What is an Executive Chef

Every dish that comes out of the kitchen is the responsibility of an executive chef. You can be assured that whatever you're currently putting in your mouth was given the green light from the executive chef. That's because they have a hand in all the decisions regarding food in a kitchen. From the quality of the food to making sure regulations are being met to coming up with new and improved recipes, the executive chef has a hand in all major food decisions.

The majority of executive chefs work in the restaurant industry. But rest assured that there are many other options for executive chefs. For instance, they could work for a catering company or a nursing home. Maybe they find a job at a hotel. Whatever job you decide on, just make sure you can lead the kitchen staff. A good executive chef won't have dishes sent back to them from customers because something wasn't good enough.

Becoming an executive chef can be stressful and tough. Sometimes your team may not live up to your expectations, while other times customers will have set their expectations too high. You might come across an order that seems impossible to pull off because of all the substitutions and changes made to the original dish. Perhaps the most stressful of all is when someone has an allergy. You definitely don't want to be the reason someone has an allergic reaction. So, yeah. Being an executive chef is stressful. But if you love the art of creating an exquisite dish while being able to lead a team to produce a similar result, then you're going to be ok.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an executive chef. For example, did you know that they make an average of $26.3 an hour? That's $54,707 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 15,400 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Executive Chef Do

There are certain skills that many executive chefs have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed business skills, communication skills and creativity.

Learn more about what an Executive Chef does

How To Become an Executive Chef

If you're interested in becoming an executive chef, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 26.1% of executive chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.3% of executive chefs have master's degrees. Even though some executive chefs have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an executive chef. When we researched the most common majors for an executive chef, we found that they most commonly earn associate degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on executive chef resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an executive chef. In fact, many executive chef jobs require experience in a role such as sous chef. Meanwhile, many executive chefs also have previous career experience in roles such as chef or line cook.

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Average Salary
$54,707
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
11%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
64,995
Job Openings
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Executive Chef Career Paths

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Average Salary for an Executive Chef

Executive Chefs in America make an average salary of $54,707 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $89,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Salary
$54,707
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Executive Chef Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Executive Chef. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Executive Chef Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Executive Chef resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Executive Chef Resume Examples And Templates

Executive Chef Demographics

Executive Chef Gender Statistics

male

83.4 %

female

13.1 %

unknown

3.5 %

Executive Chef Ethnicity Statistics

White

56.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

22.6 %

Black or African American

9.1 %

Executive Chef Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

41.2 %

French

22.1 %

Italian

16.2 %
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Executive Chef Education

Executive Chef Majors

Executive Chef Degrees

Associate

56.4 %

Bachelors

26.1 %

High School Diploma

7.1 %

Top Colleges for Executive Chefs

1. Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,244
Enrollment
15,557

2. University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,000
Enrollment
25,973

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

6. Southwest Minnesota State University

Marshall, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,612
Enrollment
2,022

7. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Ponce

Mercedita, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,914
Enrollment
4,155
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Have you ever wondered about the right methods to improve productivity, configure your supply chain or address the demand on hand? In recent years, businesses have strived to improve productivity and quality, reduce costs and delivery times, and embrace flexibility and innovation. These strategies are part of the Operations Management (OM) activities that service and manufacturing organizations engage in. Operations Management helps you to understand the role of OM in a firm and to develop...

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Top Skills For an Executive Chef

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.4% of executive chefs listed food safety on their resume, but soft skills such as business skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Food Safety, 10.4%
  • Food Preparation, 9.7%
  • High Volume, 8.3%
  • Customer Service, 8.2%
  • Kitchen Equipment, 8.1%
  • Other Skills, 55.3%
  • See All Executive Chef Skills

12 Executive Chef RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For an Executive Chef

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an executive chef. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Executive chefs make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $87,461. Whereas in Washington and Nevada, they would average $82,547 and $75,432, respectively. While executive chefs would only make an average of $70,740 in Rhode Island, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Executive Chef Jobs:
894
Highest 10% Earn:
$135,000
Location Quotient:
1.4
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Executive Chef Jobs:
246
Highest 10% Earn:
$128,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Delaware

Total Executive Chef Jobs:
133
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Executive Chefs

How Do Executive Chef Rate Their Jobs?

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What do you like the most about working as Executive Chef?

The responsibility and instant gratification when a customer has a wow monment Show More

What do you NOT like?

Lazy workers who do not care about the products that they are working with and their teammates Show More

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Updated August 18, 2021