Head Chef Vs Executive Chef

Image of chefs making dough

A time may have come when you required the expertise of a head chef or executive chef, but are you familiar with the distinction between the two terms? Before we get into the more specific roles, what exactly is a chef? This is a skilled tradesperson who takes great satisfaction in their mastery of every facet of food preparation. Most chefs have a specialty cuisine that they prepare at a higher level than others such as a pastry chef or a sauce chef. In common usage, chefs go by a variety of titles. The article compares and contrasts the roles of head chef and executive chef so that you know exactly what you are searching for before placing job postings.

Our team at chefshare Recruitment are able to find chefs of any specific kind to meet your needs so that you always get the right person for the job. Whether you need executive chefs, head chefs or any other kitchen staff member, we have you covered.

What Exactly Is A Head Chef?

This is a chef who manages every aspect of the kitchen. It is his or her job to oversee the culinary staff, come up with menus, organise the supplies, and keep an eye on the budget. In most kitchens, head chefs have the freedom to delegate tasks to their subordinates and can request that any other chef help with meal preparation or any other tasks that are required. An experienced head chef can make a huge difference in the way that a kitchen operates, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Speak with a chef recruitment agency such as chefshare Recruitment if your business needs a head chef.

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What Exactly Is An Executive Chef?

An executive is a chef who also serves at the business management level. This person is at the pinnacle of the kitchen’s chain of command. This is why it is unusual to find a high-level manager working in a small business. Instead, you can find them in large commercial kitchens and high end restaurants that require a larger amount of management on a day to day basis.

Additionally, they oversee all of the workings of the business’s many branches including menu planning, revision, and pricing as well as many more additional responsibilities such as recruiting temporary and permanent staff. Executive chefs are rarely seen actually preparing food as they are more concerned with keeping the kitchen running for the other chefs in the business who are solely focused with the food preparation.

What Differentiates The Two Roles?

  • Rank – In most restaurants, the executive chef is in charge of all the culinary operations, whereas the head chef is only second in command. Whilst each chef has a high level of authority, the executive chef will make major decisions regarding the overall direction of the kitchen.
  • Roles – A head chef’s responsibilities include overseeing the kitchen staff, coming up with menus, organising the kitchen’s supplies, and keeping an eye on the budget. Instead, an executive chef is responsible for menu pricing, planning, and revision, as well as the administration of operations across numerous locations. A head chef will handle day to day operations whilst an executive chef looks at the big picture. When you find a chef job, you will likely have the head chef as your manager.
  • Culinary Jobs – It’s possible for a head chef to also serve as a cook, but an executive chef never does. It is not common for a head chef to cook in larger establishments unless under high levels of stress or when short staffed.

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Executive Chef vs Head Chef: A Brief Summary

A “head chef” is a chef who has complete authority over all kitchen operations. In a commercial kitchen, this person has the position of second in command. Head chefs will often prepare food themselves when help is needed. Executive chefs, on the other hand, are in charge of running the kitchen and other managerial duties. One who holds this position at the highest level of a kitchen’s management hierarchy does not actually prepare food but rather excels in the delegation of tasks.

Get The Kitchen Staff You Need Today

If you need an executive chef or a head chef for your kitchen, our team should be your first port of call. We are able to find a chef that will meet your every need so that your kitchen continues to run at maximum capacity. If you are an executive chef or a head chef looking for work, our team at chefshare Recruitment would love to help you find the work you need. Based in Devon, we help to match chefs and kitchens throughout the entire South West including areas such as Bristol. Just let us know what you are looking for. We look forward to hearing from you and we hope you learned something useful here!

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