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Define sous chef: Job Responsibilities & Career Information

Looking to become a Sous Chef? As the Sous Chef is the second-in-command of the entire kitchen, you'll have lots of responsibility and you will need years of training and experience in the kitchen to get the job. Before applying to be a Sous Chef you need to know what the job involves, here is everything you need to know.





Define Sous Chef

  • Assists the Head Chef and supervises the other chefs

  • Plans and manages food preparation

  • Checks food stocks and orders ingredients/equipment

  • Fixes problems in the kitchen and keeps food production on track

  • Manages all chefs and works to maintain a positive work environment 


What are the Sous Chef's responsibilities?


The Sous Chef has an important role in the kitchen. As the Head Chef is usually busy dealing with problems, the Sous Chef has to keep an eye on the rest of the chefs to make sure food is made to a high standard and served on time. 


In fine cuisine restaurants, there is usually more than one Sous Chef. While you'll always find one Head Chef in the kitchen, there can be multiple Sous Chefs overseeing food production. 


A Sous Chef will usually be responsible for multiple stations in the kitchen. They manage the other chefs, keep food preparation working at a quick pace and fix any problems that the chefs have. 


Overall, this chef has lots of responsibilities but thanks to the higher position they have in the chain-of-command, this means they have more independence and authority in the kitchen. 



How much do they make?


In the UK, the average salary for Sous Chefs is £23,000 to £25,000. Depending on the size of the restaurant and location, the Sous Chef can earn a higher salary. 


Senior Sous Chefs in London have the potential to earn over £30,000.




What skills and requirements do I need to become a Sous Chef?

As the Sous Chef has lots of responsibilities in the kitchen, it's not an entry level job and you will need years of experience working as a chef in a restaurant kitchen. There are key skills and experiences employers will want to see on your CV when you apply to be a Sous Chef. 


  • At least four years working in a restaurant kitchen
  • Experience supervising other chefs (you will gain this experience as a Senior Station Chef)
  • Ability to stay calm and fix problems in busy environments
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills
  • Creative cooking ability


To be a Sous Chef, there is no iron rule that states you have to go to culinary school. Most Sous Chefs start their careers working as restaurant dishwashers or apprentices and then build their career as a chef from there. 


You can increase your chances of getting a job as a Sous Chef by doing specialised cooking courses to make your CV shine. 



Get ready for the job


As Sous Chefs have a high level of responsibility in the kitchen, they have to be professionally dressed at all times. They have to set an example to the rest of the team.


When working in a kitchen, chefs must wear slip-resistant chef shoes to reduce the chance of suffering a fall and protecting their feet from sharp falling objects.


At Shoes For Crews (Europe) Ltd. our slip-resistant shoes are specially designed for chefs, from restaurant kitchens to olympic chef teams, our shoes are worn by chefs around the world. Visit our shop to see our styles:





Want to be a Sous Chef?


Our free Complete Guide To Chef Jobs describes each chef role and shares what experience you need to have to get a promotion. Download it now to get the complete guide and start your career:




Tags: Life @ Work
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