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Chef de cuisine: the unrivaled guide to cook like a pro

Sweet, dry, spicy, savory, creamy, tasty, greasy, delicious, or crunchy. What impression do you want given to the food you prepare?

We are sure you want even more than these adjectives used: you want your cuisine to blow the mind of consumers.

Cooking could be your passion, and as they say, passion fuels purpose.

But you can not forget that, to be a chef de cuisine, learn new techniques, best practices and secrets can be an asset for you to succeed.

Like every career path, becoming a chef de cuisine requires norms, ladders to climb, and legends to draw inspiration from.

Are you prepared for that?

Continue reading, and you'll be well-equipped to navigate this chosen career.

Chef de Cuisine definition: Well, what is a chef de cuisine?

Getting straight to the point: the person at the top of the restaurant's food chain is the "chef de cuisine".

A chef de cuisine is the person in charge of all the functional chefs in the kitchen. There are some technicalities when this term is involved.

For example, a chef de cuisine could also be called an "executive chef or the "main chef".

This title comes with a lot of responsibility and power when it comes to the restaurant business.

If a restaurant is known for fantastic food, its chef de cuisine is doing a splendid job.

What is the role of a chef de cuisine in the kitchen?

A chef de cuisine is like the manager of the kitchen in a restaurant.

Everything that happens in the kitchen is his responsibility — creating menus, staff management, inventory and equipment purchase, plating design, and ensuring that all meals served in the restaurant will please the clients.

The goal: give them that "wow" feeling.

Most chefs with an excellent reputation send chills down the spine of clients with their menus.

And as you may have noticed, there isn't only one stakeholder in the kitchen; it is a network of dedicated chefs motivated to provide exceptional menus for clients.

Keep reading and learn more.

Sous Chef vs. Chef de Cuisine: what is the difference between them?

Have you ever heard of 2nd in command? This is where the sous chef falls in both roles and responsibilities.

The sous chef ranks next to the chef de cuisine who takes on more responsibility.

This position is a step away from a chef de cuisine and can quickly be promoted to the latter role.

The only difference is the chef de cuisine has a supervisory role, and the sous chef runs the kitchen literally.

The sous chef must plan and direct how food is presented on a plate. We know how important presentation is in this business. The sous chef also keeps the kitchen staff in order, creates a work schedule, and ensures that all the food goes to the customers.

Also, make sure that the food is of standard and is of top quality. This is how a restaurant earns an excellent reputation and so do the chefs.

What differentiates a chef from a sous chef, an executive chef and chef de partie?

The word chef comes from "chef de cuisine". A chef is someone who's been trained in all aspects of food preparation and is a professional.

A sous chef is ranked directly after the chef de cuisine, and his job description is similar to that of the chef de cuisine.

Meanwhile, the executive chef is another name for the chef de cuisine. He or she is the kitchen boss and supervises the running of all kitchen activities, especially its output (food).

This output will determine both the success of the business and that of his reputation. For in this cooking business, you must look to make not only an impression for yourself but also for your restaurant.

And what about the chef de partie?

This person is in charge of a particular area of production.

Also known as the "station chef" or "line cook", he may have several cooks and assistants depending on how large the kitchen is.

This professional is directly responsible for cooks and assistants; and is also responsible for making sure their output is up to standard.

Who Can Take Over The Kitchen In The Chef de Cuisine's Absence?

The 2nd in command will most often assume responsibility when the chef isn't around.

As we earlier mentioned, it is a chain of command.

In the Chef de Cuisine's Absence, the sous chef will replace the chef de cuisine whenever need arises.

How do you call a female chef?

It's recurrent to use the singular personal pronoun "he" when an article talks about a chef de cuisine.

Truth be told: women have their special place in the kitchen. They are as talented as or even more talented than men and there have been some influential women in the business.

In the last few years, it is significantly higher the number of women chefs.

However, there is no female version for the word "chef". A chef is a chef.

Who was the first female chef in the world?

Have you heard of Eugénie Brazier? Well, she is a legend for those who admire special food.

Also known as "la mère Brazier", Eugénie was a French chef and the first to attain six Michelin stars, three from two restaurants in 1933.

To understand her achievements, it took 50 years for another woman chief to receive three Michelin stars.

She died in 1977. Another significant accomplishment in her life was to create the current line of top chefs in Lyon, with her student Paul Bocuse.

Until today, Eugénie is still motivating both male and female chefs all over the world.

Who is the number 1 chef in the world?

Gordon James Ramsay! A legend and the greatest ever, with due respect to the other legends in the profession.

Chef Gordon Ramsey is a British chef, restaurateur, writer, and television personality born 8th November 1966 in Johnstone, Scotland.

Just a few people know that Ramsey's dream was to become a soccer player. But he had a severe injury when he was 14, which made him quit it.

As a result, when he was 16, his desire for cooking started. As time went on, what was looking like a hobby had become something for real. Chef Gordon Ramsey, that we know, was about to be born.

