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Become A Chef De Cuisine

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Working As A Chef De Cuisine

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $44,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Chef De Cuisine Do

Chefs and head cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants and other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns.

Duties

Chefs and head cooks typically do the following:

  • Check the freshness of food and ingredients
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Develop recipes and determine how to present dishes
  • Plan menus and ensure the quality of meals
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
  • Hire, train, and supervise cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Order and maintain an inventory of food and supplies
  • Monitor sanitation practices and follow kitchen safety standards

Chefs and head cooks use a variety of kitchen and cooking equipment, including step-in coolers, high-quality knives, meat slicers, and grinders. They also have access to large quantities of meats, spices, and produce. Some chefs use scheduling and purchasing software to help them in their administrative tasks.

Chefs who run their own restaurant or catering business are often busy with kitchen and office work. Some chefs use social media to promote their business by advertising new menu items or addressing customer reviews.

The following are examples of types of chefs and head cooks:

Executive chefs, head cooks, and chefs de cuisine are responsible primarily for overseeing the operation of a kitchen. They coordinate the work of sous chefs and other cooks, who prepare most of the meals. Executive chefs also have many duties beyond the kitchen. They design the menu, review food and beverage purchases, and often train cooks and other food preparation workers. Some executive chefs primarily handle administrative tasks and may spend less time in the kitchen.

Sous chefs are a kitchen’s second-in-command. They supervise the restaurant’s cooks, prepare meals, and report results to the head chefs. In the absence of the head chef, sous chefs run the kitchen.

Private household chefs typically work full time for one client, such as a corporate executive, university president, or diplomat, who regularly entertains as part of his or her official duties.

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How To Become A Chef De Cuisine

Most chefs and head cooks learn their skills through work experience. Others receive training at a community college, technical school, culinary arts school, or 4-year college. A small number learn through apprenticeship programs or in the Armed Forces.

Education

Although postsecondary education is not required for chefs and head cooks, many attend programs at community colleges, technical schools, culinary arts schools, and 4-year colleges. Candidates are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent to enter these programs.

Students in culinary programs spend most of their time in kitchens, practicing their cooking skills. Programs cover all aspects of kitchen work, including menu planning, food sanitation procedures, and purchasing and inventory methods. Most training programs also require students to gain experience in a commercial kitchen through an internship or apprenticeship program.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most chefs and head cooks start working in other positions, such as line cooks, learning cooking skills from the chefs they work for. Many spend years working in kitchens before gaining enough experience to be promoted to chef or head cook positions.

Training

Some chefs and head cooks train on the job, where they learn the same skills as in a formal education program. Some train in mentorship programs, where they work under the direction of an experienced chef. Executive chefs, head cooks, and sous chefs who work in upscale restaurants often have many years of training and experience.

Some chefs and head cooks learn through apprenticeship programs sponsored by professional culinary institutes, industry associations, or trade unions in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor. Apprenticeship programs generally last 2 years and combine instructions and on-the-job training. Apprentices must complete at least 1,000 hours of both instructions and paid on-the-job training. Courses typically cover food sanitation and safety, basic knife skills, and equipment operation. Apprentices spend the rest of their training learning practical skills in a commercial kitchen under a chef's supervision.

The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 200 academic training programs at postsecondary schools and sponsors apprenticeships around the country. The basic qualifications required for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • High school education or equivalent
  • Passing grade in substance abuse screening

Some chefs and head cooks receive formal training in the Armed Forces or from individual hotel or restaurant chains.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can show competence and lead to advancement and higher pay. The American Culinary Federation certifies personal chefs, in addition to various levels of chefs, such as certified sous chefs or certified executive chefs. Certification standards are based primarily on work-related experience and formal training. Minimum work experience for certification can range from 6 months to 5 years, depending on the level of certification.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Executive chefs and chefs who run their own restaurant need to understand the restaurant business. They should know how to budget for supplies, set prices, and manage workers so that the restaurant is profitable.

Communication skills. Chefs must communicate their instructions clearly and effectively to staff so that customers’ orders are prepared correctly.

Creativity. Chefs and head cooks need to be creative in order to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes. They should be able to use various ingredients to create appealing meals for their customers.

Dexterity. Chefs and head cooks need excellent manual dexterity, including proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing.

Leadership skills. Chefs and head cooks must have the ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them.

Physical stamina. Chefs and head cooks often work long shifts and sometimes spend entire evenings on their feet, overseeing the preparation and serving of meals.

