6 answers
Asked Viewed 203 times Translate

What is a regular day in the life of a chef like?


Are you asking what that day looks like for the Executive Chef or a "chef" as a cook? Michael Tsonton

I am asking about being an Executive chef. Jade H.

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
6
100% of 5 Pros

6 answers


Updated Translate

Andrew’s Answer

Hello Jade,

I hope all is well but I'm glad to answer this question. I used to work in a series of kitchens throughout New York City and all I can tell you is that there's a lot of hard work involved for chefs but their love for food keeps them going. Most chefs I've worked with work go through an entire day and not a day shift. A whole day for a chef would normally be an hour before a restaurant opens and when it closes. They begin by counting inventory and update the owner what is needed ahead of time but after this the chef begins to cook. When it comes to cooking there's a high level of camaraderie and trust with whoever helps him or her. This keeps the spirit of the chef alive and the restaurant.

Good chefs enjoy these long hours and the food will always come out beautifully. There's smells of all kinds of foods coming from the kitchen and though the chef is obviously used to it, it's mouth watering to the customers. While cooking, four-five different orders at the same time there's always music in the kitchen to enhance the atmosphere and the courses come out poetic. The food on the plate is presentable and treated with care while most customers will take a picture of it for their Instagram. Though whenever a rush happens mistakes are on its way. I've seen chefs burn their hands multiple times during a rush and shrug it off but only if this chef is a determined one. Then the chef enjoys his lunch break while the food preps set up for dinner. After dinner, the chef cleans the kitchen with the staff but, in a way, cleaning it like it's his or her own. Then on the way home to start again the next day.

A chef's life may be hard but to that person probably not because that person loves to cook or it is hard but their heart is still leading the way. They can make food look presentable if they want it too but have to feel the urge to do it. They are not only the soul that helps the business function but gives the customers a piece of it and hopefully become regulars. Cooking is an art and if their art is respected, then they are truly a chef.

Thank you Andrew for answering my question! It sounds like being a chef is going to be tougher than I thought with those long hours. However, it sounds like so much fun! Jade H.

0
Updated Translate

Suddhasattwa’s Answer

Hi Jade,

I am a Hotel Management graduate and many batchmates from my college are big chefs in large hotel chains.

The life of a chef in the early days is hectic as you you have do a lot of other jobs associated to cooking like collecting the ingredients for the kitchen, ensure fruits and veggies are fresh, condiments are well within expiry date, ensure you have the basic sauces and purees are ready as per that kitchen standard. This often involves making sauces, chopping and slicing vegetables and beginning to cook any meats that may take a long period of time to prepare, such as roasts or baked poultry. So best experience comes if you are working in a multi-cuisine restaurant and you get paid the highest in future too because of your exposure.

You will be working mostly under the Chef de Partie and Sous Chef who reports to Chef de Cuisine (Head Chef)
You need to attend the daily hurdle with the head chef and understand what went well yesterday evening at the tables/restuarant/room service feedbacks. Every single day working with junior chefs and under chef you will get to learn new things. Soon after months you will become independent and will be helping new joinees. Its much more than just culinary art you studied in your hotel management college.

Its a long day for Chef as they work in break-shifts: like 10:30am to 3pm. 3pm-6pm is break time, and again 6pm till 12am midnight closure of the restaurant. But your working hours depends where are you working as chef, is it a 24 hours restaurant, or just a lunch or dinner restaurant.
That's the reason why again many chefs leave their jobs after few years and open their own restaurants or a joint business with other chefs.

But once you become senor after 5-8 years, you get to work on other administrative things like quality, hygiene, making new menu cards to attract customer, staff attendance, overall feedback metrics of your restaurant and branding of it and cooking will be quite less by you, you will more of an expert advisor.

Though I am a graduate in Hotel Management and have 6 months of intensive training in a 5 star hotel luxury hotel in India during my intern, but I could never work in a Hotel as I chose BPO industry over hotel industry because of its very low starting salary, but yes as of today I still cook international and country cuisine following many celebrity chefs in youtube. I just love cooking and its such a stress buster when you get praised for the typical and unique taste of your food. So go for it if you have it in you.. Good luck Jade.
Cheers, Suddho

Thank you so much! This information will help me figure out how long the major learning period is. Thank you again, Suddho! Jade H.

