Executive Chef vs Chef De Cuisine

When you step into a hospitality business, you will certainly see several hierarchical systems each one of them having different functions and responsibilities. When it comes to the kitchen, many of you must think that the chef is the one who cooks. Well, that’s a basic concept; there’s a lot more to it. Chefs are further classified into several types; two of them are most commonly known as executive chef and chef de cuisine.

Executive Chef vs Chef De Cuisine

Difference between Executive Chef vs Chef de cuisine

Now, what’s the difference between an Executive chef and vs Chef de cuisine? Primarily, both the chefs have a similar duty of handling managerial duties and overseeing commercial kitchens, but they are two different professionals with distinct responsibilities. If you are interested in perusing your career as an advanced-level kitchen expert, you should be aware of all the differences between these two.

In this article, we are going to discuss the major responsibilities, functions, and roles of executive chef and Chef de cuisine to understand and compare the differences between them. Let’s get started!

Executive Chef:

Usually, the executive chef is the highest-ranking position among all in a professional kitchen which means they directly deal with the owner of the restaurant or any other commercial place. An executive chef oversees multiple kitchens at the same time despite just being responsible for one kitchen. Moreover, if a place has quite a large kitchen that looks like a combination of many such as in banquet halls, hospitals, hotels, or other commercial places. Ensuring the safety and quality of food is what they do for making a business or culinary firm successful.

Moreover, this niche of work includes dealings with other professionals including suppliers, wholesalers, vendors, etc. Not only outside the field, but they are responsible for internal communication as well, such as collaborating with the administrator, kitchen staff, front-of-house staff, hospitality staff, etc. The executive chef trains the kitchen staff under them and manages food and supply expenses as well. In short, the Executive chef is a senior role than the Chef de cuisine with more advanced responsibilities, experiences, and roles.

Responsibilities of Executive Chef:

The executive chef is responsible for tons of work related to the kitchen staff and the management of the entire procedure. As compared to Chef de cuisine, this post has greater responsibilities being on a superior level. Below mentioned are some of the important things the executive chef should be responsible for:

  • Managing supplies according to the company’s budget.
  • Deciding the food which is going to be on the menu.
  • Ensuring the kitchen is clean and taking care of hygiene.
  • Keeping a check if the staff is working properly.
  • Efficiently run the kitchen to ensure quality work.
  • Keeping a good working relationship with the beverage manager.
  • Trying not to waste food or food material used.
  • Ensuring not to compromise on the food quality by introducing advanced quality control procedures in the kitchen

Salary of the executive chef:

The salary of an executive chef varies from place to place, but it is higher than Chef de cuisine. On average, an executive chef earns around $69000 per year. Other factors that affect the salary of an executive chef may include the platform, nature of work, experience, and most importantly, place. The chefs working at well-known organizations at this post earn a handsome amount of money with an experience of almost a decade.

Eligibility criteria for a professional executive Chef:

Usually, the professional profile of an executive chef includes:

  • Advanced communication skills among the team, other departments, and outside professionals
  • Skills to perform under hard circumstances or pressure
  • Specialization in any culinary branch
  • Leadership qualities and teamwork
  • A gastronomy degree or equivalent course
  • 15 years of experience in the same field

Skills of an executive chef:

Executive chef and chef de cuisine, both require some similar skills as they belong to the same profession, but they differ in multiple ways as well. Executive chef is a high-scale job hence, it requires some advanced skills and experience. Instead of physical work in the kitchen, there is more focus required on managing the kitchen in both chef de cuisine and executive chef. Some of the very important skills of the executive chef are mentioned below:

  • Managing the stock and placing orders to refill.
  • Having good supervision makes work more efficient.
  • Hire a good working staff.
  • Having good communication with coworkers.
  • Knows how to train and make the staff work.
  • Knows the food safety standards.
  • Managing the budget for food items and maintenance.
  • Have a mind able to make new recipes.

Chef de cuisine:

After the executive chef, the highest-ranking position in the kitchen staff is Chef de cuisine. The primary function of a chef de cuisine is to oversee everything happening in a kitchen gaining a lot of experience. From the preparation of exotic dishes to the quality of served food, everything is supervised by a chef de cuisine. Hygiene standards, overseeing the cooks, food presentation, and whatnot, chef de cuisine handles it all. Also, when it comes to hiring new staff for the kitchen, let it be a cook or any other position, it’s the chef de cuisine’s responsibility to hire and train the desired professional.

As executive chefs manage large or multiple kitchens, a chef de cuisine is usually the head of a small kitchen. Safety and hygiene are the top priorities of Chef de cuisine and they make sure that every code is being followed under their supervision. Not only do they perform their duties, but train the kitchen staff by showcasing their creativity skills. Sharing knowledge about the latest cuisine trends and innovating new recipes is what makes them different from executive chefs.

Unlike executive chefs who require management skills, chef de cuisine has to do a lot more physical job. They have long shift days and nights which means they need to be endured and build stamina. If a chef de cuisine wants to excel and promote to the next level, all they need is extensive experience.

Responsibilities of Chef De Cuisine:

The responsibilities a Cuisine chef job requires to be fulfilled are as mentioned below:

  • Keeping a check on the stock and other kitchen supplies.
  • Assigning duties to the staff and running the kitchen in a way that looks well organized.
  • Refilling stock when needed.
  • Make sure the quality of food items by using good quality food material, vegetables, and other items.
  • Managing the food portion and presentation.
  • Checking every dish leaving the kitchen and making sure everything is perfect.

Eligibility criteria for a Professional Chef de cuisine:

The following standards make a person eligible for being a professional Chef de cuisine:

  • Superior communication skills within the team and with other professionals
  • Leadership qualities and skills to train others
  • Should know how to supervise quality work
  • Have had training in a gastronomic institute
  • 5 years of working experience in a similar field

Skills of a chef de cuisine:

A chef de cuisine requires several skills including supervising, ensuring hygiene and quality, and preparation and presentation of food, but the most important quality required for a chef de cuisine is leadership. Other than these some skills that are needed to be a perfect chef de cuisine are mentioned below:

  • Keeping a check on new trends.
  • Having the ability to lead.
  • Analyzing and experimenting with new recipes.
  • Knows every suitable technique and practice of cooking.
  • Practicing and developing healthy and delicate dishes.
  • Knows how to communicate with the front house staff and the kitchen staff to make things work efficiently.
  • Knows how to keep the kitchen and the inventory well organized.
  • Knows how to deal with chaotic situations.
  • Knowing whether the quality of supplies is good or not.
  • Managing the inventory, keeping a check on the stock placing new orders according to the budget when needed to refill the stock.

Salary of chef de cuisine:

Just like an executive Chef, the salary of a chef de cuisine depends on the location and establishment where the professional works. If it is a well-known organization or platform, the income will be higher than average. Usually, the chef de cuisine earns around $49000 per year on average. The more experience a professional has, the more he will be in demand earning higher salaries.

Bottom Line:

A commercial kitchen has a lot of positions to offer; whether it is a large establishment or a small restaurant outside the town, it requires a proper team to work smoothly. Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine differ from one another in various aspects, but both of them have to perform important functions and responsibilities. They play an important role in kitchen dynamics and help the entire team to make an establishment successful.


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