In 1987, after earning a vocational diploma in hotel management from North Oxon Technical College, he moved to London and began honing his culinary skills under chef Marco Pierre. He hasn’t looked back since then.

What is peculiar about Ramsey is that his restaurants have been awarded 16 Michelin stars. His signature restaurant in Chelsea, London, has held three Michelin stars since 2001.

He is the best-known and most influential chef in the UK since 2004.

Ramsey has an excellent reputation on his masterclass course and his reality television, which made him be admired by fans of all ages.

Besides that, he is also known for his occasional fiery temper, frequent use of expletives, and most especially his bluntness.

But then, who are the other…

Best Chefs in the world: who has the most Michelin Stars?

Most of the accolades as a chef come from the number of Michelin stars you acquire. Gordon Ramsey has an excellent reputation in the industry, but as earlier mentioned, you cannot under look at other influential chefs.

Keep reading and know more about the legends in the profession.

  1. Alain Ducasse

    He holds 17 Michelin stars and is the top-ranked chef in the world. Over the years, he has built a business empire with over 36 restaurants spread all over the world. He was born in France and had a reputation for delivering the most delicious meals from French cuisine. He is a legend, and the only chef to have sent his food to space.

  2. Pierre Gagnaire

    Holder of 14 Michelin stars; he received his first start at 26 and hasn’t looked back since then. He started in his family Michelin star kitchen, and now he is considered a Michelin star collector, ranking second and one of the best. His restaurant Rue Balzac in Paris has maintained three Michelin stars for over two decades. He is famous for tearing down the well-known conventions of French cooking.

  3. Martin Berasategui

    Holder of 12 Michelin stars. He has opened three other Michelin starred restaurants in Tenerife and Barcelona. He earned his first Michelin star when he was 25 in his highly ranked restaurant, Restaurante Martin Berasategui. A dedicated chef; loves what he does and is a dedicated body and soul to doing what he loves most (cooking).

  4. Yannick Alleno

    He has 10 Michelin stars. He directs over 18 restaurants all over the world. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen is one of the oldest restaurants in France owned by him. He has been carrying out research and development on French cuisine since 2013 and has even started his culinary movement called “modern cuisine”.

  5. Anne-Sophie Pic

    What did we say earlier about how influential women have been in this profession? Anne-Sophie, an 8-star holder, has no culinary educational background. She took over her family restaurant, “Maison Pic”, after the death of her father. She now owns her restaurant “Anne-Sophie Pic”, which celebrates the legacy of her father. In 2011, she was ranked the best female chef in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

  6. Thomas Keller

    He is the most decorated chef in the United States with 7 stars. Keller is a California native but is highly celebrated for his French-style cooking as you can see in his masterclass course; this has earned him an excellent reputation among his peers. His restaurant The French Laundry had been ranked as the best in the world twice already. He is also the first American chef to achieve 3 concurrent Michelin Stars for original restaurants.

  7. Wolfgang Puck

    He is an American-Australian chef who is considered as one of the most earning chefs on earth. He learned to cook from his mother, who was a pastry chef. Safe to say it runs in the blood. He is one pioneer in the development of American cooking as you can see on his masterclass course . He integrated elements from Asian, French, and Californian methods and took something from cuisines worldwide to make his own.

  8. Alice Waters

    She is one of the influential women in the business. An American chef, restaurateur, activist, and author, she has had the privilege to win the James Beard Award for the most outstanding chef. Thanks to her iconic restaurant “Chez Panisse", her local organic ingredients inspired and sparked a movement. She is an organic food devotee as you can see in her masterclass course.

How do you become a chef de cuisine?

It is not an absolute requirement to have a postsecondary education to be a chef de cuisine, but most aspirants attend community college, technical schools, culinary arts schools, and 4-year colleges.

It is usually a requirement to have a high school diploma or it’s equivalent to be eligible for these programs.

To become a chef de cuisine, some people go by apprenticeship, but this is rare. Most aspirants choose culinary school; here they spend most of their time in kitchens practicing cooking skills.

The program you will get covers all aspects of kitchen work, which includes food sanitation procedures, menu planning and purchasing and inventory methods.

This will qualify you to be a chef de cuisine anywhere in the world.

What skills do you need to be a chef de cuisine?

The key attribute you need to be a chef de cuisine is the leadership quality.

Be humble and have that desire to learn. It is holistic and you can’t work without the other stakeholders in the kitchen, so you need to blend everyone in and give them a sense of purpose.

You also need to be creative, as chef de cuisines or executive chefs need to be smart to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes.

Chefs should know how to try new recipes, to come up with epic meals to serve the clients.

Long story short: this is the backbone to your success as a chef.

Best Courses For Aspiring Chef de cuisine

Cooking And Kitchen Essentials: Tools For Every Home Chef

One skill you need as a chef is sanitation and how to pick nutritious food. This course will help you gain these relevant skills for your success, such as sanitation, selecting excellent food, and preparing essential dishes. In sum, you will have the tools needed to get day-to-day cooking accomplished with no fear or trepidation.

