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Assistant Kitchen Manager Vs Sous Chef

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok so I am currently an Assistant Kitchen Manager at a sports bar but not really treated as one. I was told by the GM and AM that I need to get the thought of the title of AKM out of my head and just cook. Which we actually don't really cook but reaheat the burgers and chicken to order and cook the pasta in the microwave. I just applied for a Sous Chef position a week ago and have been offered the position, and have accepted. My question is what is your definition of a AKM vs a Sous Chef.
post #2 of 20
I would stick with the job at the sports bar that is if your happy there. You will have to do a lot of REAL cooking as a Sous Chef and if you haven't been doing much cooking it could be a little tough getting acclimated. You see, IN COOKING, IT IS ALWAYS WRONG! You can't win. You won't win. In cooking "Everybody is an expert" that is everyone except the person doing the cooking. Cooking is the only field I know of where you can spend thousands of dollars to learn proper training and food preparation techniques only to have all you've learned instantly shot down as not credible all because "Somebody doesn't like it that way". I can't imagine a doctor learning techniques in medical school and going out in the field and having to relearn standard practices because somebody doesn't like the correct way. The cooking business is a joke. Treat it that way because in Cooking You can't win. "In cooking, YOU WON'T WIN".
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
I guess what I'm getting at is why do some restaurants call you an assistant kitchen manager and others call you a sous chef. What is the difference between the two. I'm kinda nervous about starting my very first Sous Chef job in two weeks. The reason is because the cooks that I'm working with now don't respect me and acknowledge me as their manager. If they don't respect me there then how do I know if the cooks at my new job will respect me as their Sous Chef?
post #4 of 20

Management should have explained your responsibilities to you in the interview or given you a written job description.  Different titles are used because different places have different expectations and needs. 

Both KM and Sous Chef imply you will have some authority over others in the kitchen as well as responsibilities related to kitchen cleanliness, possibly ordering or deciding what needs to be ordered among other things. 

But it depends largely on what kind of place you work in. A country club will have more in depth and varied cooking with quite a few banquets and special functions, a fine dining restaurant will require extensive knowledge of cooking techniques and knowledge of foods and a chain restaurant may want you to simply see that everyone is following the corporate guidelines.

So you could be a KM or sous in a chain restaurant but not qualified to be sous or KM in a country club or fine dining. 

post #5 of 20

In hierarchy terms, they are basically the same position.

 

Respect usually comes as a result of "walk" not "talk".

 

I have worked under sous chefs that I had more experience, knowledge, skills, and creativity than they did, but some of them I still respected because of their "walk". Some I did not because they were more "talk" than "walk".

 

Walk entails hard work, honesty, consistency in thoughts and actions, and humility.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #6 of 20
What's in a name? A job by any other name will require as many hours... but they do vary depending on the spot. Some places require more. Your sportsbar sounds like they needed a "sap to pin it on," if something went wrong when the chef was off.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by briang View Post

I would stick with the job at the sports bar that is if your happy there. You will have to do a lot of REAL cooking as a Sous Chef and if you haven't been doing much cooking it could be a little tough getting acclimated. You see, IN COOKING, IT IS ALWAYS WRONG! You can't win. You won't win. In cooking "Everybody is an expert" that is everyone except the person doing the cooking. Cooking is the only field I know of where you can spend thousands of dollars to learn proper training and food preparation techniques only to have all you've learned instantly shot down as not credible all because "Somebody doesn't like it that way". I can't imagine a doctor learning techniques in medical school and going out in the field and having to relearn standard practices because somebody doesn't like the correct way. The cooking business is a joke. Treat it that way because in Cooking You can't win. "In cooking, YOU WON'T WIN".

Welcome to ChefTalk briang.

 

You sounds as if you've had some bad experiences.

Yes you spend several thousand dollars to learn how to make Hollandaise and the head cook says you're doing it wrong. You watch as the Chef makes the sauce in a way you've never seen before and were instructed in school never to do it the "Shoemaker"  way.

 

Look our esteemed Iceman puts it this way......"It ain't rocket science...it's just cooking."

 

As to Sous Chef vs. AKM.  In the world of culinary terms the Sous Chef position requires knowledge of food and its' preparation. As such the title could command more of a wage.

 

An assistant kitchen manager, depending on the place could require the same knowledge as the Sous but in many instances, you are more of a cook with some management responsibilities. In corporate America they might call you a food production manager. 