0
Updated Translate

Sunitha’s Answer

The average day in the life of a chef involves more than just cooking. Many chefs play an integral role in the inventory, preparation and management of high-end restaurants. Let’s take a walk through a typical day in the life of a chef.
Early morning
Starting times differ according to the establishment. Former Le Cordon Bleu Australia lecturer Dennis Leslie began his working days as the executive sous chef of the Adelaide Oval at around nine in the morning. Meanwhile, it was a seven o'clock start for recent alumnus Matthew Puguh, who enjoyed a stagiaire placement at the world-famous Noma in 2017.
The first task of the morning is usually inventory, with much of the day's ingredients arriving fresh in the morning. Produce needs to be counted, checked for quality and appropriately stored and labelled.
Mid-morning
The bulk of the morning will generally be occupied by the mise en place. This French term, meaning "everything in its place", refers to the extensive preparation of ingredients before service. Mise en place can include cleaning and cutting vegetables, making sauces and portioning cuts of meat. Stagiaire will generally be responsible for a lot of this, with supervision from the sous chef.
After mise en place is complete, many kitchen staff may eat together and the chef has an opportunity to trial new menu items.
Lunch service
Before service, a briefing will take place to ensure the front of house and kitchen staff are across everything. This is the perfect opportunity for chefs to talk to wait staff regarding daily specials and particular customer enquiries. Meanwhile, the maître d' may identify important bookings and dietary needs to be accounted for.
During the service, a chef will lead supervise kitchen staff and often assist any areas of the team that may be lagging behind.
Afternoon to dinner
Following lunch, kitchen staff will roll up their sleeves and get stuck into post-service cleaning and dinner preparation. The dinner service is often the busiest time of day, so there's a great need to ensure everything is ready to go before it starts. Head culinary chefs will spend the time before dinner delegating key menu items and overseeing mise en place.
Throughout the course of the dinner service, chefs will find their roles vary significantly as they coordinate kitchen staff, oversee quality and production speeds and assist with cooking.
Post-service
Service can end as late as 11pm for most restaurants. At this point, staff will work on deep cleaning the kitchen ahead of the next day's service. Some preparation may be done for the next day, such as beginning slow roasts or marination. A head chef will often spend this time reviewing the next day's menu and placing beverage and produce orders before finishing for the night.

0
Updated Translate

Sunitha’s Answer

The average day in the life of a chef involves more than just cooking. Many chefs play an integral role in the inventory, preparation and management of high-end restaurants. Let’s take a walk through a typical day in the life of a chef.
Early morning
Starting times differ according to the establishment. Former Le Cordon Bleu Australia lecturer Dennis Leslie began his working days as the executive sous chef of the Adelaide Oval at around nine in the morning. Meanwhile, it was a seven o'clock start for recent alumnus Matthew Puguh, who enjoyed a stagiaire placement at the world-famous Noma in 2017.
The first task of the morning is usually inventory, with much of the day's ingredients arriving fresh in the morning. Produce needs to be counted, checked for quality and appropriately stored and labelled.
Mid-morning
The bulk of the morning will generally be occupied by the mise en place. This French term, meaning "everything in its place", refers to the extensive preparation of ingredients before service. Mise en place can include cleaning and cutting vegetables, making sauces and portioning cuts of meat. Stagiaire will generally be responsible for a lot of this, with supervision from the sous chef.
After mise en place is complete, many kitchen staff may eat together and the chef has an opportunity to trial new menu items.
Lunch service
Before service, a briefing will take place to ensure the front of house and kitchen staff are across everything. This is the perfect opportunity for chefs to talk to wait staff regarding daily specials and particular customer enquiries. Meanwhile, the maître d' may identify important bookings and dietary needs to be accounted for.
During the service, a chef will lead supervise kitchen staff and often assist any areas of the team that may be lagging behind.
Afternoon to dinner
Following lunch, kitchen staff will roll up their sleeves and get stuck into post-service cleaning and dinner preparation. The dinner service is often the busiest time of day, so there's a great need to ensure everything is ready to go before it starts. Head culinary chefs will spend the time before dinner delegating key menu items and overseeing mise en place.
Throughout the course of the dinner service, chefs will find their roles vary significantly as they coordinate kitchen staff, oversee quality and production speeds and assist with cooking.
Post-service
Service can end as late as 11pm for most restaurants. At this point, staff will work on deep cleaning the kitchen ahead of the next day's service. Some preparation may be done for the next day, such as beginning slow roasts or marination. A head chef will often spend this time reviewing the next day's menu and placing beverage and produce orders before finishing for the night.

0
Updated Translate

Scott’s Answer

I grew up in gulf breeze. So I know there is lots of opportunity for you nearby.
Work with a great chef. Don't go for the franchise money
You will work every holiday. Every weekend.
You will loose touch with regular hours friends.
But. ... there is great opportunity for Some one dedicated. Travel around the world. Doing things with some of the most talented people You will ever meet.
Typical day.
10 to 12 hours. Fast paced. Every day different

Scott recommends the following next steps:

Apprentice with gtest chef. Unpaid if nessicary.

0
Updated Translate

Chef Rene’s Answer

For me, I teach Culinary Arts at Hudson County Community College of Continuing Education. Presently, I'm an administrator for our department's Facebook culinary club. Besides that I'm creating and writing new recipes. Also, I have a food show on Cable TV.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/culinaryhccc/?ref=share


0