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What is a Sous Chef?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered March 04 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Sous Chefs work under head chefs in restaurant kitchens. The word "sous" comes from the French word for "under," and Sous Chefs usually are found in mid-to-high-end restaurants. However, you can also find Sous Chefs in hotels, country clubs, cruise ships, and resorts. 

Often the executive chef does not work every shift, as they have other managerial duties or work in several restaurants. Therefore, the Sous Chef is the second in command and the person in charge of getting the kitchen team through the meal service. 

Being a Sous Chef is considered essential training for eventually becoming an executive chef or even owning your restaurant. If that is a long-term goal of yours, then working as a Sous Chef is an invaluable step in that career path.

As a Sous Chef, you are also responsible for the cleanliness and sanitation of your kitchen. You may need to pass a state certification exam in kitchen sanitation to be promoted to Sous Chef. 

Personality of a Sous Chef
Sous Chefs need to be both strong leaders and team players, with an eye for detail and the ability to multitask. They also need to rely on several essential skills:

  • Cooking Skills
This may seem obvious, but during service, you need to jump on any part of the line that needs help and seamlessly go from one technique to the next. You need to understand the complete menu and be able to help the cooks get their dishes out. 

  • Organizational Skills
 A Sous Chef has many tasks. These include assisting the head chef with meal planning, keeping tabs on kitchen ingredients and supplies, making sure the kitchen is up to sanitation standards, and scheduling the kitchen staff. Balancing all these tasks requires strong organizational and planning skills. 
  • People Skills
Being a good leader and manager means getting people to do what you need to do and do it well. A good Sous Chef has the people skills to lead the team efficiently.