Chefs working in crowded kitchen with narrow aisle. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
When you remember Mom’s cooking in the kitchen, you may sit in amazement at how she managed to do everything all at once. Doing everything she did, she always made it come out tasting delicious. But if you think about it, sometimes the timing was really off, since she was trying to do so much at the same time. Thankfully, in a professional restaurant kitchen, there are a lot of people who can do many different things. There is the executive chef and the sous chef, of course. But, then there are many other positions that will allow you to put on your chef pants and show what you can do in the kitchen.
Also referred to as “the chef,” the executive chef is the person in charge of the kitchen. S/he is the most experienced and most qualified kitchen employee. In addition, the executive chef usually acts as a general manager for the kitchen, which includes setting schedules for all kitchen employees, as well as hiring concerns.
Sous Chef (Under Chef)
The sous chef is the executive chef’s right hand. Whenever the executive chef needs assistance, the sous chef is there. If the executive chef is absent for any reason, the sous chef is considered qualified enough to take his/her place for a short time.
Chef de Partie (Line Cook)
While the executive and sous chefs are expected to fulfill a number of roles in the kitchen, most of the other staff members are not. Under the executive and sous chefs are the chefs de partie. These cooks perform related tasks at a single, specific station. Below are a few examples of these positions.
Saucier (Sauté Chef)
The saucier is in charge of anything that must be sautéed, including sauces. This is a crucial position and is usually given to the best chef among the line cooks. Sometimes, the saucier also functions as the poissonier, the chef who butchers, prepares and cooks fish.
Grillardin (Grill Chef)
If you find yourself in front of a char-grill, you are a grillardin. This chef is responsible for cooking meat, chicken and fish that are grilled. Since both positions involve meat preparation, the grillardin is often also the rôtisseur, who roasts and braises meat.
Friturier (Fry Chef)
When something on the menu is fried, it is the friturier who does it. You may find yourself in this position first in the kitchen, as it is an entry-level station without exceptional difficulties.
Garde Manger (Pantry Chef)
While having separate lines for all of the different types of cooking makes sense, there are a large number of dishes in any restaurant that are uncooked. The role of the garde manger is to prepare all uncooked dishes, such as salads, sandwiches and cold appetizers.
Pâtissier (Pastry Chef)
A restaurant that serves its own baked bread needs someone with special skills to do it. The pâtissier is a pastry chef. And while it sounds like pastry chefs only make desserts, in fact, they create most or all of the baked goods in the kitchen.
If you are a “jack of all trades,” you may serve as the tournant. This position involves filling in or helping out at any station where you are needed. While the tournant may seem like a subsidiary position, it is usually only given to people who have experience in all lines.
This non-cooking position is nevertheless very important. The expeditor examines every dish before a server takes it to the table. If there is a mistake in the order or if something does not appear to be correct with the dish, the expeditor alerts the appropriate member of the cooking staff. Expeditors must know what every dish should look like, to ensure accurate presentation.
After learning all the important roles that people do in a restaurant kitchen, it is not surprising that the kitchen is always busy and bustling. In order to have a good restaurant, the kitchen must be in order, and all chefs must know what they are doing.
Craig Daniel writes on behalf of http://www.theworkplacedepot.co.uk/ who also have a very strict recruitment policy.