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What is an average day in the life of a chef look like?

I want to know how what an average schedule for this profession would be. chef cook cooking baker baking culinary-arts culinary hospitality

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3 answers

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Lisa’s Answer

I'd start by saying there is no average day. Every venue (catering, business dining, senior living, hotel etc) all come with a different set of headaches and excitement. I like the controlled chaos of the line, banquets, talking with clientele, and spending time training and mentoring staff. You may also deal with corporate guidelines that are completely different from a small business. Expect to spend time doing absolutely everything that needs to be done. The buck stops with you if you are the Chef. A 40 hour workweek is pretty much unheard of, and doing dishes or calling on resumes may take a lot of your time. Menu planning, creating specials from leftovers, meetings, to do lists, inventory procurement and constant IT problems are pretty common. It can be a glamorous job if you are very skilled and talented, but it takes dedication and dealing with a lot of pressure. I am completely insane and absolutely love it. I get my butt kicked every now and again after back to back 12+ hour shifts but the instant gratification of making people happy through the creation of food cannot be beat. Love my teams, even when we are dysfunctional. If you can commit, there is NOTHING like it!!

Lisa recommends the following next steps:

Read about food. Start with the basics in culinary history
Learn by practicing at home whenever possible
Take the advice of the people who came before you
Don't stop learning from any source you can corner
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Junnie’s Answer

Dear Jalil,

The typical day of a chef it’s depending of what position are you in the kitchen. In a big picture, these are the responsibility in a personal own restaurant:
1. Sourcing product
2. Inventory
3. Menu costing
4. Menu planning base d on the season or marketing plan
5. Prep for the day or the week
6. Cook for the day
7. Cleaning
8. Schedule employees
These responsibilities might shared with few other chefs on staff as well.
If it’s a foodservice setting, generally it’s just prep, cook and cleaning unless you are a manager, then the rest of the responsibilities that mentioned above will apply as well.
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Taylor’s Answer


The culinary world is very competitive. It is also an exciting experience because you get to explore foods that may not be used on a daily basis in your culture. Food is used for many difference sources then what you may think. It is very smart to research foods and ways to use them. It is smart to find alternatives of food in baking or cooking that may expand the recipes. I wake up at 4 AM and my day could end at 2 PM or 6 PM