Thomas Keller Teaches Cooking Techniques

Keller courses will help you gain skills and confidence to execute vegetables, eggs, and pasta to perfection. To be successful in anything in life, you need to be confident: who better to help you gain this attribute than a very successful and one of the most influential chefs in the world? In this course, Thomas Keller will take you through a very lucrative learning journey.

Alice Waters Teaches The Art of Home Cooking

The meals you make will depend highly on the ingredients you use. Various authentic cultures have specific preferences for elements, and use it differently in food. In this course with Alice Waters, you will learn from the best of how to pick these seasonal ingredients and use them effectively to nail a specific meal. It will change your life, your career, and most notably, how you cook at home.

Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking I

As we said, the number 1 chef in the world has a fantastic course. That it is always amazing to learn from the best. Chef Gordon Ramsey will take you into his kitchen and show you all the techniques and experiences he has to owe his success to. You never know what talent you have until you try.

Italian Cooking Classes with Chef Ida

Italian dishes are one of the most sought for in restaurants all over the world. They have a cuisine that appeals to many clients, and if you can harness your skill around this specialty, you will go far in this chosen profession. In this course , you will learn to cook the best Italian dishes from the best in the business.

Wolfgang Puck Teaches Cooking

It is commonly said that those who take risks turn to get the most significant rewards. Wolfgang, one of the most successful chefs in the world, took a chance by coming up with his recipes: it paid a big time! In this course , you will learn a lot from Wolfgang’s courses, but you will learn how to take risks.

Knife Skills: A Mini Class to Chop Like a Chef

How many customers do you think you can handle in a day? Whenever your direct head, be it a sous chef or chef de cuisine, gives you a task, it will be important you complete it quickly. This course will permit you to grow in the profession, especially if you are on an apprenticeship — master the art of using the knife with this course. The better your knife skill, the faster and more comfortable you get food on the table.

Grilling Fundamentals: Cooking Chicken Over Live Fire

Chicken is one of the most consumed menus in the world, whether coming as a compliment to another meal, or alone. You should be able to perfectly cook chicken in such a way that it’ll be memorable to every client. From this course on, you will never get chicken burned or undercooked.

Simplifying Raw Fish: Ceviche, Crudo, and Sashimi

You may most often get scared or nervous to cook fish at home. This is normal, especially if you are looking to fix a surprise for that special someone. This course will give you the confidence to cook fish at home, no fear, just fun, and pleasure in what you do. You should try it.

Homemade Mayonnaise or How to Impress Your Friends at a Dinner Party?

There are some vital skills every cook needs. Most chefs loyal to the French cuisines love to make certain specificities at home. This course is an opportunity for you to do the same. Learn how to make mayonnaise at home. It is an essential skill to acquire.

These courses are hosted in e-learning platforms such as MasterClass, Skillshare, and Udemy. If you want to know more about each of them, you can check our reviews.

What is the salary of a chef de cuisine?

To be a chef de cuisine is not a simple career path to take, but it can be a very lucrative one. For the average salary of a chef de cuisine, we will refer to that which operates in the USA. Hospitality companies and education companies have the highest employment in this field.

The average salary for a chef de cuisine in the United States is $55,661 annually or $25,8 hourly. The top 10% earners make over $113,000 annually, while the bottom 10% make under $25,000 per year. It will depend on you largely, but this is the most reasonable statistic relating to your salary as a chef de cuisine.

What is a chef de cuisine’s job description?

A chef, de cuisine’s job description, can fill in if he/she can handle the responsibilities of a chef de cuisine. Overseeing the daily activities of the kitchen and ensuring that all food meets the required standard.

The chef de cuisine should have leadership capacities so he/she can lead the team to massive success.

Chef de cuisine: Do you think you can make it and cook in an award-winning restaurant?

Nothing is impossible in the world. You may think a goal is not reachable, but it is. The mind-set you ought to create for yourself is, “If you begin, you win”.

No one will make the crucial decisions about your life except you. So, all you ought to do is take a bold step, and there will be no limits to what you can achieve.

The best way to think of cooking is something that you can learn. You can use accelerated learning techniques that will help you go forward quickly.

Life is a journey, and how far you get only depends on how much you want to achieve.

Conclusion

Now you know almost everything there is to see for you to become a chef de cuisine. It is a fantastic career choice, and a decision you have to make on your own.

If you find pleasure in cooking, providing mind-blowing meals for clients, or you love trying out many recipes to come up with one that will please clients and be memorable to them, this is the career path for you.

One reason people get tired from doing something is because they are doing what they don’t love.

Once you do what you love, you won’t have to struggle to go to work every day. The desire is already in the pleasure you have for what you do.

It would be best to polish this desire with courses offered by highly respected chefs in the profession. By doing so, you will go far.

If you want to learn other skills to be a chef de cuisine, check out our search engine tool.

Renan França
I am a journalist responsible for SEO and Content strategies at Classpert. I usually write about entrepreneurship, marketing, SEO, programming and e-learning platforms.