A chef de partie, also known as a line cook, oversees the operations of a section within the kitchen of a café or restaurant. He or she ensures the food prepared in the section is not only sumptuous but also meets specific restaurant standards. Ready to sample what this career’s got in its menu? Read on!
See Also: How to Become a Cake Decorator
1. What Does a Chef de Partie Do?
The work of a chef de partie involves:
- Supervising and training chefs and other staff working in the section – he can also participate in the hiring process
- Ensuring the section adheres to relevant food hygiene codes
- Overseeing the preparation of various dishes or meals
- Ordering and managing the use of cooking supplies
- Explaining dishes to customers
- Developing recipes for new dishes
- Ensuring the section of the kitchen is clean at all times
- Taking instruction from the head chef.
2. Work Environment
A chef de partie typically can work up to 60 hours a week, since restaurants open early and close late. Some operate for 24 hours, 7 days a week.
While at work, they spend their time in the kitchen supervising cooking operations. The job can be physically demanding, since chefs spend almost the entire workday on their feet.
According to Indeed, chefs de partie in the US earn an average annual salary of $26,000.
4. Entry Requirements
The best way to start your journey to becoming a chef de partie is to enroll in a culinary school and pursue at least an associate degree in culinary arts. You will learn about food safety, cooking methods such baking and pastry, menu development, and cuisines. You don’t have to specialize in any particular culinary field.
Some of the best schools for an undergraduate program in culinary arts include:
After graduating, you will start out as an entry-level chef and work your way up with experience.
5. Important Qualities
What skills, interests, and abilities do you need to be a chef de partie who can preside over the preparation of yummy meals? You need:
- Great cooking skills
- Well-developed food-tasting skills
- An organizational flair
- Skills in personnel management (delegation skills)
- Communication skills
- Teamwork skills
- A cool head (it can get quite hot in the kitchen)
- Problem-solving skills
- Practical skills
- A good understanding of the restaurant and hospitality industry
- An understanding of food safety regulations
- A passion for food.
6. Career Progression
Once you are hired as a chef de partie, nothing should stop you from pursuing other senior positions. Focus on ensuring the food that is prepared in your station gets customers’ tongues wagging.
You should also enhance your knowledge, typically by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management or a closely related field. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) also offers a Certified Executive Chef credential that can heighten your advancement prospects. Membership opportunities are also available.
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of chefs de partie include:
- Formal and fine dining restaurants
- Cruise ships
As an experienced chef de partie with advanced credentials, you have what it takes to be hired as the head chef.
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a slower-than-average growth rate for chefs in the US, the USDA’s Economic Research Service notes that the demand for food away from home is increasing. As such, food service establishments will certainly hire more chefs de partie to help satisfy Americans’ surging appetite!
So, if the kitchen is a place you love, then this is a profession that could suit you.