Sense of taste and smell. Chefs and head cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell in order to inspect food quality and to design meals that their customers enjoy.

Time-management skills. Chefs and head cooks must efficiently manage their time and the time of their staff. They ensure that meals are prepared correctly and that customers are served on time, especially during busy hours.

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Chef De Cuisine Career Paths

Chef De Cuisine
Chef/Owner General Manager
Area Director
8 Yearsyrs
Chef Manager Restaurant Manager Food And Beverage Manager
Assistant Director Of Food And Beverage
7 Yearsyrs
Head Chef Chef Manager Executive Chef
Assistant Food Service Director
5 Yearsyrs
Chef Manager Food Service Director District Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Chef/Catering Chef/Kitchen Manager Food Service Manager
Cafeteria Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Chef/Catering Head Chef Restaurant Manager
Catering Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef General Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Private Chef Head Chef Kitchen Manager
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Chef/Kitchen Manager Food Service Director Operations Director
Executive Director Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Head Chef Chef/Kitchen Manager Executive Chef
Food Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Chef Director Of Food And Beverage
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Food Service Director Service Director Assistant General Manager
General Manager In Training
5 Yearsyrs
Chef/Owner Executive Chef General Manager
General Manager Of Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Restaurant Manager Food Service Manager
General Service Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Restaurant Manager Office Manager Practice Manager
Hospitality Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Director Of Food And Beverage Assistant General Manager Manager
Owner/Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Private Chef Executive Chef General Manager
Regional Director Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Chef/Kitchen Manager Chef Manager Executive Chef
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
General Manager District Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Executive Chef 5.6 years
Chef/Owner 5.4 years
Private Chef 3.5 years
Chef De Cuisine 3.0 years
Head Chef 3.0 years
Pastry Chef 3.0 years
Chef/Catering 3.0 years
Sous Chef 2.9 years
Banquet Chef 2.7 years
Chef De Partie 2.5 years
Chef 2.5 years
Assistant Chef 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Chef De Cuisine
Sous Chef 23.8%
Chef 12.8%
Line Cook 8.7%
Cook 4.4%
Internship 2.2%
Lead Cook 2.1%
Head Chef 2.0%
Chef/Owner 1.2%
Prep Cook 1.1%
Top Careers After Chef De Cuisine
Sous Chef 14.1%
Chef 12.8%
Chef/Owner 3.3%
Line Cook 2.4%
Cook 1.8%
Head Chef 1.8%
Consultant 1.3%

Do you work as a Chef De Cuisine?

Chef De Cuisine Demographics

Gender

Male

86.7%

Female

11.1%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.0%

French

28.4%

Italian

17.3%

Japanese

3.6%

Thai

3.0%

German

3.0%

Portuguese

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

Korean

2.0%

Dutch

1.5%

Sami

0.5%

Lakota

0.5%

Mandarin

0.5%

Indonesian

0.5%

Hawaiian

0.5%

Malay

0.5%

Phoenician

0.5%

Cantonese

0.5%

Russian

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%
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Chef De Cuisine Education

Schools

Culinary Institute of America

32.5%

Johnson & Wales University

26.9%

Arizona Culinary Institute

6.0%

New England Culinary Institute

4.5%

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

4.3%

French Culinary Institute

3.4%

Cornell University

3.4%

Sullivan University

2.1%

Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago

2.1%

Johnson County Community College

2.1%

Kendall College

1.7%

The Academy

1.5%

Florida International University

1.5%

Grand Rapids Community College

1.3%

Schoolcraft College

1.3%

Art Institute of Colorado

1.1%

Pima Community College

1.1%

New York Law School

1.1%

University of Phoenix

1.1%

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

1.1%
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Majors

Culinary Arts

59.7%

Hospitality Management

8.7%

Business

7.9%

Management

4.4%

Health Care Administration

3.7%

Food And Nutrition

2.5%

Education

1.6%

English

1.4%

Political Science

1.2%

General Studies

1.1%

Psychology

0.9%

History

0.9%

Communication

0.8%

Liberal Arts

0.8%

Fine Arts

0.8%

Food Science

0.8%

Biology

0.8%

Criminal Justice

0.8%

Computer Science

0.7%

Finance

0.7%
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Degrees

Other

36.9%

Associate

30.9%

Bachelors

20.2%

Certificate

6.3%

Diploma

2.7%

Masters

2.6%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Full Time
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Internship
Temporary

