concerned if an cook wanted to take on his/her first sous job and asked for $40,000 most chefs I know would laugh hysterically. Most inexperienced sous can count on making $25,000-29,000. If working under a "great" chef it could even be lower. There are those few jobs that will offer great money, but most of them tend to be in corporate or institutional dining or in very high volume places. If that is in line with your goals then go for it. I have also found that the "crazy" money tends to be in really screwed up places that can't keep chefs around for 1 reason or another (this is based solely on my own personal experience). Keep high hopes but be realistic about what you will make. Remember it never hurts to ask. Start high and work your way down. Chefs and owners will always try to get you for the lowest possible amount. On the other hand, don't price yourself out of a great opportunity. Good luck.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
post #6 of 7
Very true Tiss. That's why I said that you must take a good OBJECTIVE look at yourself to decide if you are ready to move up or not. It is a very difficult thing to do, to take an objective look at yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses. I can't fault someone for turning down a promotion if they are sure they aren't ready for it, but I also can't stand people who are just to scared or lazy to further themselves. I have way too many cooks at my current place of employment who have years of experience, but they don't want the responsibility of being a sous chef. Yet, they always think they have a better way of doing things, or feel that we (the management) should consult them on all major decisions. To them I have to answer "S*** or get off of the pot!"
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well I appreciate the diferences in advice from you all. I will think real good and hard about my experiences and my overall outlook as a cook and decide (from the feedback i have recieved)if I need or want to take that next step right now. I will do it eventully, but i want to go in a the right time of my career, so I won't let myself or anybody else im working for down.

Thank you all!

------------------
Another Day, Another Battle.
Don't Ride A Boat Without A Paddle.
If The Water Is Not Too Deep,
Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
Reply
Another Day, Another Battle.
Don't Ride A Boat Without A Paddle.
If The Water Is Not Too Deep,
Take A Little Swim But Don't Fall Asleep!
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › General Culinary School Discussions › What are the expectation of a Sous Chef in his or her first job.