Because the food industry has no standards, job titles are handed out nilly willy and without the experiences and knowledge to back it up.

post #8 of 20
WOW.


First comment: It's a "Sports Bar". You go to work and get paid. The only difference a "title" makes is IF you get more pay. Don't at all confuse this job with working in a real kitchen.

Second comment: Thank You Chefross.






(proper quote)
"We work in kitchens ... It ain'te rocket surgery."
post #9 of 20
Could you tell us a bit more about your work experience?
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Could you tell us a bit more about your work experience?

 

@foodpump - I was thinking the same thing.  

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I have been cooking for the past twelve years and yes I have held a lot of jobs in the past twelve years. I would say like around 10 jobs. Most of my experience comes from working in the hotels. The reason is because we cooked from scratch. I even worked at a homeless shelter for two years. That was an experience on its own because we had to cook with what we had donated. Man I made some awesome dishes. I really have a passion for creating dishes that is why I chose the Sous Chef position. Briang I have always believed that either cooking comes with passion and you love to come to work and cook and do it again all over tomorrow, or it just a job and you can't wait till you clock out and go home. I have always had a passion for the Culinary Arts and I always will even if someone tells me that " WHAT I'M COOKING IS WRONG" then I figure out what I did wrong correct it and try not to make it wrong again. WE MAKE MISTAKES but we also learn from them.
post #12 of 20
OK ... (replaces "WOW" in this instance.
post #13 of 20
I know Sous Chef translates to "under chef". KM is kind of self explanatory.
In my experience some places already have a menu in place and just need someone to manage and uphold a standard set by an owner or corporation. Where as a sous, you are responsible to uphold and standard of the executive chef, whom is responsible for creating menus, changing menus seasonally in some places, and is set up more traditionally like a brigade.
I don't know how flexible you boss is about ordering different food to makes specials because a sports bar menu seems pretty restrictive.
Working with a trained chef and a vast array of different ingredients might help
You long term more than a KM of a sports bar, but I guess it is all about your long term goals.
If you enjoy KM, stick with it, if you want opportunity to learn more, work for a chef in his kitchen.
Obviously, this is a very generalized statement.
post #14 of 20

I think we sometimes obsess too much over job titles.  A Sous and an AKM are the same thing IMO.  It's traditional for nicer places to pay lip service to the French brigade system but who follows it completely today?  I suppose in general terms I would agree that a Sous would perhaps be expected to have a little higher level of culinary knowledge while an AKM could possibly be more of a manager, but that is just a generalization.

"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
Reply
post #15 of 20

KM is a title that corporations use instead of Sous Chef. NOT!!!

 

Corporations are about making money and to that end use professional language and do everything "by the book" even if they don't know what the 'book' is.

 

Kitchen managers are more of a Chef than a Sous. 

As a comparison, the Sous might translate to Assistant KM.

post #16 of 20
I've been a sous and an akm.... the job was exactly the same. Be the adult when the chef isn't in!
post #17 of 20

If that was directed at me, ChefRoss, I did say AKM, not KM.  My experience mirrors taht of Grande; I've seen the terms KM and Chef as well as AKM/Sous Chef used pretty interchangeably.  Higher end places usually adopt the brigade terms but IMO the name isn't a huge issue.

"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
Reply
"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
Reply
post #18 of 20

I'm curious about the title of "Kitchen manager", I've worked in corporate hotels, but they never used that title.  My questions are:

 

Is the K.M. responsible for food cost?

Is the K.M. responsible for ordering ?
"                                        "scheduling?

"                                       " hiring/firing? 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
 

If that was directed at me, ChefRoss, I did say AKM, not KM.  My experience mirrors taht of Grande; I've seen the terms KM and Chef as well as AKM/Sous Chef used pretty interchangeably.  Higher end places usually adopt the brigade terms but IMO the name isn't a huge issue.

Not at all. I'm with you on this.

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post
 

I'm curious about the title of "Kitchen manager", I've worked in corporate hotels, but they never used that title.  My questions are:

 

Is the K.M. responsible for food cost?

Is the K.M. responsible for ordering ?
"                                        "scheduling?

"                                       " hiring/firing? 

If it's a corporate place they may have a food and beverage director. They order the food with the Chef''s input and they control costs.

K.M. is more about the day to day so yes......they would schedule. Hiring and all the paperwork that goes with it would be handled by Human Resources....if it was a corporate place


Edited by Chefross - 7/21/16 at 4:00am
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