Real Chef De Cuisine Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Vice President and Chef de Cuisine Z Capital Florida Resort LLC Miami Beach, FL May 21, 2015 $180,000
Vice President and Chef de Cuisine Z Capital Florida Resort LLC Miami Beach, FL May 15, 2015 $180,000
Chef de Cuisine Brits On Madison LLC New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $135,000
Chef de Cuisine Serra Hospitality, LLC San Francisco, CA Mar 10, 2014 $110,000
Chef de Cuisine 316 Bowery LLC New York, NY Jan 20, 2011 $106,000
Chef de Cuisine The Stanley A Grand Heritage Hotel Estes Park, CO Sep 01, 2015 $95,000
Chef de Cuisine JBI, LLC Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 11, 2014 $95,000 -
$120,000
Chef de Cuisine Jc Hospitality Montauk, NY Jan 03, 2016 $91,000
Vice President and Chef de Cuisine Sarsaparilla Management LLC Miami Beach, FL Nov 01, 2016 $85,000
Vice President/Chef de Cuisine Root & Bone, LLC New York, NY Feb 18, 2014 $84,781
Chef de Cuisine Downtown Restaurant Company, LLC New York, NY Jan 10, 2015 $80,000
Chef, Polish Cuisine Little Poland Restaurant, Inc. New York, NY Aug 27, 2012 $79,830
Korean Cuisine Chef Eden Food LLC D/B/A CAFE Duke New York, NY Jun 24, 2015 $79,352
Hotel Chef de Cuisine Dolphin Hotel Associates and Swan Hotel Associates Lake Buena Vista, FL Sep 17, 2011 $72,392
Chef, Italian Cuisine Ferraro's Restaurant Group, LLC Westfield, NJ Apr 27, 2011 $62,379
Specialty Chef, Asian Cuisine Friendwell Management USA LLC Edison, NJ Dec 19, 2016 $61,901
Korean Cuisine Chef Saiko, Inc. D/B/A RK CAFE Sushi San Diego, CA Jan 21, 2016 $61,464
Chef-Japanese Cuisine Sushi Ko Miami, FL Jun 05, 2016 $60,000
Chef, Italian Cuisine DTR of Florida Associates D/B/A Timo Restaurant Sunny Isles Beach, FL Sep 23, 2015 $59,800
Chef, Italian Cuisine DTR of Florida Associates D/B/A Timo Restaurant Sunny Isles Beach, FL Feb 23, 2016 $59,800
Chef de Cuisine MGM Grand Hotel, LLC Las Vegas, NV Sep 22, 2014 $58,576
Chef de Cuisine No Ka OI LLC Huntington Beach, CA Jan 10, 2015 $58,053
Chef, Japanese Cuisine Bandera Japanese Food & Enterprises Helotes, TX May 08, 2016 $48,797
Indian Cuisine Chef House of India Farmington Hills, MI Nov 06, 2007 $48,523
Indian Cuisine Chef House of India Farmington Hills, MI Apr 02, 2008 $48,523
Chef-Thai Cuisine KB Restaurant, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Aug 06, 2016 $48,464
Japanese Cuisine Chef Yamadora Sushi Inc. Vernon, CT Jul 24, 2015 $48,069
Chef, Korean Cuisine Nipponkai Ent. Inc. Libertyville, IL Apr 03, 2016 $46,051
Chef de Cuisine Homestead Associates LLC Greenwich, CT Sep 12, 2015 $46,000
Chef de Cuisine Homestead Associates LLC Greenwich, CT Oct 08, 2016 $46,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Chef De Cuisine

Average Yearly Salary
$44,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$27,000
Min 10%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Pyramid Hotel Group
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Chef De Cuisine make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Chef De Cuisine in the United States is $44,921 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $27,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $73,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Chef De Cuisine?

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Top Skills for A Chef De Cuisine

  1. Menu Items
  2. Food Safety
  3. Kitchen Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed new menus and menu items, including seasonal changes, wine-paired dinners, special functions and banquet event orders.
  • Participate in developing club regulations for a smooth operations and food safety.
  • Conducted daily inspections and maintained food sanitation and kitchen equipment safety reports.
  • Operated high end boutique resort dining and banquet facility in Golf Resort Master Planned Community.
  • Managed kitchen operations and personnel for lunch and dinner service plus private parties.

How Would You Rate Working As a Chef De Cuisine?

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Top 10 Best States for Chef De Cuisines

  1. Hawaii
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Delaware
  4. New York
  5. Nevada
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Wyoming
  8. Massachusetts
  9. New Jersey
  10. Alaska
  • (43 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (317 jobs)
  • (112 jobs)
  • (223 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (189 jobs)
  • (102 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)

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